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Artikel

Access_open Toegang tot het recht in de rechtsstaat

Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Aflevering Pre-publications 2021
Trefwoorden rechtsstaat, toegang tot het recht, sociale dimensie, Nicholas Barber, Pierre Bourdieu
Auteurs Nathalie Franziska Hendrika Schnabl
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This paper considers access to the rule of law as a requirement for the well-functioning of the rule of law in society. In most rule of law debates, access to the rule of law is not a topic of discussion because these scholars focus themselves solely on the legalistic dimension of the rule of law. Barber was the first to mention the social dimension explicitly but without a theoretical framework. Based on the three capitals of Bourdieu, this paper offers a framework to determine the elements of the social dimension. With these capitals, barriers to the access to the rule of law for individuals can be identified, and solutions can be offered.


Nathalie Franziska Hendrika Schnabl
Nathalie Schnabl is promovenda aan de Faculteit Rechtswetenschappen van de Open Universiteit.
Artikel

Samenhang in beleid op het terrein van veiligheid en justitie

Een longitudinale analyse van de geleverde prestaties per bestede euro in de V&J-sector in de periode 1980-2016

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift voor Veiligheid, Aflevering 1 2021
Trefwoorden justitie, veiligheid, productiviteit, beleid, systeembenadering
Auteurs Jos Blank en Alex van Heezik
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Policy coherence in the area of safety and justice – A longitudinal analysis of service delivery per euro spent in the S&J sector during the period 1980-2016

    In the safety and justice policy area, there is a strong intertwining between performances of the various sectors, such as police, judiciary and prison system. The question is whether policy takes these interdependencies into account sufficiently. Are the resources used – from a broader wealth perspective – optimally allocated amongst the various safety and justice provisions? The authors answer this question on the basis of an integrated time series analysis of the productivity development of the Dutch safety and justice system in the period 1980-2016. The analysis shows that productivity of safety and justice services has hardly changed since 1980. At best, in 2016, citizens will receive as much value per euro of taxpayers’ money as in 1980, but probably slightly less. It is striking, however, that the S&J system as a whole operates more efficient than the sum of its parts (the individual sectors). There have been substantial changes in the allocation of resources over time. Obviously money from the police was transferred to the judiciary and municipalities.


Jos Blank
Jos Blank is voormalig hoogleraar Productiviteit van de Publieke Sector aan de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam, Associate professor aan de TU Delft en voorzitter van de stichting Instituut Publieke Sector Efficiëntie Studies. Hij is een erkende autoriteit op het gebied van productiviteitsmeting in de publieke sector en treedt al decennialang op als adviseur voor politici, beleidsmakers en vertegenwoordigers van publieke instellingen en organisaties.

Alex van Heezik
Alex van Heezik is sinds 1993 zelfstandig onderzoeker op het terrein van de publieke dienstverlening. Hij richt zich daarbij voornamelijk op het uitvoeren van historische beleidsevaluaties en (kwantitatieve) trendanalyses. De doelmatigheid en productiviteit van het beleid staan hierin vaak centraal.
Artikel

De relatie tussen huiselijk geweld en betrokkenheid bij 1%motorclubs

(Ex-)partners van leden van 1%motorclubs in de (vrouwen)opvang

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift voor Veiligheid, Aflevering 4 2020
Trefwoorden huiselijk geweld, 1%mc, outlaw motorcycle gang, OMG, vrouwenopvang
Auteurs Nanne Vosters en Janine Janssen
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Little is known about (former) partners of 1%motorcycle club members. Social professionals working with victims of domestic violence in shelters have regular encounters with these mostly female (ex-)partners. In this exploratory contribution we wonder what is known about domestic violence amongst people with (ex-)partners of 1%motorcycle club members and the consequences of the involvement of a motorcycle club for tackling this violence. Based on thirteen semi-structured interviews with social professionals working in a shelter, external professionals and (ex-)partners, the link between domestic violence and membership of a motorcycle club could not be verified. What this research does show is that safety is the number one priority in working with these (ex-)partners. Furthermore, it shows how complex it is to assess the seriousness of potential threat coming from these 1%motorcyle clubs. Further research on domestic violence in environments associated with organised crime and the cooperation between the judiciary system and social professionals is needed to improve safety and wellbeing for this specific group.


