The doctoral program “Legal Cultures in Transnational World” (LeCTra) is a multidisciplinary doctoral program financed by Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture and by Academy of Finland. It is located at University of Lapland (Rovaniemi, Finland) and is headed by Professor Juha Karhu (responsible leader) and Professor Jaakko Husa (professor of legal culture and legal linguistics). The doctoral program LeCTra will start in 1 January 2012.

Doctoral program “Legal Cultures in Transnational World” (LeCTra) focuses on the recent and ever stronger new forms of interaction between different legal cultures piercing the traditional borders of the nation states. This transformation stirs and requires enrichment and further development of legal pluralist approaches. In short: pluralism in law must be accompanied by pluralism in methods and approaches.
This change has been coined as a new kind of transnational law. The key emphasis here is concentrated on the qualifier “trans-”. In a nutshell it means that different legal cultures maintain their essential features even when transposing under a foreign legal culture. Legal pluralism reflects issues that in recent scholarship have been addressed through a range of theoretical notions such as moral, cultural and
political pluralism or relativism. LeCTra invites applications that elucidate the plurality and diversity of laws, norms and institutions by paying attention to the variety of cultural, moral and normative sources that can be perceived behind them. Thus the focus of LeCTra is not in a traditional comparison of legal structures and institutions typical for modern law like court system but rather in such cultural practices and ways of legal thinking which are, at least partly, based on non-legal sources. Therefore, LeCTra is multidisciplinary in its methods, in its objects of research, and in the basic training and education of its doctoral students.
The doctoral program Legal Cultures in Transnational World (LeCTra) invites applications for

1) five (5) doctoral student positions.

The normal period of appointment is 4 years (1 January 2012 – 31 December 2015).

LeCTra has a comprehensive four years’ education and training program for its doctoral students (240 ECTS). The doctoral students are expected and required to take part in this program during their financing period. Doctoral students will prepare a thesis in legal cultural studies. The field of legal studies is understood broadly. Besides legal studies the dissertation can represent social sciences and cultural
studies broadly. In addition to research, the tasks of a doctoral student can also include, rather minutely, teaching.

The salary for the posts is based on the level given by Ministry of Education and Culture. It is expected to be about 1900 euros a month.

The application shall include besides a free-form application letter (maximum one-page) the following documents only:
  • research plan for a doctoral dissertation (max 8 pages)
  • LeCTra interface (2-3 pages)
  • curriculum vitae (including a list of publications)
  • copies of degree certificates (to be compared with originals before final acceptance) or a certificate by the home academic institution indicating that the applicant will graduate before September 2011
  • transcript of academic records
  • examiner’s opinion on Master’s thesis or description of other similar evaluation
  • supervisor's written recommendation and other recommendations the applicant wishes to include
  • information on the applicant's prior research financing
The application should be addressed to the Administrative Task Force (ATF) of the doctoral program Legal Cultures in Transnational World (LeCTra), delivered to the Registry and Records Management, University of Lapland, PO Box 122, FIN-96101 Rovaniemi, Finland, no later than Tuesday 31 May 2011. Electronic applications, or late applications, will not be accepted. The conditional acceptances to the doctoral program will be announced at latest at end of June 2011 at the University of Lapland website (, and the formal official acceptance letters will be sent at the end of September 2011.

Further information is available from Professor Juha Karhu,

Further Instructions

Qualifications. The doctoral student must have an academic master’s degree, suitable for post-graduate studies (latest September 2011, to be qualified at the starting date of LeCTra 1 January 2012). If the applicant's research plan has a close enough connection with legal studies in a wide sense, she or he may be selected to the doctoral program, whether she or he plans to take a LL.D. degree or some other doctoral degree, e.g. PhD, Dr. of Social Sciences and Dr. of Administrative Sciences. In fact, LeCTra doctoral program promotes a multi-disciplinary approach to law, including artistic research. As a main rule doctoral dissertations will take place at the University of Lapland. However, the academic location of the dissertation can be negotiated to take place elsewhere. LeCTra uses double degree-option when possible.

Research plan. The research plan should describe the theme, aims, and methods of the research, including its position within the perspectives of legal cultural studies. The research plan, including possible bibliography and table of contents, may be no longer than 8 pages (font-size Times New roman 12 or equivalent). The part exceeding 8 pages will not be taken into account.

LeCTra interface. LeCTra doctoral program is focused on key issues of cultural diversity and differences (see above and also the document ”Legal Cultures in Transnational World – Action Plan 2012-2015”, available at It is therefore essential that all doctoral students have a clear understanding on the relation and significance of legal cultural differences in their research plan. These relations and significance are stated in a 2-3 pages LeCTRa interface attachment. This attachment is obligatory and applications without it will not be accepted. The purpose of this attachment is to state clearly how the research plan is connected with LeCTra; it is crucial that the applicant provides this information!

Recommendations. Letters of recommendation have to be enclosed in written form and delivered no later than on Tuesday 31 May 2011. Contact information of the referees should be included in the recommendation because the representatives of LeCTra may contact the referees in person.

Information on the applicant's prior research financing. This information is of use in evaluating the applicant's research project, and in arranging the doctoral students' possible prior funding with the salary financed by the doctoral program. Therefore, it is recommended that the applicant would inform not only on the financing already allowed, but also on the pending applications. However, it is emphasized that the
selection of the doctoral students is based solely on the quality of the research plan, not on the applicant's prior success in applying for financing.

Salary. The doctoral student is enrolled at University of Lapland, which undertakes to give the doctoral student a suitable work space (including computer, phone) etc., and which also pays the doctoral student’s salary. On the basis of Finnish universities salary criteria at the moment the salary will be about 1900 euro a month. (University of Lapland will charge LeCTra doctoral students no tuition fees.)

Interviews. On the basis of applications a part of the applicants will be invited to an interview. Foreign applicants may be interviewed by telephone if this is considered appropriate. The Academic Task Force (ATF) will make a decision on the selection of doctoral students shortly after the interviews.

Two kinds of places. Doctoral students in LeCTRa may hold two kinds of positions: funded actual student position or that of matching funding position. Both positions require applying procedure and acceptance by the ATF.
  1. The Doctoral student on a funded actual student position holds a fulltime employee status based on a signed agreement. She/he is paid a monthly salary, and in return, she/he has to perform given tasks that are connected to the thesis research and other studies related to the thesis research.
  2. Students on matching funding positions should have own funding for working, e.g. salary or grant from their home university.
Further information.
Further information concerning the recruiting procedure is available from Professor Juha Karhu,