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Leuven professor of Legal Psychology Geert Vervaeke new Dean of Tilburg Law School

Published: 30th January 2017 Last updated: 30th April 2019

PRESS RELEASE 30 January, 2017 - Professor Geert Vervaeke has been appointed Dean of the Tilburg Law School as of April 1, 2017 by the Executive Board. This was announced earlier today by the Executive Board. Vervaeke will be succeeding Professor Corien Prins, who is to be the new Chair of the Scientific Council for Government Policy (Wetenschappelijke Raad voor het Regeringsbeleid (WRR)).

Vervaeke is professor of Legal Psychology at the Faculty of Law of the University of Leuven. He is a psychologist and considered one of the pioneers of Legal Psychology in Europe.

In much of his academic as well as his administrative work, he is driven by fundamental questions regarding the role of law and legal experts in our rapidly changing society. Technological evolution is creating tremendous possibilities, such as the ability to collect vast amounts of data on individuals. This requires us to reflect fundamentally on the kind of society we want to live in (what data do we collect, what do we collect the data for, and when do we do this?). The role he envisions for legal experts is to reflect on the big questions we find ourselves confronted with, together with technologists, biomedical scientists, criminologists, theologians, philosophers and ethicists, and to subsequently as architects build this society of interpersonal relationships.

From 2004 to 2012, he was a member and President of the High Council of Justice (Hoge Raad voor Justitie) in Belgium (comparable to the Dutch Council for the Judiciary (Raad voor de Rechtspraak). In this capacity, he became thoroughly familiar with the classical professional legal field and with its modernization. This position and his activities on various committees have also familiarized him with the academic and legal world in the Netherlands.

Vervaeke’s (1960) list of publications is impressive, he is internationally renowned, and an excellent teacher. Besides this, he is also a successful manager of education and research (currently managing these in the Department of Criminal Law and Criminology Department of KU Leuven), operating at the intersection of various disciplines. His track record in project research and fund raising is outstanding.

The Executive Board in response to his appointment: ‘We are very happy Professor Geert Vervaeke is joining our School. His field of expertise links up very well with our international and interdisciplinary research profile, and with our aspirations in the field of valorization, both financially and in a more fundamental sense. He is bringing important knowledge and insights on teaching law, in the areas of skills and methods, and how to apply and implement these in the field and how to organize these at the managerial level.’


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