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    Teenagers between twelve and eighteen years of age are protected by Dutch criminal law against sexual encounters that cannot be qualified as non-consensual. If these teenagers are approached without force they are thus protected against such a contact, but they could have played a sexual active role nevertheless. This paper deals with how officials of the police and justice departments value sexual contacts between youngsters as lewd and in what circumstances these interactions are possibly permissible. What is the motivation for initiating criminal law and how to explain the distinction between the alleged offender and the alleged victim? The juridical valuation of the professionals dealing with criminal law is analysed followed by some critical remarks regarding the protection of sexual active youngsters against other sexual active youngsters as well as the act of sex as transgression.


J.C.W. Gooren
Mr. drs. Juul Gooren is verbonden aan de Haagse Hogeschool voor de opleiding Integrale Veiligheidskunde. Het onderzoek waarop dit artikel is gebaseerd, is mogelijk gemaakt door financiering van het Fonds voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek Seksualiteit (FWOS).

    There is a strange contradiction in the history of Dutch criminal justice. On the one hand, until well into the 20th Century, it was peculiarly backward in terms of criminal procedure that remained based on principles deriving essentially from the era of the first Dutch republic (17th and 18th Century) or even earlier. On the other, The Netherlands was one of the first countries in Europe to lastingly abolish capital punishment without the intermediate phase of continuing executions out of public view. In this, Dutch criminal justice was decidedly ahead of its times. This contribution examines this apparent contradiction that cannot be entirely explained by existing theories on (the abolition of) capital punishment. It must also be seen in the light of the historical role of publicity/transparency for the legitimacy of criminal justice in the Netherlands, its link to a legal culture of public confidence in the criminal justice authorities and the relatively late reception of Enlightenment ideals.


C.H. Brants
Prof. dr. Chrisje Brants is als hoogleraar straf- en strafprocesrecht verbonden aan het Willem Pompe Instituut van de Universiteit Utrecht.

    This essay charts the changing status of the death penalty in western societies, from a cultural universal three hundred years ago to a prohibited penalty today, and offers a sociological explanation for that great transformation. The ability to impose the penalty of death is an elementary particle of state power. That power was frequently and spectacularly deployed in early modern Europe as states asserted a monopoly on legitimate violence and absolutist rulers deployed force to subdue their enemies. Once states consolidated their infrastructural power, the ostentatious killing of subjects became less necessary. As liberal politics limited the legitimate use of state violence and established legal protections for individuals, and as cultural change softened state power, the death penalty became increasingly problematic. The character of state power, and the balance between liberalism and democracy, civilized refinement and humanitarian sensibility, explains the pace and extent of death penalty change in specific western nations.


D. Garland
Prof. David Garland is als hoogleraar recht en hoogleraar sociologie verbonden aan de New York University School of Law. Dit is de uit het Engels vertaalde en herziene versie van een lezing die hij op 28 oktober 2010 in Maastricht hield ter gelegenheid van de conferentie De doodstraf voorbij. Voor de lezing is gebruikgemaakt van zijn recent verschenen boek Peculiar institution: America's death penalty in an age of abolition (Harvard University Press, 2010). Volledige citaten en steunbewijs voor deze voordracht zijn te vinden in het notenapparaat achter in het boek.
Artikel

Misdaad en straf

Bespiegelingen over (de dood)straf vanuit religieus perspectief

Tijdschrift Justitiële verkenningen, Aflevering 1 2011
Auteurs J.A.A.C. Claessen
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    What does a religious perspective imply for the justification of the state imposing punishment on perpetrators of criminal offences under criminal law? As religion is experiencing a revival, it is not a strange idea to examine what a religious perspective can teach us in relation to criminal law. What religious fundamentalism and conservatism have to offer in this respect seems quite clear, namely retributive action by the state, as God's representative on earth, against conduct contrary to the dogmas of the Holy Scriptures. Nevertheless, research shows that conventional believers also often recognize the value of forgiveness and reconciliation. What is not clear, however, is what mysticism has to offer in relation to criminal law. In contradiction to conventional criminal law, from a mystical perspective there is no call for intentional infliction of pain in responding to crime. To avenge evil with evil is dismissed for both moral and practical reasons. Encouraging the spiritual awakening of man forms the alfa and omega of a mystical approach to crime.


