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ACT supports several ongoing research projects, which examine various areas of private law. Here you'll find more information and links to project webpages and events.
  • Assessing Collective Private Parties' Litigation in the Economy of Data (APPLIED)

    Data protection litigation – and particularly collective private enforcement (CPE) – is escalating in the EU, as consumer associations and other interest groups pursue legal actions against Tech Giants like Facebook and Uber for GDPR violations. While the concept of private enforcement gains traction, there's a need to systematically map pathways to CPE and assess its effectiveness in providing strong judicial protection, perceived both as an independent entitlement under Article 47 ECFR and as an auxiliary means to safeguard other fundamental rights.

    Furthermore, the development triggered by CPE clearly shows how procedural and remedial safeguards are co-constitutive of primary rights and duties, demanding to go beyond the enforcement debate to discuss how litigation influences the way in which data protection law takes shape ‘on the ground’.

    Last, but not least, the rise of CPE requires contextualizing data protection litigation within a comprehensive framework that encompasses various stakeholders' fundamental rights – users, consumers, workers, and citizens online and offline. This holistic perspective allows us to analyze the significance of private litigation and collective private enforcement in upholding fundamental rights, preserving public values, and safeguarding general interests.

    Against this background, APPLIED has three main objectives:

    1. Developing an inclusive overview of CPE application in data protection law across different European nations.
    2. Identifying and analyzing obstacles that hinder effective CPE implementation.
    3. Exploring CPE's broader implications on data protection rights, obligations, and wider interests.

    Project Team:

    • Francesca Episcopo (FdR) – Principal Investigator
    • Anna Van Duin (FdR)
    • Jef Ausloos (IViR)
  • Energy Labels for Ecologically Sustainable Digital Services

    The seed grant aims to build on Energy Labels, an ongoing UvA project at the Science Faculty that aims to quantify the energy consumption of digital services in real-time. This project adds to that with an interdisciplinary approach that explores the real-world usage and enforcement of the outcomes of the Energy Labels project. By doing that it aims to promote a reduction in the ecological footprint of digital services. 

    The interdisciplinary team exists of researchers from the faculties of Law, Economics and Business, and Science. They will work on designing, implementing, and standardising the energy labels. By exploring how the Energy Labels tool can be used to induce a real-world reduction in carbon footprint, the project intends to run a pilot experiment to nudge users towards energy-saving behaviour. 

    This project looks at the environmental impact of digital services in the Netherlands, where data centres consume three times more energy than the national railway company. Through behavioural interventions, law, and policy changes, the project aims to achieve significant savings in CO2 emissions at a national and potentially international level.

    Project team:

    • Dr. Candida Leone (FdR)
    • Dr. Anuj Pathania (FNWI)
    • Dr. Giorgia Romagnoli (FEB)
  • Regulation of Environmental Sustainability in Global Supply Chains Through Big Data and Modelling

    The global economy’s current organization of supply chains poses environmental challenges and is vulnerable to environmental change. New legislation is holding firms responsible for environmental harm, but little is known about the firms’ adjustments to supply chains. 

    This project reveals the potential of legislation around sustainable supply chains and aims to project into the future how supply chains may change as a result of law and a range of other factors. The findings may prove valuable to businesses, civil society, and governments who are looking to develop strategies and regulatory instruments for sustainable supply chains. 

    The project combines expertise from Law, Political Economy, and Computational Science to develop a new methodology to evaluate the effectiveness of sustainable supply chain regulations in reducing environmental risks.

    Project team:

    • Klaas Eller (FdR)
    • Mike Lees (FNWI)
    • Diliara Valeeva (FMG)
    • Luc Fransen (FMG)
  • Integraal Privaatrecht

    De vraag rijst in hoeverre het privaatrecht, in het licht van deze recente ontwikkelingen, de oplossing van actuele maatschappelijke vraagstukken beperkt of juist faciliteert. De nationale doctrines en regelgeving kunnen in de weg staan aan oplossingen, maar ze kunnen ook dusdanig ontwikkeld en aangepast worden dat ze hieraan bijdragen. Hiervoor is onderzoek noodzakelijk op het gebied van privaatrecht, meer in het bijzonder: het integraal privaatrecht.

    Het onderzoeksprogramma ‘Integraal Privaatrecht’ is verankerd in ACT, waarbij zowel de nationale, Europese en internationale dimensies van het privaatrecht in onderlinge samenhang worden bestudeerd. Het onderzoeksprogramma wil tegelijk bijdragen aan de wetenschappelijke grondslag van het onderwijs dat de Afdeling Privaatrecht verzorgt. Onderzoeksgestuurd onderwijs berust immers op hoogwaardig wetenschappelijk onderzoek dat door de academische staf wordt verricht op de onderwezen terreinen.


    Het onderzoeksprogramma gaat uit van een visie op het privaatrecht als integraal terrein. Traditioneel privaatrechtelijk onderzoek, nationaal of internationaal, berust doorgaans op ‘leerstukonderzoek’, geconcentreerd op de ontwikkeling van bepaalde noties of de invulling van ‘gaten’ op een deelgebied van het privaatrecht.

    De geschetste ontwikkelingen vereisen echter een vernieuwende, meer overstijgende benadering die verbreding en verdieping voorstaat door kruisbestuiving tussen verschillende deelgebieden en benaderingen binnen het privaatrecht in zijn integraliteit. Het gaat erom systematisch (samen) te werken vanuit verschillende deeldisciplines van het privaatrecht. Daarbij speelt intra- en interdisciplinariteit een rol. Belangrijke vragen zijn daarbij: hoe voltrekken deze ontwikkelingen zich op de relevante deelgebieden van het privaatrecht en welke overkoepelende discussies en patronen zijn daarin te onderkennen? Onder welke omstandigheden en voorwaarden functioneren bijvoorbeeld open normen in verschillende deelgebieden van het privaatrecht: als een beperking of juist als een facilitator voor de oplossing van maatschappelijke vraagstukken.


    N-EXTLAW is an ERC-Funded Research Project Hosted by ACT | Towards a Non-Extractive Future

    Law as a vehicle for social change | Mainstreaming Non-Extractive Economic Practices (N-EXTs). The ultimate goal of N-EXTLAW is to achieve a non-extractive, sustainable economic model. Our mission is to understand how we can rethink our legal framework to support sustainable economic practices. In this way, law provides actions with meaning and can be used as a vehicle for social change.

Previous Research Projects