Colonialism, Context and Critical Thinking: First steps toward decolonizing the Dutch legal curriculum



In the summer of 2020, tens of thousands of people took to streets and squares around the Netherlands under the banner of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. Many speakers called for Dutch institutions to ‘decolonize’ by reckoning with their own colonial history and racialized legacies. Addressing institutional racism at universities should be a multi-layered process. Recruitment and admission of students, curriculum design, hiring of academic staff, retention, promotion and teaching practices should all be considered. Those of us teaching at Dutch law schools, however, do not have to wait; by incorporating critical theoretical approaches and existing historical research on race and colonialism, Dutch law school teachers can begin to address structural racism and colonial legacies as soon as the next teaching term. This article gives concrete examples of where and how to begin.


legal historylegal teachinginstitutional racismdecolonization
  • Year: 2022
  • Volume: 18 Issue: 1
  • Page/Article: 14–28
  • DOI: 10.36633/ulr.764
  • Published on 5 May 2022
  • Peer Reviewed