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An Introduction to Legal Design for Research and Practice (LAW-RS-LEGDES-22)


Department LAW
Course category LAW Seminar - 3 credits
Course type Course
Academic year 2022-2023
Credits 3 (EUI Law credits)
  • Nwamaka Ikenze (PhD Researcher) Daniel Henri Rozenberg (PhD Researcher) Leonore Ten Hulsen (PhD Researcher) Anouk Van Der Veer (PhD Researcher)
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  Course materials

03/02/2023 14:00-17:00 @ Sala dei Cuoi

10/02/2023 15:00-17:00 @ Sala dei Cuoi

17/02/2023 15:00-17:00 @ Sala dei Cuoi

02/03/2023 11:00-13:00 @ Sala dei Cuoi


First and second year researchers as well as LLM researchers can gain 3 credits by attending one of the researcher-taught seminars in each academic year; they can also register for and attend further researcher-taught seminars without gaining credits.

The emerging field of ‘legal design’ is defined as ‘the application of human-centred design to law to make it more accessible and innovative to users’. Design-thinking promotes ‘structured-yet-free’ spaces and encourages being ‘critical, imaginative and practical’. Methodologically rich, it ‘promotes the use of model-making, prototyping and visualisation. Legal design introduces the language of design to legal debates by centring the user experience in the creative process, and has primarily been applied in private law settings such as for accessible contract design. It has also explored how to make justice and legal education more inclusive. Legal design further has potential in public law and participatory democratic contexts. Margaret Hagan’s ‘legal design pyramid’ below shows how diverse fields of design research can be applied to legal questions at varying levels of abstraction.

Professor Amanda Perry-Kessaris argues that ‘designerly ways’ can help to enhance socio-legal research and practice, and has thus incorporated design into her ‘Research Methods in Law’ course for postgraduate research students at Kent Law School, in which she ‘invites students to collaboratively experiment through their own project’ aided by a ‘series of design briefs’. We propose to mirror this approach at the EUI, and lead a self-reflective and collaborative introductory seminar which will introduce the field of legal design in the first phase, show how it can support legal research and practice in a secondary phase, and for a final phase teach how incoming and advanced researchers can learn from design theory to approach and communicate their own projects and research design in a way which is more visual, accessible and fun. A deliverable at the end of the course will  have all researchers present how they have incorporated designerly ways towards advancing or disseminating their thesis.

Through participation in this seminar, researchers will:
1.Understandtheemergingfield of legal design’s existing research and aims,
2.Applyits various theories and methods potentially useful to their research projects,and
3.Createtheir own designs to think through and communicate their projects.

First, Second & Third Term: registration from 19 to 26 September.

Register for this course

Page last updated on 21 September 2018

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