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Our Mission


Centre for Transformative Private Law

ACT forms part of the University of Amsterdam’s Research Priority Area ‘Private and Public European Law’.

Research activities

Originally founded as a research centre specifically for European contract law, today ACT researchers specialise in the private law aspects of a variety of legal fields. These include European consumer protection law, environmental law, financial law, fundamental rights, housing law, insolvency law, labour law, property law, private international law, and dispute resolution.

ACT combines inquiry into topical developments with fundamental research into the role of private law in Europeanising and globalising societies and markets. Its research focuses, in particular, on the social justice dimensions of private law, the critique of dominant private law discourses, and the effective protection of vulnerable parties through private law.

ACT’s approach to European private law is multi-disciplinary, combining thorough legal analysis with pertinent insights from other fields, such as political theory, critical theory, political economy, moral theory, behavioural sciences, and economic analysis.


ACT aims at high-quality research. Its researchers publish their articles in top international journals such as the European Law Journal, European Law Review and Common Market Law Review and their books with the best international academic publishers including Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press and Hart Publishing.

Societal impact

ACT research has a strong societal impact, both on European private law making and on its practice. ACT researchers have acted as experts for the European Commission and the European Parliament, in the drafting of high-profile EU legislation, and in setting up a prominent network of European judges. In addition, they have assisted stakeholders, such as consumer organisations. Several ACT researchers also engage in (European) private law practice, as legal consultants or judges.


CSECL members collaborate nationally and internationally through variety of research groups, networks and projects, such as:

  • Law and Justice Across Borders 
  • the Common Core Project (‘Trento project’)
  • the network on Private Law Theory
  • the Ius Commune Research School

CSECL seminar series

The CSECL seminar series consist of:

  • Bi-weekly paper presentations by invited leading scholars from across the world
  • Internal presentation and discussion of work in progress of one of the group members
  • Monthly lunch meetings dedicated to the discussion of recent developments in legislation, case law and literature

The bi-weekly seminars are public and attendance is possible after registration.