13806424_omslag125px
Rss

Recht der Werkelijkheid


Meer op het gebied van Algemeen

Over dit tijdschrift  
Aflevering 3, 2015 Alle samenvattingen uitklappen
Redactioneel

How to look at access to justice?

Auteurs Bernard Hubeau, Ashley Terlouw en Mies Westerveld
Auteursinformatie

Bernard Hubeau
Bernard Hubeau is a full-time Professor in Sociology and Sociology of Law at the Faculty of Law of the University of Antwerp. He also teaches at the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Antwerp and the Faculty of Law and Criminology of the University of Brussels. He is the former ombudsman of the city of Antwerp and of the Flemish Parliament.

Ashley Terlouw
Ashley Terlouw is Professor in Sociology of Law at the Radboud University of Nijmegen. She is responsible for the Centre for Migration Law of the Radboud University. Besides she is part-time Judge at the District Court of Gelderland. Her research concentrates on legal and societal issues of asylum and equal treatment and on the working of the judiciary.

Mies Westerveld
Mies Westerveld is Professor Legal aid by special appointment and Professor in Labour Law (social insurance) at the University of Amsterdam. Her research concentrates on current issues of access to justice and state-financed legal aid on the one hand and the decreasing role of social insurance on a fragmented labour market on the other hand.
Artikel

The legacy and current relevance of Cappelletti and the Florence project on access to justice

Trefwoorden definition and dimensions access to justice, recommendations, historic context access to justice, current context access to justice
Auteurs Bernard Hubeau
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This contribution explains what access to justice can encompass and how the ideals about access to justice have developed in time. The way to do this is going back to the work of the famous scholars Cappelletti and Garth, who were responsible for a worldwide project on access to justice in the 1970s. Their main issue was to explain access to justice is more than the access to a judge and the organization of courts. Primarily, the system must be equally accessible to all, irrespective of social or economic status or other incapacity. But it also must lead to results that are individually and socially just and fair. Equal access and effective access are the central notions. Their work is put in perspective. The importance of their legacy and the question how we can get along with their work are stressed. Their definition is compared to a few other authoritative definitions. The waves in the history of access to justice are described and putting them in the current context illustrates why a fourth waved can be observed. The major question to be answered is how one can assess the challenges and obstacles of access to justice in the current context. Therefore, some recent dimensions and developments within access to justice are presented: the democratic dimension, the effectiveness of new social rights, the attention for poor and vulnerable people, further juridification, expanding frontiers of and monitoring access to justice, e-justice, and self-help. Finally, a few building blocks for reforms are presented.


Bernard Hubeau
Bernard Hubeau is a full-time Professor in Sociology and Sociology of Law at the Faculty of Law of the University of Antwerp. He also teaches at the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Antwerp and the Faculty of Law and Criminology of the University of Brussels. He is the former ombudsman of the city of Antwerp and of the Flemish Parliament.
Artikel

Moving access to justice ‘upstream’ from the courts

Trefwoorden access to justice, legal problems, justice system, legal needs
Auteurs Ab Currie
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    A very large number of people experience everyday legal problems considered by them to be serious and difficult to resolve, the vast majority say it is important to resolve these problems, and virtually everybody experiencing legal problems takes some action to resolve them. However, the fact that very few people make use of the formal justice system suggests that the justice system is not meeting the legal needs of the public. One response would be to expand the traditional formal justice system to include an early-resolution services sector. An ERSS would encompass the early intervention and supported self-help objectives of many existing access to justice initiatives, but would go farther by conceiving what we mean by the justice system more broadly in a way that would accommodate what the everyday legal problems approach tells us about how the public experiences legal problems.


Ab Currie
Ab Currie, Ph.D. (Sociology, University of Toronto), is Senior Research Fellow at the Canadian Forum on Civil Justice, where he is currently involved in a range of research on access to civil justice mainly. Prior to joining the Forum, Ab was for over 30 years Principal Researcher in areas of legal aid and access to justice at the Federal Department of Justice in Canada. He has conducted extensive research in criminal and civil legal aid, in particular on unmet need for criminal legal aid and on the civil justice problems experienced by the public. Contact by email at abcurrie@sympatico.ca or acurrie@cfcj-fcjc.org.

    Access to justice for those who cannot afford it remains a serious and intractable problem. Financial shortfalls and austerity cuts have caused much of the free legal advice sector to contract. Recent gains in the economy have not been distributed to the poorest in society, many of whom view lawyers as expensive and inaccessible. The result has been a widening of the justice gap – one which can only be filled if new models based on digitalization and internet based technologies fulfill their potential and allow both law firms and major brands to provide more affordable services. A broader market based response to the coming shortfall in legal assistance is possible if unbundling can become standard among legal practitioners. Technology will enable citizens to be supported with targeted advice and information should they need it. It will also bring solicitor managed services to an increasingly wide segment of the public.


