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On 7 and 8 November 2019, the ‘Judges in Utopia’ project’s final conference will take place. The aim of this conference is to present the project’s results to an audience of legal scholars and practitioners and to engage in a critical debate about the role of civil courts as European courts.

Detail Summary
Start date 7 November 2019
End date 8 November 2019
Time 12:00


The conference deals with fundamental rights’ potential to serve as enabling tools for courts to open up space in deliberative processes regarding concepts of (transnational) justice in European private law. This phenomenon requires a reconceptualization of the judiciary’s role along three interlinked dimensions: an institutional, a procedural and a substantive dimension. The institutional dimension pertains to the question how to situate courts in relation to other branches of government in the European multi-level legal order. The procedural dimension is pronounced in the position of courts vis-à-vis the litigating parties and how their powers and duties are influenced by European and international law. The substantive dimension concerns the question whether and to what extent fundamental rights are able to reconcile different conceptions of justice.

Invited speakers have been asked to engage with the theme of this conference and reflect on the ‘Judges in Utopia’ project from the perspective of their own research. An expert panel has been composed for the specific purpose of providing feedback on the project’s results.

For more information on the ‘Judges in Utopia’ project, please visit our website:


Keynote speech

Hans-W. Micklitz (EUI)


Laura Burgers (UvA)

Fabrizio Cafaggi (Judge, Italian Council of State)

Michael Dowdle (National University of Singapore)

Anna van Duin (UvA)

Franscesca Episcopo (Scuola Superiore S. Anna)

Giulia Gentile (King’s College London)

Mateusz Grochowski (Polish Academy of Sciences & EUI)

Monika Hinteregger (Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz)

Betül Kas (UvA)

Chantal Mak (UvA)

Luca E. Perriello (Università degli Studi di Salerno)

Loes Salomez (Belgian Commission of Psychologists) 

Expert Panel

Sandra Lange (Judge, Dutch Council of State)

Špelca Mežnar (Judge, Constitutional Court of Slovenia)

Jaap Spier (Former Advocate General, Supreme Court of the Netherlands)

Please find attached the preliminary program


Volkshotel (Meeting Room: Truus + Fransje), Wibautstraat 150, 1091 GR Amsterdam.

By public transport:

Metro line 51, 53 or 54, stop at “Wibautstraat” (exit “Graaf Florisstraat”)


Participation in the conference is free, but there are limited seats available. If you would like to attend the conference, please send an email to Pinar Palabiyik at before 18 October.