Student assistant VIDI project

Amsterdam Law School

Publication date
13 June 2017
Level of education
Salary indication
€1,958 to €2,283 gross per month, based on 38 hours per week
Closing date
2 July 2017
7,6 hours per week
Vacancy number

The Amsterdam Law School is strongly engaged in society and has an international orientation, which is reflected in its research and education activities. The Amsterdam Law School offers three Bachelor's programmes and a number of Master's programmes, two of which are taught exclusively in English (i.e. International and European Law and European Private Law). With its 3,500 students and 375 staff members, it is one of the largest law schools in the Netherlands. The Amsterdam Law School is located in the centre of Amsterdam.

The Amsterdam Law School is offering a position for a student assistant in the NWO-funded project ‘Judges in Utopia: Judicial law-making in European Private Law’, coordinated by Prof. Chantal Mak. The project is conducted within the framework of the Centre for the Study of European Contract Law (CSECL), one of the centres of excellence of the University of Amsterdam. The CSECL aims to promote high-quality research and education on European contract law. Its research programme focuses on the interplay between the European, national and international laws of contract.

Project description

Political-philosophical calls for ‘more Europe’ as a response to the economic crisis reveal the lack of civic solidarity underlying the project of European integration. Echoes of this debate inform the judicial application of the rules facilitating market integration, most importantly rules of private law (contracts, property, liability). The concept of social justice endorsed at EU level continues to significantly diverge from national concepts. The interplay of ideas of justice has not yet resulted in a lasting constitutional settlement that is able to reconcile conceptions of the ‘common good’ pursued in European society. Consequently, judges struggle to align national social rights with European market freedoms in cases concerning private-legal transactions.

While the analysis of the ‘social deficit’ in European private law has long followed a critical, deconstructive approach, this project takes a constructive turn. It aims at developing a (partial) normative theory of judicial rulemaking for the field of European private law. First, it analyses the implications of theories of European constitutionalism and philosophical theories of deliberation for judicial reasoning in this area. The focus lies on the potential of fundamental rights to deliberate value-choices in judicial rulemaking in the field of private law. Within this general framework, in-depth studies will be conducted of: (i) the interplay between principles of law in the multi-level order of the EU and its Member States, and (ii) the guaranteeing of effective remedies on the interface of EU and national private laws. Combined with the continuous input of an Expert Group, these studies will feed into the elaboration of a normative theory that (a) reconceptualises the role of judges in today’s Europe, especially in their relation to the legislature, and (b) provides them with methodological guidance for the identification and integration of views on the ‘common good’ in the resolution of private legal disputes.


  • Assist the researchers working on this project in finding and analysing relevant case law and literature on specific topics within the project’s framework;
  • actively contribute to the project, under supervision of the researchers participating in the project;
  • participate in the organization of research activities and events, such as conferences, workshops and joint publications, that form part of the project.


  • Completed 1st year of law studies at start of the employment;
  • interest in European private law and, ideally, also its theory;
  • ideally, the successful candidate will also have some knowledge of international and European public law;
  • excellent command of Dutch and English (written and spoken);
  • interest in cross-disciplinary research and ability to work in a team.

Further information

To discuss the position informally, please contact:


The student assistant’s appointment will be for the period of one year. The appointment preferably commences on 1 September 2017. The gross monthly salary will be in accordance with the salary scales for research assistants at Dutch universities, i.e., ranging from €1.958 to €2.283 gross a month, based on 38 hours per week. The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities is applicable.

Job application

The closing date for receipt of completed applications is 2 July 2017.

To apply please submit the following items in Word or PDF format electronically to, attn. prof. C. Mak:

  • Motivation letter
  • CV
  • Grade transcripts


No agencies please

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