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Manifesto

We believe justice can only flourish, when it learns to leave the past behind, and focus on the now.

Some words convey more than just their meaning. They carry weight. Law. Say the word out loud and you sense its uncompromising nature. It is immovable. It is permanent. For many, these qualities are positive. They offer stability and certainty. At the same time, they can lead us astray. Absolute certainties do not invite questions, they lull us into sleep. While everything around us changes.

Wheels turn. They speed up, introducing ever more complexity. The world rumbles on, turning and stretching, always looking for a new rhythm to follow. Today is a mirage. The future becomes increasingly uncertain. Change creates pressure. It crashes up against immovable objects.

Citizens and companies find themselves entangled in a system that is no longer fair. Rules and regulations are often obscure, frustratingly slow or needlessly complicated. Systemic tensions bubble to the surface. The law and those bodies which create, uphold and enforce it are ready for the next step. The 21st century demands flexibility, resilience, transparency, and simplicity. These times, uncertain as they are, provide the perfect opportunity for innovation.

We, at the Law Faculty of the University of Amsterdam, believe that we can and should play a valuable role in this transformation. We feel the responsibility to contribute to solutions for real legal problems. And to drive innovation in our profession. 

But we can only achieve this if we join forces. With researchers, students, lecturers, governments, NGOs, companies and citizens. This is how we will bridge the gap between academia and society. We believe in listening to each other and in learning from others. In cross-pollination. In searching and adapting. Developing prototypes and putting them to the test. Our profession has to become flexible, open and focused on solutions.

The Amsterdam Law Hub plays a unique and crucial role in the connection between research, education and society. This is how we build the law of the future. We believe that meeting people is essential for high-quality co-creation. Because human connections fuel our inspiration. We believe that justice can only reinvent itself when it chooses to leave the past behind. And that it can only thrive when firmly rooted in our society.

We are the Amsterdam Law Hub.
Bridging to justice in the 21st century.