Out now: Research Methods in Private International Law

The book Research Methods in International Private Law: A Handbook on Regulation, Research and Teaching has been published (Elgar, 2024). It is edited by Xandra Kramer and Laura Carballo Piñeiro. It includes 18 chapters, two of which are authored by other members of the Vici team, Carlota Ucín and Adriani Dori. Carlota’s chapter focuses on conflict of methods in private international law from a legal theory perspective and Adriani’s chapter on the methodological influence of European private international law on domestic legal systems. The book is part of the Handbook in the Research Methods of Law Series of Edward Elgar Publishing. It seeks to provide insights into the different methodological approaches to private international law from a regulatory approach and from a research and educational perspective. The book is divided in three parts focusing on (1) the classification of private international law as private law and its interaction with international public law and regulation; (2) inter- and multi-disciplinary approaches and research methods; and (3) how private international law helps to frame and address the critical debates of our time as well as the role of legal scholarship and education in shaping the future of private international law. The book will be launched and introduced in two webinars in September 2024.

Critical acclaims are available here.


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Our ERC team members and advisory board (2017-2022)

Prof. dr. Xandra Kramer

From 2017-2022, I was the project leader of the ERC project Building EU Civil Justice. I am professor of private law (focus on civil justice) at the Erasmus School of Law, Erasmus University Rotterdam; professor of private international law at the Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance of Utrecht University; and Deputy Judge in the District Court of Rotterdam. I am an elected member of the Netherlands Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), the Institut de Droit International (IDI) and of the European Law Institute (ELI) Council. My alma mater is Leiden University. In the law area, I am fascinated by the crossroads between procedural justice and economic efficiency, including cost and funding; the functioning of civil justice systems; justice innovation and digitisation; transnational complex litigation; and the harmonisation of European private international law and civil procedure (see also My mission is to improve access to civil justice for all, and in a tailor-made jacket. In daily life, I am inspired, intrigued, and moved by people, the beauty of nature, (non law) books, and music.


Dr. Erlis Themeli

From 2017 to 2021 I was a postdoc researcher at the Erasmus School of Law, Erasmus University Rotterdam, working on the postdoc project Digitalisation of Civil Justice (eJustice). In 2022 and 2023 I have also worked as an assistant professor in private international law at Erasmus University. In 2023, I moved on as a researcher at the Asser Institute in The Hague while continuing as a guest lecturer at Eramus University. On 1 May 2024, I pursued a new career path at ING Amsterdam. I graduated from the Faculty of Law, University of Tirana in 2006, and obtained my master’s degree in Comparative Private and International Private Law from the University of Groningen, in 2012. In March 2018, I defended my PhD thesis on the competition of civil justice systems in EU, at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. Between 2005 and 2011, I worked in the banking and litigation department of one of the largest law firms in Albania, and was head of the projects sector at the High Council of Justice in Albania. Since 2006, I have been a member of the Albanian Chamber of Advocates, and was admitted to the bar in 2007. I like to spend my free time expanding my already broad interests, from Who Were the Sea People, the iconoclastic wars in the 7th century, to the development of the 5th generation jet fighters. Email:

Dr. Jos Hoevenaars

From 2017 to 2022, I worked as a postdoc researcher at the Erasmus School of Law, Erasmus University Rotterdam, first in the ERC project on the subproject Self-Representation in Civil Justice and in 2022 on the project on a Public fund for collective actions funded by the Dutch Research and Documentation Center (WODC). For the best part of 2023, I worked as a researcher at the Dutch Council for the Judiciary. As of November 2023, I returned to ESL and joined the Vici ‘Affordable Access to Justice’ team to further work on costs and funding of collective actions and develop a new line of research in the area of strategic litigation. I have a background in sociology and specialize in socio-legal approaches to law. I studied sociology at Erasmus University Rotterdam and obtained my master’s degree in 2011. Between 2012 and 2017, I worked as a PhD researcher and lecturer at the Institute for Sociology of Law and the Centre for Migration Law of the Radboud University Nijmegen. I successfully defended my Ph.D thesis on private party litigation before the Court of Justice of the European Union at the Radboud University Nijmegen in March 2018. Apart from my academic work, I also work as a musician and music producer and am a keen cyclist. Email:

Dr. Betül Kas

I was a postdoc researcher at Erasmus School of Law, working on the subproject ‘Privatisation of Civil Justice’ from 2020-2021 and currently I am a fellow researcher. I hold a Ph.D. degree and an LL.M. in Comparative, European and International Laws from the European University Institute (Florence), an LL.M. in Globalisation and Law and an LL.B. in European Law from the University of Maastricht. As part of my doctoral research, I worked for six-month as an intern at the Court of Justice of the European Union. I spent research visits at the Institute of European and Comparative Law (Oxford), the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies (Oxford) and the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law (Hamburg). Prior to joining Erasmus School of Law, I worked as a postdoc researcher at the Centre for the Study of European Contract Law of the University of Amsterdam. Broadly speaking, my research concerns the areas of European law and European private law. Within these areas, I am particularly interested in law enforcement, legal remedies and judicial protection, strategic litigation, judicial co-operation and socio-legal research methods. In my free time, I enjoy reading Italian novels and learning new languages. Email:

Emma van Gelder LLM

I was a PhD ressercher at the Erasmus School of Law, Erasmus University Rotterdam, working on the ERC subproject Digitalisation of Civil Procedure (ODR). On 1 February 2022, I started as a lecturer of Private Law at Utrecht University. My PhD dissertation on Consumer Online Dispute Resolution Pathways in Europe was successfully defended at Erasmus School of Law on 18 November 2022. I studied law at Utrecht University and obtained my master’s degree in Legal Research (July 2017, cum laude). During my Master’s I did several research projects in different interesting fields of law. I worked as a trainee at the European Court of Auditors, where I was involved in research concerning the European Court of Auditors as an accountability forum for European Enforcement Authorities. I love to read novels in the sun, dance, listen to music and hang out with Georgia (see below). Email: // ‘PhD in the Spotlight’ Video

