Litigation crowdfunding: a legal and empirical analysis
PhD student: Mr Silva de Freitas
Promotor: Mrs Prof X.E. Kramer
Duration: 1/12/2020 - 28/2/2025
The aim of the dissertation is to analyze the emerging legal framework for litigation crowdfunding as well as to investigate its potential as a support structure for legal mobilization. The reason for conducting this research is threefold. First, in the aftermath of the global financial crisis with its impact on civil justice given the respective austerity measures taken, private litigation funding and crowdfunding emerge as alternative ways to finance litigation. Second, a literature gap will be filled, since although some literature on litigation crowdfunding engages in detailed legal analysis none has to date performed a systematized comparative legal study on the subject. Third, empirical research on non profit litigation crowdfunding is largely quantitative. This dissertation will approach the matter from a qualitative perspective under the socio legal theoretical framework of legal mobilization. In its for-profit modality, the relevance of this litigation funding tool relies on its safety as an investment instrument and its ability to finance otherwise unfunded litigation, such as those initiated by disadvantaged persons and public interest litigation. Doctrinal research will determine the legal framework applicable to litigation crowdfunding in the selected jurisdictions. Qualitative empirical legal research will investigate the meaning ascribed to litigation crowdfunding by the participants in the chosen case studies to analyze its potential as a tool for legal mobilization.
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