J.A.A.C. Claessen
Mr. dr. Jacques Claessen is als universitair docent straf(proces)recht verbonden aan de Faculteit der Rechtsgeleerdheid van de Universiteit Maastricht. Tevens is hij mederedacteur van de Nieuwsbrief Strafrecht.
Artikel

Het landelijke onderzoek huiselijk geweld 2010

De methode en de belangrijkste resultaten

Tijdschrift Justitiële verkenningen, Aflevering 8 2010
Auteurs H.C.J. van der Veen en S. Bogaerts
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The aim of the research project was determining the size and the nature of the domestic violence in the Netherlands. The project consists of four studies: the first estimates the size of domestic violence, the second is a victim study and the third an offender study. The article is based upon the fourth study, the overarching synthesis which integrates and cross validates (by triangulation) the main results of these three studies. Every year at least 200,000 victims and about 110,000 suspected offenders are involved in severe domestic violence. Most victims are women (60%). This is a substantially lower share than a former study showed (84%). Most offenders are men (83%). In 65% of the cases the violence is aimed at the (ex-)partner. Offenders are often victims as well and vice versa. 20% of the domestic violence is reported to the police. In 1997 this was 12%. 70% of the prosecuted offenders got into trouble with the police before. 30% of this particular segment of domestic violence offenders commit another violent crime or a serious traffic offence within two years.


H.C.J. van der Veen
Dr. Henk van der Veen is als projectbegeleider verbonden aan het WODC.

S. Bogaerts
Prof. dr. Stefan Bogaerts is als hoogleraar Forensische Psychologie en Victimologie verbonden aan de Universiteit van Tilburg.

    There is a tendency to put honour-based and domestic violence in the same box. This article examines whether this is correct or not. The perception of the two phenomena share a number of similarities: violence that often occurs in the context of the family and, in many cases, complex issues that have already been at play for some time. Furthermore, the perception is that primarily women are the victims of both domestic and honour-based violence. A big difference is that the term domestic violence refers to the social context where violence is taking place and the term honour-based refers to the motive for violent action or threats. A complicating factor is that hurt feelings of honour might provoke violence or threats in the context of the family. In research literature it is assumed that domestic violence occurs at all levels of society, which means that this phenomenon will also be encountered amongst ethnic minorities. It is striking that domestic violence amongst ethnic minorities is often mentioned in the same breath as honour-based violence. However, both phenomena deserve a different approach. The risks of treating domestic violence as an honour case and honour-based violence as domestic abuse are described.


J. Janssen
Dr. Janine Janssen is als hoofd onderzoek verbonden aan het Landelijk Expertise Centrum Eergerelateerd Geweld (LEC EGG), dat is ondergebracht bij Politie Haaglanden.

    Honour-related physical or psychological violence, performed in reaction to perceived (threats of) loss of (family) honour, draws a lot of political and public attention in the Netherlands. A comprehensive policy-program was developed to reduce and prevent honour-related violence. However, the project knows two important restraints. In the first place, no reliable prevalence figures of honour-related violence are available. Furthermore, the program has been implemented without articulating and testing the presumed working mechanisms. In this article suggestions are made for evaluation of the program using the educational project ‘Black Tulip’ as an illustration. Black Tulip is used in secondary schools and aims at adolescent potential victims and perpetrators of honour-related violence. The main purpose is to achieve attitude and behaviour changes by means of visualizing experiences with honour-related violence in drama and film, and subsequent group discussions. Evaluation of Black Tulip and other parts of the program should take place by a combination of traditional evaluation research (e.g. with pre- and post-measurements of attitudes and behaviour in ‘Black Tulip-schools’ and in schools that do not receive the intervention), and a theory-driven evaluation which articulates the presumptions about the working mechanisms of the program and puts these to a test using the scientific literature.


C.H. de Kogel
Dr. Katy de Kogel is verbonden aan het WODC als senior-onderzoeker.

M.H.C. Kromhout
Dr. Mariska Kromhout is verbonden aan het WODC als senior-onderzoeker.

