Francesca joined the Law Faculty and ACT in September 2022 as an Assistant Professor of European Private Law. This follows her previous role as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies and the University of Pisa, as well as her time as an Emile Noel Fellow at the New York Law School.
At Uva, Francesca co-teaches European Contract Law (where she also serves as course coordinator), Research Training Seminars and Consumer Rights in the Digital Market, as well as Introduction to Comparative Law. Francesca also serves as Thesis coordinator for the Master in European Private Law.
She is available for supervising thesis in various fields of European Private Law as well as Law and New Technologies, especially focussing on: contract law, civil liability, data protection, platform regulation, private enforcement and litigation.
As a researcher, Francesca is deeply committed to European private law, while also venturing into social sciences, jurisprudence, and political theory. Her interests particularly focus on the role and structure of private law adjudication in diverse legal settings and the challenges posed by new technologies (outlined in her Research Plan).
She earned her Ph.D. – doctor Europeaus, with the highest distinction of summa cum laude – from the University of Pisa. Her dissertation, titled "L'effettività del diritto (privato) europeo nella giurisprudenza della Corte di Lussemburgo. Analisi di un concetto indeterminato," employed analytical and methodological tools from European law, private law, philosophy of language, and theory of legal reasoning and argumentation. The dissertation delved into the meaning and normative value of "effectiveness" in the CJEU's case law, identifying conditions for its legitimate application. Her research spanned across Pisa, the University of Oxford (where she pursued an MJur degree), and the MPI for Comparative and International Private Law, where she was granted a two-month Scholarship for International Students. Notably, her innovative methodology and findings earned her the 2019 Best Dissertation in Social Science prize from the University of Pisa.
Francesca's research explores how contract drafting, private law adjudication, and private law remedies contribute to shaping legal norms, rights, and practices. This influence extends to molding economic and social dynamics beyond traditional legislative contexts. Her focus lies in unraveling the impact of pluralistic normative frameworks on redefining the connection between public and private law, legitimacy of law-making in complex transnational legal orders, the influence of legal and non-legal stabilizing factors on strategic litigation, and the significance of access to justice and effective judicial protection on individual and systemic levels. Within the realm of Law & Technology, she concentrates on reshaping individual and collective rights and remedies as a means to address the transfer of public interests to private entities. This shift ensures their transnational accountability for the quasi-regulatory roles they undertake.
Francesca's role as an Assistant Professor of European Law at UvA will encompass three primary areas of research: (a) crafting a descriptive and normative theory regarding the application of the principle of effectiveness in private law adjudication; (b) comprehending the role of private law remedies in regulating digital platforms; (c) devising inventive conceptual frameworks to formulate transnationally valid responses to the societal transformations tied to the economic and normative influence of digital corporations.
Starting in Fall 2023, Francesca will lead the DTDMS seed-funded project APPLIED - Assessing collective Private Litigation In the Economy of Data. The project will last one year and aim at: Developing an inclusive overview of CPE application in data protection law across different European nations; Identifying and analyzing obstacles that hinder effective CPE implementation; Exploring CPE's broader implications on data protection rights, obligations, and wider interests. The Team - comprised by Anna van Duin, Jef Ausloos and Francesca Episcopo - is currently preparing to hire two students assistants.