Nanne Vosters
Nanne Vosters is als docent verbonden aan de deeltijdopleiding Social Work van Avans Hogeschool en als onderzoeker bij het lectoraat Veiligheid in Afhankelijkheidsrelaties van Avans Hogeschool.

Janine Janssen
Janine Janssen is hoofd onderzoek van het Landelijk Expertise Centrum Eergerelateerd Geweld van de Nationale Politie, lector Veiligheid in Afhankelijkheidsrelaties aan Avans Hogeschool en bijzonder hoogleraar Rechtsantropologie aan de Open Universiteit.
Artikel

Access_open De berechting binnen een redelijke termijn

Een empirisch onderzoek naar doorlooptijden in handelszaken

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift voor Civiele Rechtspleging, Aflevering 4 2020
Trefwoorden redelijke termijn, doorlooptijden
Auteurs Remme Verkerk, Frans van Dijk en Dewy Pistora
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Dit artikel betreft een empirisch onderzoek naar de doorlooptijden in civiele zaken. Het gaat in op de categorie van zaken die te kampen hebben met de langste doorlooptijden: handelszaken met een belang van boven de € 1 miljoen. Van honderd van dergelijke zaken zijn de procedure in eerste aanleg en in hoger beroep nader bestudeerd en is het procesverloop in kaart gebracht. Het onderzoek maakt inzichtelijk welke tijd is gemoeid met de afzonderlijke stappen in de procedure.


Remme Verkerk
Mr. dr. R.R. Verkerk is werkzaam als cassatieadvocaat bij Houthoff en als hoofddocent burgerlijk procesrecht aan de Universiteit Utrecht.

Frans van Dijk
Dr. F. van Dijk is werkzaam als hoogleraar empirische analyse van rechtssystemen aan de Universiteit Utrecht. Hij is tevens verbonden aan de Raad voor de rechtspraak.

Dewy Pistora
D. Pistora is onderzoeksassistent aan de Universiteit Utrecht.
Forum

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Twee vliegen in één klap?

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 2 2020
Auteurs dr. Albert Klijn
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In this contribution, the authors enter into a debate on the innovation The Netherlands Council for the Judiciary made quite recently, promoting social effective justice (maatschappelijk effectieve rechtspraak;to English readers more familiar under the label of ‘Problem solving courts’).
    Klijn has quite serious doubts about this strategy. First of all: the judge is not - and never has been - a problem solver, as (a) the judge lacks the competences to do so and (b) the structure of legal procedure falls fundamentally short of this task. Secondly, in our contemporary society other professionals are in charge of intervening in social conflicts, and they are much better positioned to do so, at the appropriate moment in time. Thirdly, in making this choice the Council misunderstands its role as the Third State Power, vis-a-vis the much greater influence of changing societal conditions stimulating societal changes.


dr. Albert Klijn
Albert Klijn is rechtssocioloog en voormalig wetenschappelijk adviseur van de Raad voor de rechtspraak (2002-2011).

    Hartendorp emphasizes in his contribution that a judge is a decision-maker bound by the law. He agrees with Klijn that this position makes it difficult to act as a problem solver. However, this does not alter the fact that, in order to act effectively, a judge must have a dual orientation on the conflict and the dispute between the parties. The Judiciary can only increase its social effectiveness if it manages to bring about a synthesis between its classic decisive task and an orientation aimed at effectiveness.


Prof. mr. Rogier Hartendorp
Rogier Hartendorp is senior rechter in de Rechtbank Den Haag, team handel, en bijzonder hoogleraar Maatschappelijke effectiviteit van de rechtspleging aan de Universiteit Leiden.
Article

Access_open Correcting Wrongful Convictions in France

Has the Act of 2014 Opened the Door to Revision?