M. Smit
Dr. Monika Smit is verbonden aan het WODC als hoofd van de afdeling Rechtsbestel, Wetgeving & Internationale en vreemdelingen-aangelegenheden.
Artikel

Bij dreiging ingrijpen

De Wet tijdelijk huisverbod in de praktijk

Tijdschrift Justitiële verkenningen, Aflevering 8 2010
Auteurs K.B.M. de Vaan en A. Schreijenberg
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    As from January 2009, mayors in The Netherlands can impose a temporary restraining order on (potential) perpetrators of domestic violence in situations in which there is an immediate threat to victims and/or children. This restrains these (potential) perpetrators from entering their own house or contacting their partner and/or children for a period of 10 to 28 days. In this article, the law regarding these temporary restraining orders is explained and an overview of the first experiences with the actual implementation is given. The temporary restraining orders are an addition to the existing measures regarding domestic violence because they enable intervention before the violence has actually taken place or the situation escalates. In practice, however, the orders are frequently imposed after escalation of the situation, parallel to the arrest and possible persecution of the suspected perpetrator. Apparently, the orders provide a break from explosive situations, and the intensive form of professional help that those involved receive is a welcome addition, even in situations for which the order was not primarily designed. The first experiences show that aid is given quickly. They also show that more attention needs to be given to the content of this aid, to regional differences in the enforcement of the law and to the follow-up aid after the temporary restraining order has ended.


K.B.M. de Vaan
Drs. Katrien de Vaan is werkzaam als onderzoeker bij Regioplan Beleidsonderzoek en momenteel betrokken bij de landelijke proces evaluatie van de Wet tijdelijk huisverbod in opdracht van het WODC. Dit artikel is gebaseerd op openbaar beschikbare bronnen en evaluaties. Recent is een aantal onderzoeken afgerond dat op een gestructureerde manier nadere informatie zal bieden over de toepassing van het huisverbod: een onderzoek naar de hulpverlening in het kader van het huisverbod, een partiële kwaliteitsbepaling van het Risicotaxatie-instrument Huiselijk Geweld, een landelijke procesevaluatie van het huisverbod en een onderzoek naar de rechtsbescherming van de uithuisgeplaatste. Deze onderzoeken zijn deels in het najaar van 2010 openbaar geworden, de rest wordt in het voorjaar van 2011 openbaar.

A. Schreijenberg
Mr. drs. Ad Schreijenberg is werkzaam als onderzoeker bij Regioplan Beleidsonderzoek en momenteel betrokken bij de landelijke proces evaluatie van de Wet tijdelijk huisverbod in opdracht van het WODC. Dit artikel is gebaseerd op openbaar beschikbare bronnen en evaluaties. Recent is een aantal onderzoeken afgerond dat op een gestructureerde manier nadere informatie zal bieden over de toepassing van het huisverbod: een onderzoek naar de hulpverlening in het kader van het huisverbod, een partiële kwaliteitsbepaling van het Risicotaxatie-instrument Huiselijk Geweld, een landelijke procesevaluatie van het huisverbod en een onderzoek naar de rechtsbescherming van de uithuisgeplaatste. Deze onderzoeken zijn deels in het najaar van 2010 openbaar geworden, de rest wordt in het voorjaar van 2011 openbaar.

    Children suffer differently from domestic violence as a witness of interparental violence than as direct victim of maltreatment or sexual abuse. In this article three different research samples of children as witnesses of domestic violence are compared with regard to the posttraumatic stress symptoms they show. One sample is a clinical population from mental health care for youth, one sample consists of children reported to a child maltreatment centre and one sample stems from a pilot study of referrals of domestic violence in families in the G4. In all three samples we find a much higher percentage of children with traumatic symptoms than in the normal population. The highest percentage of traumatized children (74%) we find in the clinical population. When we look at the parents we also find a high percentage of traumatized parents (31%), but more striking is the percentage of parents who themselves were involved (as a victim or witness) in domestic violence when they were children (60%). This leads to questions concerning the intergenerational transfer of domestic violence.


B. Tierolf
Drs. Bas Tierolf is als onderzoeker verbonden aan de afdeling Orthopedagogiek van de Faculteit Psychologie en Pedagogiek van de Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, alsmede aan het Verwey-Jonker Instituut in Utrecht.
Artikel

Omstreden gelijkheid

Over de constructie van (on)gelijkheid van vrouwen en mannen in partnergeweld

Tijdschrift Justitiële verkenningen, Aflevering 8 2010
Auteurs R. Römkens
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Intimate partner violence (IPV) changed from a private problem to a public concern over the last decades. It has become subject of various discourses in different domains. In the social sciences the gender-based discriminatory nature of IPV is contested by some researchers who claim a gender equality in IPV. They call for a gender-neutral approach to IPV as a family problem, de-contextualized from gender-based inequalities. In the Netherlands this degendering is reflected in current policy discourse. However, in the international legal human rights domain, IPV is unequivocally considered to be an issue that affects women disproportionately as a form of women's discrimination that is the result of unequal power relations. Both international binding human rights law and recent ruling of the ECHR impose binding duties to acknowledge this. This article addresses the paradox that is reflected in these two positions and how to get beyond it.


