Legal Experiments: Mission Impossible?

By Christoph Engel

On December 6, 2012, Christoph Engel - Director of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods in Bonn and Professor of Law at the Universities of Bonn and Osnabruck - was installed as holder of the Erasmus Chair of Internationalization at Erasmus University, Rotterdam. Over the years, Engel has increasingly branched out, specializing in the experimental testing of legal issues. From this angle, he contributes to the empirical branch of legal scholarship at Erasmus School of Law. In his inaugural lecture, which is contained in this book, Christoph Engel discusses the merits and the challenges in using a scientific method for casting new light on the social problems the law intends to address, and on the effectiveness of legal intervention. While lab experiments are common in the natural sciences, and have become increasingly popular in economics, they still meet considerable resistance in legal academia. Engel's lecture explains the concerns, and he uses an example experiment to demonstrate how the concerns can be addressed.

34 pages

Publication Date: 2/6/2013
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9789462120020