Conceptualising strategic litigation


  • Kris van der Pas Radboud University



Strategic litigation, conceptualisation, definition, legal mobilisation, database research


This article conceptualises the term “strategic litigation” in order to provide for a definition of it. Strategic litigation is a tool increasingly used in Europe by individuals and organisations to attain different objectives. Next to that, there is increasing academic attention for the topic. Nevertheless, the exact definition of “strategic litigation” remains unclear. Therefore, this article uses the research method of conceptualisation as well as a database research and additional literature to provide for a definition. It looks firstly at the background concept, involving the range of meanings associated with the term “strategic litigation”, after which a systematised concept is formed. Thereby, use is made of the “necessary and sufficient conditions” (NSC) approach, to develop the conditions necessary and/or sufficient for a case to fit within the category of strategic litigation. Moreover, the external conceptual relations of the term are explored.


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Author Biography

Kris van der Pas, Radboud University

PhD Candidate Radboud University, affiliated with the Centre for Migration law, the department of international and European law, and the Institute for Management Research. Postal address: Grotiusgebouw, Radboud University, Montessorilaan 10, 6525 HR Nijmegen. Email address:


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30-09-2021 — Updated on 22-12-2021

How to Cite

van der Pas, K. (2021) “Conceptualising strategic litigation”, Oñati Socio-Legal Series, 11(6(S), pp. S116-S145. doi: 10.35295/osls.iisl/0000-0000-0000-1226.