Tijdschrift Erasmus Law Review, Aflevering 4 2020
Trefwoorden Final criminal conviction, revision procedure, grounds for revision, preparatory investigative measures, Cour de révision et de réexamen
Auteurs Katrien Verhesschen en Cyrille Fijnaut
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The French ‘Code de procédure pénale’ provides the possibility to revise final criminal convictions. The Act of 2014 reformed the procedure for revision and introduced some important novelties. The first is that it reduced the different possible grounds for revision to one ground, which it intended to broaden. The remaining ground for revision is the existence of a new fact or an element unknown to the court at the time of the initial proceedings, of such a nature as to establish the convicted person’s innocence or to give rise to doubt about his guilt. The legislature intended judges to no longer require ‘serious doubt’. However, experts question whether judges will comply with this intention of the legislature. The second is the introduction of the possibility for the applicant to ask the public prosecutor to carry out the investigative measures that seem necessary to bring to light a new fact or an unknown element before filing a request for revision. The third is that the Act of 2014 created the ‘Cour de révision et de réexamen’, which is composed of eighteen judges of the different chambers of the ‘Cour de cassation’. This ‘Cour de révision et de réexamen’ is divided into a ‘commission d’instruction’, which acts as a filter and examines the admissibility of the requests for revision, and a ‘formation de jugement’, which decides on the substance of the requests. Practice will have to show whether these novelties indeed improved the accessibility of the revision procedure.


Katrien Verhesschen
Katrien Verhesschen is PhD candidate and teaching assistant at the Institute of Criminal Law KU Leuven.

Cyrille Fijnaut
Cyrille Fijnaut is Emeritus Professor of Criminal Law & Criminology at Erasmus University Rotterdam, KU Leuven and Tilburg University.
Article

Access_open Mechanisms for Correcting Judicial Errors in Germany

Tijdschrift Erasmus Law Review, Aflevering 4 2020
Trefwoorden criminal proceedings, retrial in favour of the convicted, retrial to the disadvantage of the defendant, Germany, judicial errors
Auteurs Michael Lindemann en Fabienne Lienau
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The article presents the status quo of the law of retrial in Germany and gives an overview of the law and practice of the latter in favour of the convicted and to the disadvantage of the defendant. Particularly, the formal and material prerequisites for a successful petition to retry the criminal case are subject to a detailed presentation and evaluation. Because no official statistics are kept regarding successful retrial processes in Germany, the actual number of judicial errors is primarily the subject of more or less well-founded estimates by legal practitioners and journalists. However, there are a few newer empirical studies devoted to different facets of the subject. These studies will be discussed in this article in order to outline the state of empirical research on the legal reality of the retrial procedure. Against this background, the article will ultimately highlight currently discussed reforms and subject these to a critical evaluation as well. The aim of the recent reform efforts is to add a ground for retrial to the disadvantage of the defendant for cases in which new facts or evidence indicate that the acquitted person was guilty. After detailed discussion, the proposal in question is rejected, inter alia for constitutional reasons.


Michael Lindemann
Michael Lindemann is Professor for Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure and Criminology at the Faculty of Law of Bielefeld University, Germany.

Fabienne Lienau
Fabienne Lienau is Research Assistant at the Chair held by Michael Lindemann.
Artikel

Access_open Coronacrisis en rechtspleging

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 3 2020
Trefwoorden Corona crisis, judiciary, ICT, Court delay, Trias politica
Auteurs Dr. Frans van Dijk en Mr. dr. Eddy Bauw
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Four phases of the Corona crisis are distinguished: a first acute phase, the gradual transition to a new normal, the economic downturn and the long run. The article describes what happened in the courts in the first and in the beginning of the second phase, and what is subsequently likely to happen. In the acute phase the court buildings shut down, and adjudication came largely to a halt. The courts were late in opening up, and as a result backlogs of, in particular, criminal cases increased. The courts extended their use of digital tools (e.g. tele-hearings) that, while allowing cases to proceed, did not fully protect the rights of parties. While so far the volume of commercial cases and bankruptcies has not increased, a (rapid) increase is inevitable. Contract breach will be wide spread, and will give rise to fundamental legal issues. For economic recovery it is essential that the courts give clear and consistent guidance in these matters quickly. This requires the courts to reduce the currently long duration of civil cases, and to use the available procedures to get expeditious decisions of the Supreme Court. The courts will also need to develop their ICT-instruments rapidly to guarantee the rights of parties. After a difficult first phase, the courts now face the challenge to effectively guide society through the Corona crisis and its aftermath, and thereby play its role in the trias politica.


