University of Antwerp, Belgium – EBI Europe
Prof. Dr. Robby Houben


The University of Antwerp is a young, dynamic and forward-thinking university. It integrates the assets of its historic roots with its ambition to contribute positively to society.

The University of Antwerp develops, provides access to and disseminates scientific knowledge through research, teaching and service to society. It carries out these tasks in a spirit of academic freedom and responsibility.

The University of Antwerp espouses active pluralism. In that spirit, it stimulates critical research and teaching, reflection and debate on scientific, social, philosophical and ethical questions.

The University of Antwerp conducts creative and innovative scientific research which strives for international excellence. It stimulates both basic and applied research and their valorisation.

The University of Antwerp offers internationally accredited academic teaching based on scientific research. It aims at the development and integration of knowledge, skills and attitudes that will prepare its students to take responsibility in society.

The University of Antwerp stimulates public debate and greatly values its staff and students’ service to society.

The University of Antwerp is active in a global environment. It stimulates its staff and students international orientation.

The University of Antwerp is committed to the development of its city and region. With its partners in the Antwerp University Association, it takes responsibility for higher education in the Antwerp region.

The University of Antwerp attaches great importance to its close, historic links with Antwerp University Hospital and Antwerp Management School. It seeks constructive partnerships in the fields of research, teaching and academic service to society. In addition, the University shares its expertise with both public and private partners.

The University of Antwerp fosters diversity and offers its staff and students equal opportunities and maximum potential for personal development.

The University of Antwerp ensures the quality (education – research) and sustainability of its activities. Its contact with students, staff and other stakeholders is constructive, respectful and open-minded.

The Faculty of Law of the University of Antwerp has a long and fruitful research tradition. Our researchers are renowned for their study of positive law, but also for gauging the fundamental meaning of law in society and in public administration.

The Antwerp legal research is carried out within five research groups. These groups shape the collaboration between the researchers. They optimize the cooperation between researchers and provide a better profile of our research expertise. Each research group has a research programme in which the mission, vision, priorities and lines of research are explained.

  1. Business & Law: The mission of this Research Programme is to perform high-quality legal-scientific research concerning the relationship between Business and Law. Within the research group research is carried out on European law, tax law and economic law (including commercial law, company law and financial law) and the patrimonial aspects of family law.
  2. Government & Law: This group examines the fundamental questions raised by the exercise of authority at lower and higher levels of governance and by non-state actors: how do public agents function in this new environment? how should we deal with questions of legitimacy and accountability, rule of law, and respect for fundamental rights derived from there? Inasmuch as national constitutions are insufficient to secure these principles, the research group inquires at the normative level how ideas of justice, rights and democracy need to be rethought in a multi-level, multi-actor context and through what form public law would be suitable in this institutional context to realise these values. This programme covers as units of analysis public institutions at the local, regional, federal, European and international level, as well as non-state actors in so far as they take on a prominent role in the public sector. It analyses the legal framework for the functioning of public institutions and its relations with citizens and the industry.
  3. Personal Rights & Property Rights: This group’s core research domain is private (international) law. The research programme is divided in four interconnected lines: personality rights, contractualisation, liability & accountability, and kinship studies. The focus in this research programme is on private ordering in private (international) law. Multi-level governance and globalisation is the content driver and socio-legal studies the methodological driver.
  4. Law and Development: This research group unites researchers who study the role of law in enhancing human dignity and global justice, between and within States in North and South. The group takes a critical approach to law, and seeks to investigate what law actually ‘does’ in society, amongst others through interdisciplinary and empirical research.
  5. Law Enforcement: The law enforcement and proper administration of justice research programme aims – both for private law and for criminal (procedure) law – to determine what sanctions may and can be used and under what conditions, and which sanctions are most appropriate for the effective enforcement of private and criminal law standards. This research group also investigates how greater coherence can be introduced into the criminal justice system.


University of Antwerp
Prinsstraat 13
2000 Antwerpen

T: +32 3 265 41 11