PluriCourt's international visiting researchers share their experiences.

Every year, PluriCourts welcomes several visiting researchers for research stays of various lenghts. - It added a whole different dimension and spin on the direction my work was going, says PhD candidate Tomas Pacheco-Bethencourt from the University of Málaga.

Photo collage with portraits of Ruth Weber, Tomas Pacheco-Bethencourt, Christoph Saake and Dana Burchardt

New international friends: Some of the international researchers that visited PluriCourts in 2021. From the left: Ruth Weber, Tomas Pacheco-Bethencourt, Christoph Saake, Dana Burchardt

In 2021, PluriCourts again had the occasion to welcome several visiting Norwegian and international researchers to our office in Oslo. 

We have asked four of the interntional guest researchers to share their experiences and highlights from having been part of the PluriCourts team. 

It is still possible to apply for a visiting research fellowship in 2022. 

Portrait of Tomas.
WELCOMING TEAM: The PluriCourts team makes you feel welcome in Oslo, says Tomas Pacheco-Bethencourt. Photo: Private

Tomas Pacheco-Bethencourt

Background: Ph.D candidate in philosophy from the University of Málaga, Spain.

Resarch interests:  constitutionalism, history of political thought, conceptual history, political theory, and theory of populism.

  - Why did you choose to be a guest researcher at PluriCourts?

I got in touch with Professor Andreas Føllesdal a few years ago when he came to the University of Málaga for a seminar about Machiavelli. When I was considering possible destinations for a research visit, my thesis had led me to wonder about the nexus between international courts, populist governments and how the courts featured in populist rhetoric.

This line of thought naturally led me to get in touch with Professor Føllesdal, as PluriCourts seemed the perfect place to explore these questions. It turned out to be the right decision.

  - Has your stay at PluriCourts affected your research?

It certainly has. It allowed me to integrate myself in the best environment to approach the question of how international courts might work as additional checks and balances mechanism when the independence of domestic courts become virtually non-existent, as well as matters of legitimacy. It added a whole different dimension and spin on the direction my work was going.

However, and perhaps more importantly, it has allowed me to get in touch with specialists, PhDs and postdoctoral students from several disciplines ranging from the social sciences to law and legal philosophy. It is a truly interdisciplinary setting where everyone is generous enough to engage with your work and provide truly enriching feedback.

  - What were the highlights from your research stay?

As for the highlights of my stay, it is difficult to say. It would be dishonest not to mention social events and the wonderful and almost catastrophic bike ride at the famous Rallarvegen which was organized at the beginning of my stay. The Monday Lunches, where some people presented their ongoing research, along with updates on what PluriCourters were currently working on, and the regular Wednesday seminars also need a mention. The ‘philosophy and legal theory seminars’ were especially fruitful for my work. The greatest highlight, though, was getting to know the people at PluriCourts.

 - Do you have any recommendations to other researchers who would like to have a research stay at PluriCourts?

Researchers working on but not restricted to International Courts and legitimacy issues from a political philosophy, legal theory, ethics, social sciences, or law should reach out to PluriCourts. There is truly a multidisciplinary environment and research that achieves integration, which is not easy. Not to mention the wide range of experts that ensure rich feedback and engagement. Last, but not least, the PluriCourts team makes you feel welcome in Oslo, with activities around the city in your free time that can only add to the research visit overall.

Portrait of Christoph Saake
BRING HIKING SHOES:  Christoph Saake recommends guest researchers to bring hiking shoes.  Photo: Private

Christoph Saake

Current position: Graduate Research Assistant at the chair of Professor Payandeh at Bucerius Law School.

Research interests: inter-state dispute resolution, currently working on his PhD thesis on the advisory procedure of the International Court of Justice.

- Why did you choose to be a guest researcher at PluriCourts?

