Institute for Interdisciplinary Legal Studies - lucernaiuris

The Institute for Interdisciplinary Legal Studies – lucernaiuris is a hub for leading-edge teaching and research that crosses traditional boundaries between law, the humanities and the social sciences. It holds a distinctive position within the national and international academic landscape as a vibrant site for critical and creative thinking.

The institute’s main priorities are to:

  • provide a rallying point for inter- and transdisciplinary work on the foundations of law and justice
  • foster intellectual and methodological innovation in teaching and research
  • promote the training of postgraduate and early career researchers in interdisciplinary legal studies
  • stimulate collaborative activities with national and international partners

To borrow a distinction from the late legal historian Marie Theres Fögen, the institute has long seen its role as more that of ‘troublemaker’ than ‘troubleshooter’. A consistent priority has been to undertake work that critiques and unsettles accepted categories and concepts, norms and discourses, practices and methods. This impulse continues to shape the identity of the institute today. Faced with the urgency of our present moment, however, we also turn our attentions increasingly to the future – to pursuing new forms of future-oriented critical thinking; to imagining future alternatives or alternative futures; to asking not just what is happening now, but what happens next.

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During the middle ages, “lucerna iuris” was a term applied to the most significant Bolognese jurists. In taking the name for our institute, we of course lay no personal claim to it – we are but mere dwarves on the shoulders of giants. Rather, the title serves to acknowledge a connection to one of the mythical ‘origins’ of legal studies (Bologna), and to underline our commitment to a critical engagement with the modern ‘Bologna Process’ and its implications for teaching and research in law.



Institute for Interdisciplinary Legal Studies – lucernaiuris

Faculty of Law

University of Lucerne

Frohburgstrasse 3

CH-6002 Lucerne

Tel: +41 (0)41 229 54 23






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