Research Prizes

Cornelis J.W. Baaij
PhD dissertation:
Legal Integration and Language Diversity. The case for source-oriented EU translation.

Supervisor: Professor M.W. Hesselink
Co-supervisor: Dr. A.E. Oderkerk
Nomination: University of Amsterdam, Faculty of Law

Report by the Selection Committee
The author of this dissertation takes a clear stand and argues – in defiance of prevailing opinions – that the EU should choose unreservedly for English as the only authentic language. Baaij arrives at this standpoint and supports it on the basis of insights from language philosophy, translation studies, comparative law, European public and private law, and his own qualitative and quantitative analysis, which he elegantly forges into a powerful and coherent argument. Accordingly, his book is innovative and pioneering. You may agree or disagree with the arguments presented, but you cannot ignore them. In brief: a fresh and contrary dissertation that can in that sense certainly be considered ‘Erasmian’.

Jaap Baaij is a J.S.D. candidate at Yale Law School, where he obtained a LL.M. degree in 2015. His current research will culminate in three articles in the area of international commercial arbitration, focusing on the relevance of the legal enforceability of arbitration decisions and of the decisive role of national judges in the development of transnational contract law. Prior to that he was an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Law at the University of Amsterdam, where he taught contract law, contract law theory, and national and international civil procedure. Jaap Baaij also obtained his PhD with distinction from the University of Amsterdam on the harmonization of law in the European Union with its 24 languages, with part of the research carried out as a Fulbright Scholar at Columbia Law School. He has published on such subjects as the legal integration of contract law, the influence of legal translation on comparative legal research, and philosophical issues in cross-cultural legal research. He has been a guest lecturer at various universities in Europe and the United States, and provided training courses at institutions of the European Union on the issue of translation methods in the European legal process. Jaap Baaij graduated in both Law and Philosophy.