Dr. Frans van Dijk
Frans van Dijk is professor Empirische analyse van rechtssystemen, Montaigne Centrum voor rechtsstaat en rechtspleging, Universiteit Utrecht en adviseur van de Raad voor de rechtspraak. Zijn huidige onderzoek gaat over percepties van rechterlijke onafhankelijkheid, fouten in rechterlijke besluitvorming en de rol van de rechtspraak in de economie. Hij heeft enquêtes onder rechters en advocaten georganiseerd voor het Europees Netwerk van Raden voor de rechtspraak.

Mr. dr. Eddy Bauw
Eddy Bauw is hoogleraar Privaatrecht en rechtspleging. Voorzitter van het Molengraaff Instituut voor Privaatrecht en programmaleider van het Montaigne Centrum voor rechtsstaat en rechtspleging. Raadsheer-plaatsvervanger gerechtshof Den Haag. Zijn recente onderzoek richt zich op de thema’s collectieve actie, massaschade, rechtspleging en conflictoplossing.
Article

Access_open The Right to Claim Innocence in Poland

Tijdschrift Erasmus Law Review, Aflevering 4 2020
Trefwoorden wrongful convictions, right to claim innocence, reopening of criminal proceedings, miscarriage of justice, revision of final judgment
Auteurs Wojciech Jasiński Ph.D., habilitation en Karolina Kremens Ph.D.
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Wrongful convictions and miscarriages of justice, their reasons and effects, only rarely become the subject of academic debate in Poland. This article aims at filling this gap and providing a discussion on the current challenges of mechanisms available in Polish law focused on the verification of final judgments based on innocence claims. While there are two procedures designed to move such judgment: cassation and the reopening of criminal proceedings, only the latter aims at the verification of new facts and evidence, and this work remains focused exactly on that issue. The article begins with a case study of the famous Komenda case, which resulted in a successful innocence claim, serving as a good, though rare, example of reopening a case and acquitting the convict immediately and allows for discussing the reasons that commonly stand behind wrongful convictions in Poland. Furthermore, the article examines the innocence claim grounds as regulated in the Polish criminal procedure and their interpretation under the current case law. It also presents the procedure concerning the revision of the case. The work additionally provides the analysis of the use of innocence claim in practice, feeding on the statistical data and explaining tendencies in application for revision of a case. It also presents the efforts of the Polish Ombudsman and NGOs to raise public awareness in that field. The final conclusions address the main challenges that the Polish system faces concerning innocence claims and indicates the direction in which the system should go.


Wojciech Jasiński Ph.D., habilitation
Wojciech Jasiński is Assistant Professor in the Department of Criminal Procedure of the University of Wroclaw, Poland. orcid.org/0000-0002-7427-1474

Karolina Kremens Ph.D.
Karolina Kremens is Assistant Professor in the Department of Criminal Procedure of the University of Wroclaw, Poland. orcid.org/0000-0002-2132-2645
Article

Access_open The Challenges for England’s Post-Conviction Review Body

Deference to Juries, the Principle of Finality and the Court of Appeal

Tijdschrift Erasmus Law Review, Aflevering 4 2020
Trefwoorden wrongful conviction, criminal justice, Criminal Cases Review Commission, Court of Appeal, discretion
Auteurs Carolyn Hoyle
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Since 1997, the Criminal Cases Review Commission of England, Wales and Northern Ireland has served as a state-funded post-conviction body to consider claims of wrongful conviction for those who have exhausted their rights to appeal. A meticulous organisation that has over its lifetime referred over 700 cases back to the Court of Appeal, resulting in over 60% of those applicants having their convictions quashed, it is nonetheless restricted in its response to cases by its own legislation. This shapes its decision-making in reviewing cases, causing it to be somewhat deferential to the original jury, to the principle of finality and, most importantly, to the Court of Appeal, the only institution that can overturn a wrongful conviction. In mandating such deference, the legislation causes the Commission to have one eye on the Court’s evolving jurisprudence but leaves room for institutional and individual discretion, evidenced in some variability in responses across the Commission. While considerable variability would be difficult to defend, some inconsistency raises the prospects for a shift towards a less deferential referral culture. This article draws on original research by the author to consider the impact of institutional deference on the work of the Criminal Cases Review Commission and argues for a slightly bolder approach in its work


Carolyn Hoyle
Carolyn Hoyle is Professor of Criminology at the Faculty of Law, University of Oxford, UK.
Article

Access_open Chosen Blindness or a Revelation of the Truth?