Georgia Antonopoulou LLM

I was a PhD candidate at the Erasmus School of Law, Erasmus University Rotterdam, working on the ERC subproject Court Specialisation. Since September 2021, I am a lecturer at Birmingham School of Law. My PhD dissertation entitled Forum Selling and Forum Marketing in International Commercial Disputes: The Case of International Commercial Courts was successfully defended at Erasmus School of Law on 23 September 2022. I am a graduate of the Law School of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (2011) with postgraduate studies in Civil Procedure and International Litigation Law, at the same University (2015). I have completed my LL.M. focusing on International Private Law and European Procedure Law at the Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg, Germany. I was admitted to the Athens Bar in 2014, and worked as an attorney at law specialising in compulsory enforcement law, insolvency law and estate law for several law firms in Athens. In my free time, I enjoy watching Southpark again and again. Email: // ‘PhD in the Spotlight’ Video

Edine Apeldoorn

I worked for the ERC and Vici project from 2021-2023, before I pursued furhter studies at the University of Amsterdam. I am a Double Degree Business Administration and Law student at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. I graduated the Business Administration bachelor in ’20/’21 with honour. In ’21/’22 I studied French law for a semester at Université de Paris-Descartes to be able to compare the Dutch and French judiciary systems and to improve my linguistic proficiency in French. I supported the ERC and Vici groups in their researches by facilitating the work of the researchers by for example finding and grouping jurisprudence or checking footnotes and formatting. In my spare time I love to conversate with friends as well as new people, get to know new places in the world, reading books and enjoying nature.

Wouter Hoogeveen

I was a student assistant at the Erasmus School of Law, Erasmus University Rotterdam, working on the ERC project from 1 September 2020 till 1 June 2021. In 2020, I finished my master Corporate law at the Erasmus School of Law, and after that I started my master Behavioural Economics. I used to work at the Erasmus School of Economics as a teaching assistant, but after my master Corporate law I wanted to get some experience in the field of law. I am very happy to work with this great team on this renowned project. In my free time I try to read a lot and listen to podcasts. I am a big sports fan, I love cycling and playing football and tennis. Email:

Kyra Hanemaayer MSc

From the start of the project, on 1 September 2017 till 1 September 2020, I was a student-assistant at the Erasmus School of Law, Erasmus University Rotterdam, working on the ERC project. I finished my master’s degree in International Economics at the Erasmus School of Economics in 2019 and obtained my LLM in Private Law in 2020. As of 1 September 2020, I am a PhD candidate at the Erasmus School of Economics at Erasmus University Rotterdam.

Research Fellow

Dr. Alexandre Biard

I hold master’s degrees from Sciences Po Paris (2009) and University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (2010), and completed my Ph.D thesis on collective redress and judicial behaviour at Erasmus School of Law, Bologna University and Hamburg University in 2014. I was admitted to the Paris Bar in 2015, and worked at the European Commission (Directorate General for Health & Consumers), and in the litigation and EU regulatory departments of several law firms in Paris and Brussels. I am also a volunteer fellow in the non-profit organisation The Good Lobby fostering access to justice for civil society organisations through pro bono cooperation. From September 2017-November 2019, I was a postdoc researcher focusing on ADR in this ERC project. Since December 2019, I have been working as a Senior Advisor at BEUC in Brussels, while staying at Erasmus School of Law as an affiliated researcher to this project and as a guest lecturer. My list of publications is available here. Email:

Advisory Board

During the project our advisory board offered expertise on national law and specific topics of our research, provided feedback on our activities, and gave supported in the design and implementation of empirical research where necessary.

Members of the ERC advisory board:

Prof. dr. Burkhard Hess

Formerly Executive Director of the Max Planck Institute Luxembourg for International, European and Regulatory Procedural Law and currently Professor of Civil Procedure Law at the University of Vienna. His research interests encompass European civil procedural law and German civil procedural law.

Prof. dr. Christopher Hodges

Emeritus Professor of Justice Systems, and head of the Swiss Re/CMS Research Programme on Civil Justice Systems, Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, University of Oxford. His research interests include Civil Justice Systems (procedural and funding systems); Multi-Party Actions (class actions and representative/collective actions); EU Regulation of Products; Healthcare law; Product liability; and Consumer law.

Prof. dr. Peter Mascini

Professor in Empirical Legal Studies at the Erasmus School of Law of the Erasmus University Rotterdam at which university he is also an associate professor of sociology at the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences. His research focuses on the legitimization, implementation, and enforcement of laws and policies.

Prof. dr. Elisabetta Silvestri

Emeritus Associate Professor of Italian Civil Procedure and Comparative Civil Procedure; Scientific Director of the post-graduate program for the training of mediators and ADR professionals, Department of Law, University of Pavia. Her research interests include collective redress; ADR; and the structure of EU judicial systems.

Dr. John Sorabji

Senior Judicial Institute Fellow, Faculty of Laws, University College, London; barrister; previously Principal Legal Adviser to the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales and the Master of the Rolls. His research interests include the operation of Civil Justice Systems; procedural reform and innovation; and, the philosophy of litigation. He is, amongst other things, the assistant editor of The White Book, the leading commentary on English and Welsh civil procedure.

Prof. dr. Sebastian Spinei

Associate professor of Civil procedure, Faculty of Law, Lucian Blaga University, Sibiu and practicing lawyer. His research interests include Civil procedure, Civil enforcement, Judicial systems and Legal profession.