the Rise of Technocourts and Governing the Appification of Justice

  • // Netherlands
  • University/Institute Name University of Amsterdam
  • University/Institute Name Faculty of Law
  • Attendance Type On Campus
  • Position Duration3 years
  • Position Funding Type
  • Application deadlineExpired

Position Details (PhD Program)

Do you enjoy:

  • Engaging in cutting-edge research as part of an interdisciplinary consortium on pressing information law questions;
  • To participate in a consortium of internationally renowned scholars, and join a nationwide peer network, with many opportunities to engage and develop your career;
  • Being part of a state-of-the-art prestigious programme, innovative in focus and approach, which aspires to have impact in academia as well as society;
  • Benefit from a well-funded future-oriented training and development programme, including personal-professional development?

Then the job of PhD researcher for the project on the Rise of Technocourts and Governing the Appification of Justice at the University of Amsterdam is perfect for you.

What does this job entail?

If we imagine courts we imagine buildings, places of legal expertise and authority. With the arrival of the internet and digitisation, however, our ideas of courts and their role in society has started to change. Technology companies are a driving force behind the development of a whole range of new justice-as-a-service offers that are re-defining and re-inventing the administration of justice in the algorithmic society. In addition, we see a push from platform companies to create new kinds of authority of adjucation, freed from jurisdictional constraints, national legislation and slow-working national court systems (for example the Facebook Oversight Board). The goal of this project is to describe and critically analyse the rise of new forms of technocourts and the appification of justice, to explore, what, if any, are the existing procedures and arrangements for negotiating value conflicts and upholding judicial values, to examine how the shift to technocourts affects citizens’ ideas of, and expectations towards courts as instances of adjucation, and which government frameworks (should) apply.

This project is part of the Gravitation program Public Values in the Algorithmic Society (algosoc). The Gravitation program is an initiative by the Dutch government to support excellent research in the Netherlands. The funding is reserved for scientific consortia that have the potential to rank among the world’s best in their field. Algosoc is a response to the urgent need for an informed societal perspective on automated decision-making. Funded by the ministry for Education, Culture and Science for a period for 10 years, research in the algosoc program will develop a deep understanding of the systemic changes that automated decision making entail for core public institutions, for society, and for how public values are realized. The research will focus on three sectors: justice, health and media. The program brings together researchers in law, communication science, computer science, media studies, philosophy, public governance, STS, economy and social sciences from five Dutch universities (Amsterdam, Utrecht, Tilburg, Delft and Rotterdam). Together, the algosoc community will develop solutions for the design of governance frameworks needed to complement technology-driven initiatives in the algorithmic society.

What do you have to offer?

Tasks include:

  • Develop, conduct, and publish research on the regulation of new forms of technocourts and justice apps;
  • Contribute to the public debate and organise outreach activities of algosoc;
  • Contribute to the overall program in terms of events, research meetings, activities;
  • Collaborate with other researchers within the Algosoc consortium;
  • Give guest-lectures in the area of your expertise at BA or MA level at the University of Amsterdam;
  • Help co-supervising research projects of students working on related topics.

In addition, you have:

  • A (research) master degree in information law or political science or related relevant field;
  • A clear research interest in the topic of the project and in working together with a team of people from different disciplines including an interest to learn and work with researchers from communication science, political science, STS, digital humanities and communication science;
  • An excellent written and spoken command of English, for instance demonstrated by publications in English-language journals, blogs or comparable outlets (written and spoken command of other languages, including Dutch, French, and/or German is a plus);
  • The ability, willingness, and commitment to do autonomous work in a multidisciplinary team that includes legal scholars, communication scholars, media economists, digital humanities, ethici, and data scientists;
  • Interest in having an active role in organising workshops, lecture series, and similar events.

If the vacancy appeals to you, but you are doubting whether you might be THE person we are looking for, please do apply. We encourage all qualified applicants, including minorities, women, people with disabilities, and members of other groups underrepresented in academia to apply. We wish to create a consortium that consists of persons who each contribute in their unique way to the team. Complementarity and not homogeneity is what we are looking for.

Developing a societal vision on automated decision making concerns us all. We believe that a diversity of perspectives in our consortium will be important in developing an inclusive societal vision and strive therefore also in our hiring policy for encouraging applicants from diverse backgrounds. We are committed to creating an environment of mutual respect, inclusiveness, equal opportunities with room for situated experiences, diverse perspectives, and ideas to flourish. This commitment applies to our research, organisation, room for flexibility, training, and community activities as well as our hiring strategy.

What can we offer you? 

We offer a temporary employment contract for the period of 36 months. The first contract will be for 12 months, with an extension of 24 months, contingent on a positive performance evaluation after the first 12 months. The employment contract is for 38 hours a week. The preferred starting date is April 1, 2023.

Your salary, ranges from €2.541 in the first year to a maximum of €3.247 gross per month on the basis of a full working week of 38 hours. This sum does not include the 8% holiday allowance and the 8.3% year-end allowance. The Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO NU) is applicable.

About us

The University of Amsterdam is the largest university in the Netherlands, with the broadest spectrum of degree programmes. It is an intellectual hub with 39,000 students, 6,000 employees and 3,000 doctoral students who are all committed to a culture of inquiring minds.

With over 5,000 students and more than 500 staff members, the Amsterdam Law School is one of the larger law faculties in the Netherlands. We educate lawyers who know how to apply the law effectively with the aim of making a real contribution to solving social problems.

The Amsterdam Law School stands for progressive and trail-blazing education and research, for stronger legal institutions, solutions to social problems and a better and juster society.

Want to know more about our organisation? Read more about working at the University of Amsterdam.

Any questions?

If you have any questions about the position, please contact:

Job application

If you feel the profile fits you, and you are interested in the job, we look forward to receiving your letter and cv. You can apply online via the link below. Please use the reference Justice_005 in your application. Please apply for 1 position within the algosoc program only. In case you are interested in multiple positions within the program, please indicate this in your motivation letter by referring to the specific code of that vacancy. You can find an overview of all our vacancies within the algosoc program on

We will accept applications until January 16, 2023.

The first round of application interviews will take place online in the beginning of February.

Research Skills Required

Computer/Software Skills Required

Research Areas & Fields of Study involved in the position

Which language proficiency is required?

Applicant type required for this position

Position Start Date

April 1, 2023