Kees Cappon's academic activities will include research into the emergence and development of institutions and legal rules that form the basis of the modern European legal order. The first of these categories includes institutions such as the monarchy and parliament (and their mutual relationship), as well as that of the notaries public. Legal rules (or legal principles) cover topics such as parliamentary rights and liberties, the concept of the rule of law, free will and legal certainty. His current research into historical elements of the notaries public will continue in the years ahead, as will his examination of the development of civil rights and the concept of the rule of law in both the civil-law tradition and common law. In his most recent research, Cappon reveals a particular interest in the work of English lawyer and defender of ‘Common Law’ and ‘Parliament’, Edward Coke (1552-1634).
Cappon has been affiliated with the University of Amsterdam (UvA) as a legal historian since 1982. In 1996, as a senior university lecturer, he became head of the History of Law section at the department of Jurisprudence. In 2008 he was also named professor by special appointment of the History of the Public Notary. Cappon received his doctorate in 1992 after studying with Hans Ankum and Theo Veen for his thesis titled 'The rise of the testament in the diocese of Utrecht: A study based on legal sources from Utrecht from the early eighth until the mid-fourteenth century'. In addition to being a legal analysis of the oldest examples of a last will and testament from the Northern Low Countries, this book also makes a contribution to the history of the earliest notaries. Cappon is chair of both the department of Jurisprudence and the Faculty of Law’s Examinations Board. He is also vice-president of the Institut international du notariat in Paris.