Richard Cohen
Richard Cohen founded Landau & Cohen Solicitors before joining Epoq in 1998 as Joint CEO and is now Executive Chairman and Head of Partnerships. He served on the Solicitors Regulation Authority working group for the introduction of alternative business structures and contributed to the Legal Services Institute’s study on the Legal Services Act and the Legal Services Consumer Panel relating to referrals. In 2011, Richard was nominated for the FT Innovative Lawyers Legal Innovator of the Year Award.

Humphrey Clarke
Humphrey Clarke has worked in business development and market research for both Epoq’s UK and US operations. He has over nine years’ experience working in the legal and insurance sectors and has contributed numerous research papers and articles for industry publications.
Artikel

Responsibilities of the state and legal professions

Trefwoorden responsibilities, the state, lawyers, the judiciary and judges
Auteurs Mies Westerveld en Ashley Terlouw
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This contribution, which is based on the Dutch legal system, deals with the responsibilities of the State and legal professions in ensuring access to justice. The responsibilities of the four main players involved in bringing justice to the citizen are discussed: the legislator, the executive, the judiciary, and the legal profession. Responsibilities for access to justice do not only stem from the law, they do also evolve from societal problems and discussions. The contribution deals with both. Several actors share some of the responsibilities. One can think of responsibilities for information, for financing, and for being aware of vulnerabilities and other obstacles. What are the legal responsibilities and what other responsibilities are felt by the actors involved and how do they deal with them? And as a result: do they contribute to access to justice, do they form an obstacle, or both?


Mies Westerveld
Mies Westerveld is Professor Legal aid by special appointment and Professor in Labour Law (social insurance) at the University of Amsterdam. Her research concentrates on current issues of access to justice and state-financed legal aid on the one hand and the decreasing role of social insurance on a fragmented labour market on the other hand.

Ashley Terlouw
Ashley Terlouw is Professor in Sociology of Law at the Radboud University of Nijmegen. She is responsible for the Centre for Migration Law of the Radboud University. Besides she is part-time Judge at the District Court of Gelderland. Her research concentrates on legal and societal issues of asylum and equal treatment and on the working of the judiciary.
Artikel

The preliminary reference procedure: challenge or opportunity?

Trefwoorden preliminary reference procedure, empowerment, EU law, Court of Justice EU
Auteurs Jos Hoevenaars
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This contribution approaches the theme of access to justice from an EU law perspective and deals with the question: to what extent can the preliminary reference procedure serve as an empowering tool for individuals and civil society? The first part of the contribution deals with the structure of the EU legal system and the theoretically empowering function of preliminary references. Based on interviews with litigants and their counsellors, the second part deals with this notion from a sociological and empirical perspective. The analysis reveals the practical obstacles to realizing ones rights by preliminary references, and thus nuances the empowerment thesis found both among legal- and political sciences theories as well as in the legitimating rhetoric by propagators of the EU legal system.


Jos Hoevenaars
Jos Hoevenaars holds a Master’s degree in Sociology from the Erasmus University in Rotterdam and is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the Institute for Sociology of Law/Centre for Migration Law of the Radboud University of Nijmegen. In his research, he studies individual litigation in the European legal system, with a specific focus on the preliminary reference procedure.
Artikel

Part II.a. Current issues of access to justice

Citizens in need of solutions

Artikel

Tenant vs. owner: deriving access to justice from the right to housing

Trefwoorden tenants’ rights, adequate housing, discrimination, effectiveness of law
Auteurs Nico Moons
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The right to adequate housing has since long been established in international and European human rights law and has been (constitutionally) incorporated into many domestic legal systems. This contribution focuses on the extent to which this fundamental right influences rental law and the horizontal relationship between tenant and landlord and how it contributes to the tenant’s access to justice. The right to housing certainly accounts for tenant’s rights, but since international and European human rights law evidently centres around state obligations, any possible impact on the position of tenants remains indirect. This is of course different on the national plane. In Belgium, the constitutional right to housing has been implemented through regional Housing Codes, complementing private law measures and creating additional protection to tenants. Nonetheless, many challenges still remain in increasing access to justice for tenants, both top-down and bottom-up: lack of knowledge and complexity of law, imbalance in power and dependency, discrimination, etc.


Nico Moons
Nico Moons is a PhD student at the Faculty of Law of the University of Antwerp (research group Government & Law). His research topic involves the effectiveness of the right to adequate housing. Previously, he has worked at the Council for Alien Law Litigation.
Artikel

Access to justice in consumer law

Trefwoorden consumer law, enforcement of consumer rights, costs of procedure, obstacles for enforcement
Auteurs Marco Loos
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In many areas of private law, mandatory substantive law protects consumers. In this contribution, I will argue that awarding consumer rights without properly regulating the consumer’s access to the court system renders these rights unenforceable through the ordinary courts. Several obstacles to the proper enforcement of consumer rights by individuals are identified, ranging from consumers’ lack of knowledge of their rights to the formalities of proceedings, the use of complex jargon and the costs involved in court procedures. It is argued that these obstacles produce such disincentives for consumers to maintain their rights that the result is that they do so in an insufficient manner, which leads to under-enforcement of consumer law.


