About the Faculty of Law
The Faculty of Law of Maastricht University is a young and innovative law school in the heart of Europe, with an open, inclusive and diverse academic community striving for distinctive and high quality legal education in both Dutch and English and offering a stimulating study and work environment for talented students and staff. By educating and training undergraduates, graduates and professionals for national and international careers in law, and by doing both fundamental and practice-oriented research, we aim to add value to the society to which we belong.
The Faculty of Law consists of 3400 students and 360 staff members. The Faculty is located in two monumental buildings in the city centre. The Faculty’s central location, close to many other University buildings and facilities, makes it part of Maastricht’s inner-city campus.
Our teaching programmes aim at educating excellent jurists who – thanks to the acquired academic and professional knowledge and skills – are well prepared to take up the various roles they will fulfil in their future professional career.
The Faculty’s teaching is characterised by its small-scale approach. During the entire curriculum there is a maximum of only 15 students (in the first year) to 19 students (in later years) in each tutorial group, which makes education intensive and student-centred. Next to acquiring systematic knowledge of the law, students learn how to solve problems. This method, referred to as Problem-Based Learning (PBL), was originally developed for the study of law in Maastricht, and has been copied in many other places. PBL increases students’ knowledge and in particular their ability to deal with new problems, rules, laws and complex situations – an important skill for every lawyer.
An international Faculty
The Faculty’s education is truly international: considerable attention is devoted to European and International law and comparative law in all bachelor’s and master’s degree programmes. Its staff, too, are composed of many different nationalities. Moreover, the Faculty’s cooperation with universities outside the Netherlands allows students to spend a period of study or an internship abroad.
The Faculty is known for its open and stimulating research climate in which staff have ample opportunity to develop their own research profile. Research focuses, next to Dutch law, on comparative law, international and European law, human rights and law and technology. The Faculty publishes its own journal, the Maastricht Journal of European and Comparative Law, and has its own book series (the Maastricht Law Series). The Maastricht Graduate School of Law coordinates the education of PhD-researchers. Research is organised in research institutes. The Faculty is also active within the Ius Commune research school.
The Faculty has adopted a number of core values:
We are one academic community that attaches special value to cooperation between students and staff, between academic and support staff, between University and society and within teaching and research programmes.
Innovation and profile
The Faculty continuously profiles itself with distinctive teaching and research. This profile lies both in relating our programmes to societal trends (such as Europeanisation, globalisation and digitisation) and in developing innovative teaching. Incentivising grassroots initiatives and bottom-up experiments are essential for constant innovation and connecting the law to other academic fields.
Inclusivity and aptitude without attitude
The Faculty offers a stimulating environment for students and staff working to achieve our mission, while adhering to our core values. Mutual respect and transparency are leading. Although we foster a culture of high ambition and performance, aptitude without attitude is part of our DNA. Intensive contact between staff and students, diversity, small scale-teaching, the International classroom and an attractive building contribute to a welcoming atmosphere.
Our students and staff aim for continuous professional and personal development. Students are trained to become curious and creative jurists with excellent job opportunities. They are enabled to develop academic and practical skills essential to a jurist operating in a rapidly changing, uncertain and complex world. Staff operates in an environment in which constructive feedback is assured, best practices are shared and creativity is stimulated. The leadership culture is one of trust and creating space for people to thrive.
Founded in 1981
Professor Jan Smits is Dean of the faculty
Six departments, ten research institutes and one graduate school
Three bachelor programmes, eleven master programmes