R. Römkens
Prof. dr. Renée Römkens is als hoogleraar Huiselijk geweld verbonden aan het International Victimology Institute (Intervict) van de Universiteit van Tilburg.

    There are two conflicting viewpoints about partner violence: either that it involves a considerable degree of mutual combat or that it generally involves male perpetrators and female victims. In general, results supporting the former viewpoint are usually reported in studies of general population samples, while data that supports the latter viewpoint is usually collected in samples that were recruited in shelters, through victim support, or that was studied through police and court data. This article describes results from a Dutch study that investigated two different research groups: a sample of respondents from the general population and a group of offenders who had been in contact with the police and the law for domestic violence. In line with the literature on this topic, one of the most striking differences between the research groups from the general population and the judicial population is the fact that the former group consisted of more women than men (57.8% versus 42.2%), whereas the second group consisted nearly only of men (93.1% were men). This article explores a number of possible explanations for the strongly divergent proportion of men and women in the two research groups. The most probable explanation seems to be that, although both men and women commit domestic violence, the more serious types of injury are caused more often by men, as a result of which predominantly men come into contact with the police and the law for domestic violence. Moreover, there are some indications in the literature that male victims are less likely to report domestic violence to the police.


L.M. van der Knaap
Dr. Leontien van der Knaap is als universitair hoofddocent verbonden aan het International Victimology Institute van de Faculteit Rechtswetenschappen van de Universiteit van Tilburg.

S. Bogaerts
Prof. dr. Stefan Bogaerts is als hoogleraar Forensische Psychologie en Victimologie eveneens verbonden aan dit instituut.
Artikel

Fataal huiselijk geweld

Doding van eigen kind, partner of ouder

Tijdschrift Justitiële verkenningen, Aflevering 8 2010
Auteurs F. Koenraadt en M. Liem
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Homicides that take place in the family generally lead to shock and incomprehension in society at large. Even though in recent years the number of homicides in the Netherlands has decreased, domestic homicides still claim approximately sixty victims per year. This article aims to describe the nature and incidence of domestic homicide in the Netherlands by making use of both epidemiological data as well as detailed analyses of case reports of domestic homicides. In doing so, several types of domestic homicides are distinguished: intimate partner homicide, child homicide, parent and sibling homicide, multiple family homicide and finally, domestic homicide followed by suicide. The findings are discussed and put into perspective.


F. Koenraadt
Dr. Frans Koenraadt is als hoogleraar Forensische Psychiatrie en Psychologie verbonden aan de Universiteit Utrecht; hij is tevens wetenschappelijk adviseur bij het Pieter Baan Centrum (NIFP) te Utrecht en bij de Forensisch Psychiatrische Kliniek te Assen.

M. Liem
Dr. Marieke Liem is als universitair docent Criminologie verbonden aan de Universiteit Leiden.

    Many public prosecutors see a link between domestic violence and violence in the public sphere. In the beginning of this century the fight against domestic violence was integrated into the national security policy of The Netherlands. The growing attention for domestic violence combined with better registration has led to an enormous grow of criminal justice cases of domestic violence. The article analyses the public prosecution policy towards domestic violence. Nowadays even without a report suspects can be brought to trial if the charges can be proved. On the one hand the public prosecution aims to lay down a standard, on the other hand perpetrators are confronted with a set of conditions forcing them to accept professional help in order to bring about a change in their behaviour and prevent recidivism. In this way an effective use of criminal justice could contribute to a reduction of domestic violence and crime in general.


