In the mid 1990's, several researchers within the Law School of Tilburg University - until then working in the field of International and European law but within different departments and research groups - started working together. As a result, on the 1st of January 1998, the Department of European and International Law was established, followed on the 1st of January 2000 by the Center for Transboundary Legal Development (CTLD). The CTLD became the sixth research center of the Schoordijk Institute, and included researchers in the field of international and European Law, social law, philosophy of law, ethics and jurisprudence, later to be joined by researchers in the field of history of law.
CTLD has had two previous research programs: Permeability of legal systems (2000-2004) and Beyond State-centric law and legal doctrine; new actors and determinants (2005-2012). The first two programmes focused on the tension between the search for comprehensive global security in the wake of the end of the Cold War and after ‘9/11’, and on the growing demand for more trans-border democratic and society-based decision making structures, in particular for ‘globalisation and Europeanization with a human face’. One of the most important phenomena identified by the research conducted was the importance in understanding contemporary global and European developments of the increasing heterogeneity of legal orders and of actors that had previously been only marginally visible in law-making. The questions raised by the first research programme (2000-2004) were developed into the follow-up programme (2005-2012) that sought to identify and examine the new transboundary networks, systems, actors and normative orders active on the global stage.
These earlier research efforts have led to the identification of five conceptual lenses and four cross-cutting themes (see below) that form the frame for the present research program (2013-2016).