The Center for Foundations and Methods of Private Law focuses on two issues: on the one hand, the theoretical foundations of private law and, on the other hand, the various methods that can be used in legal research. By stimulating discussions on foundations and methodology, the center also acts as a breeding ground for positive law research. The center has a double mission. First, the center wants to form a forum to bring together various researchers within the broad field of private law. Second, the center wants to stimulate discussions on foundations and methods of legal research in general, thus transcending private law.

Research Items

Analytic-deconstructive research

The choices that interpreters make in the lawmaking process are not always openly revealed. This theme therefore focuses on revealing those choices, in part by elaborating methods and conceptual frameworks that support such revelations and then employ them in various forms of research.

Traditional legal-dogmatic research

What legal researchers actually do when they conduct traditional legal-dogmatic research is seldom made explicit. This issue critically examines that type of research in order to assess and, if necessary, improve its quality.

Private law in context

For some time now, private law research has not been limited to traditional legal-dogmatic research. Theoretical and normative perspectives and empirical analysis are necessary complements, which - along with their interactions - are central to this theme.

Private law and the future

Classical private law focuses on arrangements for a physical world. In today's digital world, however, those regulations cannot always be applied one-to-one. This theme looks at the transition from a physical to a digital world in private law through the lens of legal theory.

Across the boundaries of private law

Boundaries between public and private law are not really sharply drawn today. This topic explores the reasons for this blurring of boundaries and the implications this blurring has for classical private law.

Doctoral Research

  • Leander Van Driessche: "The implications of the relevant case law of the Belgian Constitutional Court on the tenability of the statutory paternity rules as included in the Belgian (old) Civil Code".
  • Gilles Rouvroy: "Taking legal doctrine seriously: a sociological exploration of the role of legal scholars in shaping the Belgian law of obligations".