A New Procedure for Revision in Belgium

Tijdschrift Erasmus Law Review, Aflevering 4 2020
Trefwoorden final criminal conviction, revision procedure, grounds for revision, Court of Cassation, Commission for revision in criminal matters
Auteurs Katrien Verhesschen en Cyrille Fijnaut
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The Belgian Code of criminal procedure provides the possibility to revise final criminal convictions. This procedure had remained more or less untouched for 124 years, but was finally reformed by the Act of 2018, after criticism was voiced in legal doctrine concerning its narrow scope and possible appearances of partiality and prejudice. The Act of 2018 therefore broadened the third ground for revision, the so-called novum, and defined it as an element that was unknown to the judge during the initial proceedings and impossible for the convicted person to demonstrate at that time and that, alone or combined with evidence that was gathered earlier, seems incompatible with the conviction, thus creating a strong suspicion that, if it had been known, it would have led to a more favourable outcome. Thereby, this ground for revision is no longer limited to factual circumstances, but also includes changed appreciations by experts. To counter appearances of partiality and prejudice, the Act of 2018 created the Commission for revision in criminal matters, a multidisciplinary body that has to give non-binding advice to the Court of Cassation on the presence of a novum. However, the legislature also introduced new hurdles on the path to revision, such as the requirement for the applicant to add pieces that demonstrate the ground for revision in order for his or her request to be admissible. For that reason, the application in practice will have to demonstrate whether the Act of 2018 made the revision procedure more accessible in reality.


Katrien Verhesschen
Katrien Verhesschen is a PhD candidate and teaching assistant at the Institute of Criminal Law KU Leuven.

Cyrille Fijnaut
Cyrille Fijnaut is Emeritus Professor of Criminal Law & Criminology at Erasmus University Rotterdam, KU Leuven and Tilburg University.
Article

Access_open Exoneration in Sweden

Is It Not about Time to Reform the Swedish Model?

Tijdschrift Erasmus Law Review, Aflevering 4 2020
Trefwoorden wrongful convictions, extraordinary legal remedy, exoneration, exoneration in Sweden
Auteurs Dennis Martinsson
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article reviews exoneration in Sweden, with a focus on the procedure of applying for exoneration. First, it highlights some core features of Swedish criminal procedural law, necessary to understand exoneration in the Swedish context. Secondly, it outlines the possibilities in Swedish law to apply for exoneration, both in favour of a convicted person and to the disadvantage of a previously acquitted defendant. Thirdly, it identifies some challenges with the current Swedish model of administering applications for exoneration. Fourthly, it argues that the current system should be reformed by introducing into Swedish law a review committee that administers applications for exoneration.


Dennis Martinsson
Dennis Martinsson is Assistant Professor in the Department of Law of Stockholm University in Sweden.
Article

Access_open Overturning Wrongful Convictions by Way of the Extraordinary Review

The Spanish Experience

Tijdschrift Erasmus Law Review, Aflevering 4 2020
Trefwoorden extraordinary review, remedies, fair trial, wrongful convictions, criminal justice, innocence, procedural safeguards, justice
Auteurs Lorena Bachmaier Winter en Antonio Martínez Santos
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    According to the traditional view, the ultimate aim of the extraordinary review (recurso de revisión) provided in the Spanish justice system was to deal with wrongful criminal convictions and correct those serious miscarriages of justice which became apparent only after the judgment had become final. However, the 2015 reform called this traditional view into question by formally including two additional grounds for review that are not necessarily related to the correcting miscarriages or blatant mistakes in the assessment of the facts made by the sentencing court. This paper aims to give an overview of the extraordinary review in Spain. To that end it will first address the legal framework and its practical implementation, as well as present pitfalls and best practices. Finally, future trends and challenges will be identified in order to improve the protection of defendants who have suffered a wrongful conviction.


Lorena Bachmaier Winter
Lorena Bachmaier Winter is Professor of Law at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid.

Antonio Martínez Santos
Antonio Martínez Santos is Associate Professor of Law, Francisco de Vitoria University, Madrid.
Article

Access_open A European Approach to Revision in Criminal Matters?

Tijdschrift Erasmus Law Review, Aflevering 4 2020
Auteurs Joost Nan, Nina Holvast en Sjarai Lestrade
Auteursinformatie

Joost Nan
Joost Nan is Associate Professor at the Erasmus University Rotterdam.

