TISCO's focus is on justice needs in civil law. Key to our research are the individuals and corporations who use, are involved with, or are influenced by the law and the civil justice system. Taking a bottom-up approach, TISCO members develop, integrate, and apply insights from negotiation theory, conflict research, dispute system design, (comparative) legal research, network theory, behavioural law, and law and economics in their research in order to connect and extend the body of knowledge on building, maintaining and (constructively) ending horizontal relationships in which people and businesses are involved.
TISCO's core competences are in the fields of access to justice, ADR, and conflict system design; complex relational networks and (inter)dependency (e.g. contractual relationships, family law, bankruptcy, and tort); and behavioural private law. Some TISCO members are specialised in facilitating large and complex multiparty processes (consensus building processes and negotiated rulemaking).
Our approach is interdisciplinary and increasingly empirical-based. There is a strong focus on innovation, product development, and collaboration. TISCO is the only academic workplace in the world developing user-focused theories on, and applications for collaborative, interest-based, low-cost services and dispute system design. Salient examples of such projects are the Measuring Access to Justice Project , the Microjustice Initiative and Rechtwijzer ("Signpost to Justice").
Some of our research takes a more dogmatic route by researching new social phenomena, such as the increasing complexity of relationships and networks. We aim to provide the basics of a relational network theory of civil law, for instance by exploring the means to prevent coordinating problems in large building and construction projects and by developing new contract and governance models.
We do not do our work in isolation. TISCO members work closely together with legal scholars and researchers from other scientific disciplines within and outside Tilburg University, and with stakeholders from societal organisations, NGO's, and governments. We actively participate in national and international networks, and build new collaborative partnerships, such as the Measuring Access to Justice Network.
TISCO has its origins in the Department of Private Law of Tilburg University and in the Center for Liability Law.