Faculty of Law
Research initiative

The Legal Reform

Research into legal transformation and reform is central to the Faculty of law, University of Bergen. We acknowledge the central role of legal science in solving central societal challenges, such as climate change, pandemic disease, and the digital transformation of the economy. Therefore, we are working to strengthen the legal science’s quality, engagement, and ability to contribute to the rule of law and law’s ability to adapt to new challenges. This initiate aims particularly to study and promote legal reform research, taking an interdisciplinary approach in collaboration with international partners.

SFF Initiative Legal Reform
Professor Jørn Jacobsen, professor Sigrid Schutz and associate professor Ignacio Herrera Anchustegui are running the research initiative.

Main content

Project participants

The legal reform is a research initiative at the Faculty of Law, University of Bergen, led by professor Jørn Jacobsen and professor Sigrid Eskeland Schütz. Jacobsen is an expert in legal theory, criminal law and security, Schütz in environmental law and interdisciplinary research. Other UiB-researchers closely involved in the project are associate professor Ignacio Herrera Anchustegui, Faculty of Law, an expert in market regulation, and professor Michael Tatham from the Department of Comparative Politics. Also in Bergen, professor Tina Søreide, the Norwegian School of Economics, takes part in the project. Closely involved are also the international researchers professor Sanne Taekema, University of Rotterdam and professor II at the University of Bergen, professor Veronica Rodriguez-Blanco, University of Surrey, professor Alexander Sarch, University of Surrey, and dr. Ira Lindsay from the University of Surrey.  

The Legal Reform Research Initiative

The purpose of this initiative is to provide an answer to a main question: How should legal reform research take place?

Traditional forms of legal scholarship already provide insights that are crucial for our understanding of legal reform. This includes subjects such as legal history and comparison. On the other hand, there is a need for new, unifying and interdisciplinary perspectives regarding legal reform. In that way researchers can make better use of their knowledge and research concerning legal reform. REFORM will take jurisprudence a step further by providing researchers with a basis for developing broader and better knowledge and input to the societal and political discussions related to the challenges in our societies. One of the tools for achieving such development is through legal reform and regulation. 

Our initiative is driven by comprehensive and broad legal theoretical and rule of law analyses, which also includes the rule of laws historical and future discussions. We study and provide resources for studies of different dimensions of legal reform, in particular related to law’s normative aim, its dynamic process, forms of legal regulation and law’s empirical premises. Our initiative builds on the existing high competence regarding legal regulation and societal challenges, such as security, technology development, global market development, and climate change. 

REFORM aims to develop new dimensions of legal research that makes the legal scholarship able to take a leading role in social and scientific discussions relating todays development of law. This can be done by utilizing the strong pragmatic tradition and insights that already exists in Nordic law, but at the same time develop theoretical perspectives and concepts on reform. Together, this knowledge will provide a comprehensive framework for legal studies of reform. The reform-problems will address the need for jurisprudence to develop so that the legal scholarship can fulfill its role by taking other perspectives, such as social and economics, into consideration.

Communication and dissemination

Jørn Jacobsen is running a blog on criminal law and criminal justice. Followers of this blog will find continuous update of and links to Jacobsen's research engagement, publications and comments to discussions and cases pending.You can find the blog (in norwegian) her


SFF Initiative Legal Reform

This is a proposed Centre of Excellence – Senter for fremragende forskning – from the University of Bergen