Digital Legal Lab

Ronald Leenes turns over TILT leadership after 7 years

After seven and a half years of leading the Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society (TILT), Professor Ronald Leenes has stepped down from his role as Head of Department. He will remain active as Professor of Regulation by Technology, focusing on research and education. Ronald will also continue to lead the Digital Legal Studies research initiative spearheaded by TILT. 

Under Ronald’s leadership, TILT has grown into a vibrant and well-recognized institute at the forefront of law, technology and society research. He has been one of the architects and a tireless builder of TILT’s scholarly community, and the driving force behind many initiatives to strengthen cross-disciplinary research and cooperations – both within the department and beyond. 

Since its inception in 2019, Ronald has been at the helm of the Digital Legal Lab – a large six-year collaboration between the law schools of Tilburg University, the University of Amsterdam, Radboud University and Maastricht University as part of the nationwide Law Sector Plan. The collaboration is growing into a buzzing research hub that connects people, projects and perspectives within the field of digital legal studies, with over 50 researchers from across universities and academic backgrounds.  

On 15 February 2022, Ronald officially handed over leadership of TILT to his successor Professor Saskia Lavrijssen. He will continue to be a mainstay of the TILT community as a researcher, educator and as the lead for the Digital Legal Lab.  

As Ronald says goodbye to his role as Head of Department, we asked him three questions about the years past and those to come. 

Looking back at your 7+ years leading TILT, what are you most proud of? 

“The fact that TILT has become a hub of great people,  multidisciplinary research and events such as TILTing Perspectives where researchers from across the globe want to be.”

What were some of the greatest challenges you encountered? 

“Big challenges have been our growth and the constantly changing administrative environment (the Tilburg Law School, academia) that required flexibility and a lot of energy from our small Management Team. The department had clearly outgrown its governance model. We have revamped this structure in the second half of last year, and running TILT should now be a much more manageable task.

What comes next? 

“I have neglected literature and academic debate over the last few years, and the combination of Covid care on top of the already busy schedule I had have worn me out. I need some time to recompose myself, read up, visit colleagues abroad, encounter academic challenges to pursue and return to the group with new energy and ideas.”