A conversation with Institute scholarship recipient Lígia Espolaor Veronese

June 15, 2021

Lígia Espolaor Veronese was a guest research scholar at the Institute from March to June 2021, during which time she completed research on her doctoral project being undertaken at the University of São Paulo. Her dissertation explores contract law issues in relation to BRICS nations. Ms Veronese is an expert on Brazilian and international arbitration and has been a practising attorney for a number of years.

The Brazilian jurist graduated with a master’s degree from the University of São Paulo and was a scholarship recipient of the Erasmus Mundi Programme at the University of Coimbra during her undergraduate studies. She completed research at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München as a scholarship recipient and was a visiting scholar at UNIDROIT in Rome. She also derives ideas for her academic research from her work as an attorney in arbitration.

What research topics led you to our Institute?

My doctoral project is examining questions relating to the invalidity of contracts and hardship in the individual BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). Since the very start of my academic studies, I have been focused on international and comparative topics. It is for this reason that I completed several semesters abroad, participated on some moot courts and, after completing my undergraduate degree, joined a law firm specializing in national and international arbitration.

What role has your research stay at the Institute played for your academic work?

Without my stay at the Institute I could not have continued work on my dissertation. The library at my university has been closed for over a year, which means that I – like many of my colleagues – had to involuntarily interrupt my work. Moreover, my time here in Hamburg has not only allowed me to secure the high-quality research material that I needed on all five legal systems, but I have also found important literature on comparative law and harmonisation of contract law. I don’t think there is any other substantive library that could cover such a broad spectrum. I am especially thankful for the technical help that I received from Professors Reinhard Zimmermann and Knut Benjamin Pißler. The Institute has been a real paradise for my research.

What memories will you take with you?

I will never forget the long and complicated journey that I made to come here. Before I was able to begin my work in the library, I completed a total of 21 days in full quarantine due to the entry ban for travellers from Brazil, first in Zurich and then in Hamburg. This led me to appreciate my time here even more. It is not my first research stay at the Institute. I was already here once in 2019, and I had made the decision to come again. On account of the pandemic the atmosphere is quite different than last time, when there was constant exchange and shared activities among the guests. Unfortunately, social contact is presently reduced to a minimum. These circumstances have, however, allowed me to concentrate all of my focus on my research. And, after all this time of restrictions, on one evening I was able to enjoy an amazing concert in the Elbphilharmonie, which had been a long-standing dream of mine.

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