Marco Loos
Marco Loos is Professor of Private Law, in particular of European consumer law, at the Centre for the Study of European Contract Law of the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands and member of the Board of the Ius Commune Research School.
Artikel

Challenges and obstacles to access to justice in health care

Trefwoorden patients’ rights, disciplinary law, medical negligence, right to complain
Auteurs Aart Hendriks
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In the Netherlands, patients have a large number of options to express their dissatisfaction about the services provided by health care providers and can institute all kind of (quasi) legal procedures. None of these procedures was however introduced to ensure patients’ right to access to justice. Access to justice for health care providers confronted with complaints by patients is even less guaranteed. An analysis of Dutch law and practice learns that the access to justice has not found an inroad in the health care sector yet. This is not to suggest that patients lack legal rights, but if access to justice was taken as a yardstick to measures laws against the health care sector, they would have looked differently.


Aart Hendriks
Aart Hendriks is Professor in Health Law at Leiden University, the Netherlands, legal advisor to the Royal Dutch Medical Association, and substitute judge at the District Court of Rotterdam. He has published extensively on health and human rights issues. He serves as advisor to various national and international organizations, is board member of a number of administrative bodies, and is editor of several scientific journals in the field of health, medicine, and human rights.
Artikel

Part II.b. Current issues of access to justice

Citizens in need of protection

Artikel

Social security and social welfare: barriers and retrograde policies, but cause for optimism?

Trefwoorden social security, legal representation, means-testing, Britain, fees
Auteurs Amir Paz-Fuchs
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This contribution addresses the limits placed on access to justice in the context of social services, with a particular, but not exclusive, focus on the UK, across five central platforms: legal representation, the financial barriers, the structure of the programme, the attitude of the bureaucracy, and the personal attributes of the client. The contribution finds that there exist, for decades, problematic elements that constitute barriers to justice in this area: the means-tested element in the programmes and the bureaucracy’s double role as provider of services and detector of fraud. But to them, in recent years, significant barriers were added: recent cuts in legal aid and the imposition of tribunal fees in the UK are retrograde steps, reverting 40 years of impressive achievements in the field.


Amir Paz-Fuchs
Amir Paz-Fuchs (D. Phil Oxford) is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Law, University of Sussex, where he teaches employment law, public law, and legal theory. In addition, he is a Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies and a Research Associate at Wolfson College, both at the University of Oxford. He is also Co-Director of the ‘The Limits of Privatization’ research project, based at the Van Leer Institute in Jerusalem. He also served on the board of several human rights and social justice NGOs.
Artikel

Merits testing in the English legal aid system: exploring its impact in asylum cases

Trefwoorden access to justice, asylum seekers, merits testing, English legal aid system
Auteurs Tamara Butter
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In recent years, there has been much discussion on the legal aid cuts and reforms in England and Wales, and the possible consequences this would have on access to justice for vulnerable groups in society, including immigrants and asylum seekers. This contribution focuses on one element of the English legal aid system: merits testing by legal aid providers in asylum cases. It explores whether and, if so, how this aspect may affect the access to justice for asylum seekers lacking the financial means to pay privately for legal assistance and representation. The findings indicate that a merits test which makes access to legal aid on appeal conditional upon a case having at least 50% prospect of success and makes legal aid providers responsible for conducting this assessment may compromise asylum seekers’ ability to achieve justice both within and outside the existing body of law.


Tamara Butter
Tamara Butter is a PhD candidate at the Institute for Sociology of Law/Centre for Migration Law of the Radboud University of Nijmegen. Her research consists of a comparative case study into the professional decision making of asylum legal aid lawyers in the Netherlands and England.
Artikel

Access to justice: a dynamic concept

Auteurs Mies Westerveld, Bernard Hubeau en Ashley Terlouw
Auteursinformatie

Mies Westerveld
Mies Westerveld is Professor Legal aid by special appointment and Professor in Labour Law (social insurance) at the University of Amsterdam. Her research concentrates on current issues of access to justice and state-financed legal aid on the one hand and the decreasing role of social insurance on a fragmented labour market on the other hand.

Bernard Hubeau
Bernard Hubeau is a full-time Professor in Sociology and Sociology of Law at the Faculty of Law of the University of Antwerp. He also teaches at the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Antwerp and the Faculty of Law and Criminology of the University of Brussels. He is the former ombudsman of the city of Antwerp and of the Flemish Parliament.

Ashley Terlouw
Ashley Terlouw is Professor in Sociology of Law at the Radboud University of Nijmegen. She is responsible for the Centre for Migration Law of the Radboud University. Besides she is part-time Judge at the District Court of Gelderland. Her research concentrates on legal and societal issues of asylum and equal treatment and on the working of the judiciary.