I was looking for an opportunity to reach out to experts in the research of international courts and tribunals. PluriCourts with its impressive collection of expertise was the perfect fit for this. Also, as my research concerns advisory opinions which are non-binding judicial pronouncements and as such a kind of judicial oddity, PluriCourts' more holistic approach towards the study of international courts which includes legal, philosophical and political science approaches promised to be very insightful.               

- Has your stay at PluriCourts affected your research?

My research stay at PluriCourts has opened my eyes to many related research areas and even though I cannot address all of these areas in my PhD project, it nevertheless helped me to understand the context in which my research is situated. Also, I have learned a lot from the various personal exchanges, the invaluable feedback I have received on my research and the regular Wednesday lunch seminars.

- What were the highlights from your research stay?

In terms of events, I really enjoyed the Julebord of the Department of Public and International Law as well as the small Holiday lunch organized by PluriCourts up in the hills surrounding Oslo (despite the foggy weather). But above all, I enjoyed meeting and engaging with the fabulous team and guest researchers at PluriCourts.                                                        

- Do you have any recommendations to other researchers who would like to have a research stay at PluriCourts?

PluriCourts' uniqueness lies in its interdisciplinary approach towards the study of international courts and tribunals. Particularly if your research lies at the crossroads between law, philosophy, and politics, I highly recommend applying for a research stay at PluriCourts. Also, bring your hiking boots, there are great hiking spots all around Oslo!

Portrait of Ruth Weber
EYE OPENING: Ruth Weber explains that the research stay at PluriCourts opened her eyes further to the study of courts, related issues and current developments. Photo: private.

Ruth Weber

Current position: Postdoc in public law at the Humboldt University of Berlin. 

Research interests: public law and its foundations from a historical and theoretical perspective.

- Why did you choose to be a guest researcher at PluriCourts?

Since my dissertation dealt with the style of reasoning of constitutional jurisdiction, I am very interested in PluriCourts' basic research question on the legitimacy of courts. While I was recently writing an article on the European Court of Justice, I benefited greatly from the contributions of some PluriCourts colleagues. Also, of course, I like Oslo and Norway very much.

- Has your stay at PluriCourts affected your research?

Yes, definitely. First of all, it has further opened my eyes to the study of courts, related issues and current developments. I was also able to use the time to work on my habilitation and to write an article based on my observation of the different climate policies in Germany and Norway.

- Do you have any recommendations to other researchers who would like to have a research stay at PluriCourts?

I cannot think of any concrete recommendation. It certainly makes sense to get to know about PluriCourts' research and topics beforehand and to bring along openness for new approaches.

Portrait of Dana Burchardt.
Recommended: Dana Burchardt recommends a research stay at PluriCourts for researchers interested in international courts and questions of legitimacy of courts more broadly. Photo: private

Dana Burchardt

Current position: senior research fellow at Freie Universität Berlin and research affiliate at the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods in Bonn.

Research interests: Theoretical and interdisciplinary approaches to international, European and constitutional law, currently working on projects concerning the authority of international courts, judicial rationality and judicial independence.

- Why did you choose to be a guest researcher at PluriCourts?

I chose to be a guest researcher at PluriCourts because of the interdisciplinarity of the centre and the relevance of the research conducted at PluriCourts for my own research on courts and judicial decision-making.

- Has your stay at PluriCourts affected your research?

During my stay, I received valuable feedback on my ongoing research by the Pluricourts team members. In addition, the discussions during the weekly meetings as well as my participation in the internal seminar has further broadened my perspective as to how to fruitfully conduct interdisciplinary research.

- Do you have any recommendations to other researchers who would like to have a research stay at PluriCourts?

I would recommend a research stay at PluriCourts for researchers interested in international courts and questions of legitimacy of courts more broadly. It allows to engage with, and to receive feedback from, an interdisciplinary group of excellent researchers. The team is very welcoming and there is a broad range of opportunities for academic exchange both informally and formally during the various meeting formats.

 

 

By Hanna Jarstø Ervik
Published Jan. 7, 2022 11:16 AM - Last modified Jan. 10, 2022 2:09 PM