P. van der Valk
Mr. drs. Patricia van der Valk is officier van justitie bij het parket Almelo.
Artikel

Familierelaties en het stoppen met misdaad

Aangrijpingspunten voor het reclasseringswerk

Tijdschrift Justitiële verkenningen, Aflevering 5 2011
Auteurs B. Vogelvang
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Various criminologists describe family and partner relationships as forms of social capital. Also research shows that many delinquents say they have generally good relations with their family. Instead of focusing only on the delinquent's individual responsibility and risk factors, probation work should pay more attention to the protective aspects of the former convict's social environment. The author presents a framework, based on the work of the family therapist Nagy, that provides probations workers with the tools to involve the delinquent's family members in the process towards desistance.


B. Vogelvang
Dr. Bas Vogelvang is als lector Reclassering en Veiligheidsbeleid verbonden aan het Expertisecentrum Veiligheid van Avans Hogeschool te Den Bosch. Hij is tevens als expertadviseur werkzaam bij Adviesbureau Van Montfoort. Dit artikel is gebaseerd op het hoofdstuk ‘Justice for all: Family matters in offender supervision’ (Vogelvang en Van Alphen, 2011).

    This article is based on the author's recent doctorate thesis Working their way into adulthood, which analyses the role of employment in delinquent development in 270 high-risk males from age 18 to 32. Prior to age 18 all men had undergone residential treatment for serious problem behaviour in a juvenile justice institution in the Netherlands. Although recidivism is high, most juveniles desist in their mid-20s, and even high-frequency chronic offenders show declined levels of criminality around age 30. Why do some offenders desist from offending, while others continue? Part of this variation is explained by personality and background characteristics. Over and above these factors, employment is significantly related to a decrease in offending. This paper further analyses the relationship between employment and crime.


V. van der Geest
Dr. Victor van der Geest is universitair docent bij de sectie criminologie aan de Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU) en onderzoeker bij het Nederlands Studiecentrum Criminaliteit en Rechtshandhaving (NSCR). Hij promoveerde afgelopen mei op het proefschrift Working their way into adulthood. Voor dit onderzoek, waarop dit artikel is gebaseerd, volgde hij een groep van 270 jongens in de leeftijd van 12 tot 32 jaar, die begin jaren negentig behandeld werden in een justitiële jeugdinrichting.
Artikel

Actief volwassen worden

Een verklaring voor de daling in criminaliteit onder jonge volwassenen

Tijdschrift Justitiële verkenningen, Aflevering 5 2011
Auteurs A.E. Bottoms
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article discusses some initial findings from the qualitative part of the Sheffield Desistance Study. The aim of the study was to explain the crime drop in early adulthood by tracking the progress of 113 young male offenders towards desistance from crime. The author stresses the importance of getting a better understanding of how criminal careers are shaped by the broader aspects of the experience of young adulthood. The findings are illustrated by four different case studies, followed by some theoretical reflections on the concept of ‘active maturation’. This is clarified by a model categorising some of the processes that individuals go through as they start taking steps towards desistance.


A.E. Bottoms
Prof. Anthony Bottoms is emeritus hoogleraar criminologie aan de universiteiten van Cambridge en Sheffield. Dit essay is een bewerkte versie van een plenaire lezing die tijdens het NVK Congres in Leiden in juni 2011 is gegeven. De auteur is de NVK zeer erkentelijk voor de uitnodiging om het congres toe te spreken.
Artikel

Kunstprojecten en What Works

Een stimulans voor desistance?

Tijdschrift Justitiële verkenningen, Aflevering 5 2011
Auteurs F. McNeill, K. Anderson, S. Colvin e.a.
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This paper draws principally on a literature review that explored the question of whether arts projects in prisons can support desistance from crime. The review, which aimed to connect the literatures on arts projects in prisons, on learning in prisons and on desistance from crime, was undertaken to support the evaluation of a major arts initiative in Scottish Prisons - Inspiring Change - which took place during 2010. A brief summary of the findings of the evaluation is also provided. The paper concludes that while it is unreasonable and unrealistic to expect arts projects to ‘produce’ desistance, there is evidence that they can play a vital role in enabling prisoners to imagine and to embark on the desistance process.


F. McNeill
Prof. Fergus McNeill is als hoogleraar Criminologie en sociaal werk verbonden aan de Universiteit van Glasgow.

