Young Legal Researchers Conference 2022

Oude Gevangenis Sfeerbeeld3 Oude Gevangenis Sfeerbeeld3

Back to the basics: Using fundamental principles of law
to address contemporary challenges

Hasselt University, 16 December 2022

Call for abstracts

Hasselt University is pleased to announce the third edition of the Young Legal Researchers Conference, which will take place on 16 December 2022 at the Law Faculty of Hasselt University (Martelarenlaan 42, 3500 Hasselt) in a hybrid format. The aim of this conference is to bring together young researchers (primarily PhD researchers and postdocs) to make their research known, discuss ideas and findings, and gain from the insights of, and engage with, other researchers.

Participants will be able to present their research as well as engage in a debate with fellow researchers in a hybrid setting. In addition, to encourage both physical and online attendees to socialise and to promote the development of an international network of young legal researchers, networking booths will be available for participants to tear down the divide between online and offline conference participation, enabling online participants to easily and equally interact with the young academics who are attending the conference in person.

The overarching theme of the conference is: “Back to the basics: Fundamental principles of law in contemporary challenges”.

A principle of law or a legal principle generally refers to a principle that has wide recognition. Legal principles are the backbone of the law, representing the foundation of jurisdictional and policy decisions: they may be enshrined in constitutions or international agreements; they may give rise to legal obligations or they may provide guidance for the interpretation or application of the law. Different areas of law have developed different principles.

Taking the example of public law, the principles of public interest, non-discrimination and equality, as well as legal certainty and proportionality (amongst others) are at its core and should be guiding elements in public policy and State action. All these principles aim at protecting the individual from arbitrariness, especially in the relations between the individual and the State. But how can these principles be invoked to help tackle current tensions, such as those between fundamental rights and economic goals?

The aim of the conference is to identify and to unravel the purpose and significance of various fundamental principles in view of advancing and improving the law when confronted with contemporary tensions and challenges.

Some examples of possible topics may include:

  • International humanitarian law and the principles of humanity and the distinction between civilians and combatants;
  • Human rights law and the principles of participatory decision-making, inclusion and empowerment in the law and through the law;
  • European law and the principles of proportionality and subsidiarity;
  • Environmental law and the precautionary principle, the ‘polluter pays’ principle, the integration principle;
  • Social and health law and the precautionary principle in public healthcare during the Covid-19 pandemic;
  • Constitutional law and the separation of powers, the rule of law, and the role of courts in relation to ‘political’ or ‘socio-economic’ questions;
  • Labour law and the principle of non-discrimination.

The list above is indicative. All topics that lie within the overarching theme will be considered, regardless of the field of law. Participants are welcome to come up with topics outside the examples listed.

Young researchers are invited to submit an abstract in English before 30th of October 2022:

  • The abstract should not exceed 400 words (including title) and should contain the aim of the presentation, the main points of the argument and a brief conclusion;
  • A short biography of the researcher (max. 150 words) should be included in the submission;
  • Acceptance of the abstract will be communicated at the latest by 8 November 2022;
  • Abstracts should be sent to;
  • Participation in the conference is free, but registration is necessary. Registration will open on the 11th of November and close on the 4th of December. It will of course be possible to register to attend without presenting.

In addition, a legal research poster contest will be organised to inspire young researchers to compose a visual representation of their research. A dedicated call for the posters with more information and practical instructions will follow in due course.

Call for posters

On 16 December 2022, the third edition of the Young Legal Researchers Conference (YLRC) will take place at Hasselt University. Participation in this conference is possible both online and in person. The aim of the YLRC is to gather young legal researchers and to give them the opportunity to present and discuss      their research with other researchers from all over Europe.

Would you like to present your legal research in a different way than by means of a powerpoint presentation or a paper...? Translate your research into a poster! Following the success of last year’s legal poster content, we have decided to organise a second round at this year’s YLRC!


Each poster submitted will be presented during the YLRC. Each participant will have the opportunity to vote for their favourite poster. At the end of the conference day, the winner of the poster contest will be announced. The winner will earn eternal YLRC fame.


Because posters are not limited to graphics. You can tell much more than that with them! Legal research can also be captured in a graphically attractive way. However, the use of posters is not yet an established way of presenting and sharing research within legal studies. The YLRC team wants to change this. In our opinion, the creative and simplified presentation of (y)our research holds great potential, and is a worthwhile skill to develop.

Who can participate, and how?

Any legal researcher, who would like to showcase their legal research in a simple and attractive way, can submit a poster. Each designer is automatically admitted as a participant of the YLRC on 16 December 2022 and can attend the conference both online or on campus.

Please submit your poster before the 4th of December 2022 in A1 format (as pdf) to together with a short description of yourself, your research and the content of the poster. This description will serve to support the poster and will be displayed on the website. After all, not only making posters but also reading and interpreting them takes some practice.

Please click this link to find a poster template.


We have received several fantastic submissions for our poster contest this year. Voting will take place on the day but you can already check-out the posters and read a little bit about their creators here!

  1. ‘States accountability for regression on economic and social rights during structural crises: Principal elements for assessing state compliance’ - Marion Sandner, Hasselt University.
  2. ‘Forest Protection and bioenergy: a balancing act or a concerted effort towards decarbonisation?’ - Elisa Cavallin, Hasselt University.
  3. ‘EU and Local Governments: a triangular relationship founded on principles…’ - Loth Van der Auwermeulen, Hasselt University.
  4. ‘How can traditional knowledge help in the fight against climate change? Indigenous peoples’ participation in the climate change adaptation,’ Karolina Prażmowska-Marcinowska, University of Silesia.
  5. ‘The protection of an individual's genetic data,’ Klaudia Kofin-Brończyk, University of Silesia.
  6. ‘Unrecognised Rights - Dealing with the lack or neglect of evidence in racist police violence cases,’ Emma Várnagy, Ghent University.
  7. ‘Supra-separation of powers: EU and pluralism of legal orders from the perspective of the theory of the institution,’ Cezary Węgliński, University of Warsaw.


Registration for YLRC 2023 is now open! To register for the conference please click the following link and fill out the registration form.

Registration form


You can view the programme here (pdf, 763 KB) .

Practical Details

For any questions or further information you can contact the organizational team at

Conference participation is possible both online or in-person. The physical conference will take place at Hasselt University, Campus Hasselt, Martelarenlaan 42, B-3500, Hasselt.