K. Anderson
Dr. Kirstin Anderson is als postgraduate student Muziekeducatie verbonden aan de Universiteit van Edinburgh.

S. Colvin
Prof. Sarah Colvin is als hoogleraar Duitslandkunde verbonden aan de Universiteit van Birmingham.

K. Overy
Dr. Katie Overy werkt bij de Universiteit van Edinburgh als universitair docent Muziekeducatie.

R. Sparks
Dr. Richard Sparks werkt bij de Universiteit van Edinburgh als hoogleraar Criminologie.

L. Tett
Dr. Lyn Tett werkt bij de Universiteit van Edinburgh als hoogleraar Gemeenschapseducatie en levenslang leren.
Artikel

What Works en What goes Wrong?

Over evidence-based beleid in de dagelijkse praktijk

Tijdschrift Justitiële verkenningen, Aflevering 5 2011
Auteurs M. van Ooyen-Houben, C.N. Nas en J. Mulder
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In the Netherlands a system of evidence-based interventions was set up, in which only behavioural interventions which meet the scientifically proven ‘What Works’ criteria can be applied to well-defined categories of offenders. An accreditation commission was installed by the ministry of Security and Justice to test behavioural interventions. One of the crucial elements of this evidence-based policy is that the interventions are carried out according to protocol and are applied to the target group by well-trained personnel. This, however, is a problem in practice. Reasons for the low intervention integrity lie among others in lack of support and lead in the organisation and low inflow of participants. The integrity problems pose a risk to the effectiveness of behavioural interventions. Literature suggests that a 100% compliance to protocols might be necessary nor desirable. Causes that lie in the organisation could be improved and the implementation process could be given some more time. Evidence-based policy is not that easy to carry out in daily practice. The future will show whether the goal of a reduction of criminal recidivism will be realized.


M. van Ooyen-Houben
Dr. Marianne van Ooyen-Houben is werkzaam bij het Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek- en Documentatiecentrum van het ministerie van Veiligheid en Justitie. Zij is tevens verbonden aan de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam/Criminologie en Maastricht University/Top Institute for Evidence Based Education Research.

C.N. Nas
Dr. Coralijn Nas is werkzaam bij het Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek- en Documentatiecentrum van het ministerie van Veiligheid en Justitie.

J. Mulder
Dr. Juul Mulder is werkzaam bij het Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek- en Documentatiecentrum van het ministerie van Veiligheid en Justitie.
Artikel

Stoppen met crimineel gedrag

Een kwalitatief, longitudinaal onderzoek naar Marokkaanse en Nederlandse mannen met een crimineel verleden

Tijdschrift Justitiële verkenningen, Aflevering 5 2011
Auteurs H. Werdmölder
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article is a first report on the longitudinal study of forty Moroccan and Dutch criminal men. The research was started in 1982. The author returned to the subject in 1988. In 2008, the author started a new research project with the same men.
    The focus of this article is on the process of desistance. Ten men already ended their criminal period in the late eighties (the ‘early desisters’). In between time, two of them relapsed. Nine men can be called ‘late desisters’. They had many more obstacles to face in their re-integration, such as long-term employment and addiction to hard drugs. The combination of getting regular work, marriage and a permanent place of living is very effective in the process of desistance. But in the end, personal qualities, such as discipline, taking up responsibility and motivation, will be decisive.


H. Werdmölder
Dr. Hans Werdmölder is als lector Jeugd en Veiligheid werkzaam aan het Expertisecentrum Veiligheid van de Avans Hogeschool in Brabant en als universitair hoofddocent verbonden aan de Universiteit van Utrecht. Dit artikel kwam mede tot stand dankzij een verblijf van een half jaar aan het Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies (NIAS) te Wassenaar en een subsidiëring van het Fonds Bijzondere Journalistieke Producties (www.fondsbjp.nl).

    On March the first 2009 the compulsory parenting plan was introduced in Dutch law. The plan is a binding agreement between parents on the consequences of the divorce for their children. During the parliamentary debate, the compulsory character of the parenting plan was frequently criticised. The author scrutinises the relevant case law on the parenting plan over the last two and a half years to examine how it operates in practice. Questions about accessibility of the judicial procedure, the minimum requirements and the completion if the parents do not come to an agreement are discussed. The author concludes that considering the judicial decisions and the small amount of publicised case law the compulsory parenting plan does not seem to cause many problems or delays in the divorce proceedings. More research is necessary to determine whether the parenting plan is able to fulfill its goal to reduce the amount of conflicts between parents after a divorce.


M. van der Lans
Mr. Marit van der Lans is als promovendus verbonden aan het Amsterdams Centrum voor Familierecht van de Vrije Universiteit.
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