Nina Holvast
Nina Holvast is Assistant Professor at the Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam.

Sjarai Lestrade
Sjarai Lestrade is Assistant Professor at the Radboud University Nijmegen.
Article

Access_open Between Legal Certainty and Doubt

The Developments in the Procedure to Overturn Wrongful Convictions in the Netherlands

Tijdschrift Erasmus Law Review, Aflevering 4 2020
Trefwoorden revision law, post-conviction review, wrongful convictions, miscarriages of justice, criminal law, empirical research
Auteurs Nina Holvast, Joost Nan en Sjarai Lestrade
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The Dutch legislature has recently (2012) altered the legislation for post-conviction revision of criminal cases. The legislature aimed to improve the balance between the competing interests of individual justice and the finality of verdicts, by making post-conviction revision more accessible. In this article we describe the current legal framework for revising cases. We also study how the revision procedure functions in practice, by looking at the types and numbers of (successful) requests for further investigations and applications for revision. We observe three challenges in finding the right balance in the revision process in the Netherlands. These challenges concern: 1) the scope of the novum criterion (which is strict), 2) the appropriate role of an advisory committee (the ACAS) in revision cases (functioning too much as a pre-filter for the Supreme Court) and, 3) the difficulties that arise due to requiring a defence council when requesting a revision (e.g., financial burdens).


Nina Holvast
Nina Holvast is Assistant Professor at the Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam.

Joost Nan
Joost Nan is Associate Professor at the Erasmus University Rotterdam.

Sjarai Lestrade
Sjarai Lestrade is Assistant Professor at the Radboud University Nijmegen.
Article

Access_open A Positive State Obligation to Counter Dehumanisation under International Human Rights Law

Tijdschrift Erasmus Law Review, Aflevering 3 2020
Trefwoorden Dehumanisation, International Human Rights Law, Positive State obligations, Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, International Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination
Auteurs Stephanie Eleanor Berry
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    International human rights law (IHRL) was established in the aftermath of the Second World War to prevent a reoccurrence of the atrocities committed in the name of fascism. Central to this aim was the recognition that out-groups are particularly vulnerable to rights violations committed by the in-group. Yet, it is increasingly apparent that out-groups are still subject to a wide range of rights violations, including those associated with mass atrocities. These rights violations are facilitated by the dehumanisation of the out-group by the in-group. Consequently, this article argues that the creation of IHRL treaties and corresponding monitoring mechanisms should be viewed as the first step towards protecting out-groups from human rights violations. By adopting the lens of dehumanisation, this article demonstrates that if IHRL is to achieve its purpose, IHRL monitoring mechanisms must recognise the connection between dehumanisation and rights violations and develop a positive State obligation to counter dehumanisation. The four treaties explored in this article, the European Convention on Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities and the International Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination, all establish positive State obligations to prevent hate speech and to foster tolerant societies. These obligations should, in theory, allow IHRL monitoring mechanisms to address dehumanisation. However, their interpretation of the positive State obligation to foster tolerant societies does not go far enough to counter unconscious dehumanisation and requires more detailed elaboration.


Stephanie Eleanor Berry
Stephanie Eleanor Berry is Senior Lecturer in International Human Rights Law, University of Sussex.

    The entry into force of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) pushed state obligations to counter prejudice and stereotypes concerning people with disabilities to the forefront of international human rights law. The CRPD is underpinned by a model of inclusive equality, which views disability as a social construct that results from the interaction between persons with impairments and barriers, including attitudinal barriers, that hinder their participation in society. The recognition dimension of inclusive equality, together with the CRPD’s provisions on awareness raising, mandates that states parties target prejudice and stereotypes about the capabilities and contributions of persons with disabilities to society. Certain human rights treaty bodies, including the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and, to a much lesser extent, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, require states to eradicate harmful stereotypes and prejudice about people with disabilities in various forms of interpersonal relationships. This trend is also reflected, to a certain extent, in the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights. This article assesses the extent to which the aforementioned human rights bodies have elaborated positive obligations requiring states to endeavour to change ‘hearts and minds’ about the inherent capabilities and contributions of people with disabilities. It analyses whether these bodies have struck the right balance in elaborating positive obligations to eliminate prejudice and stereotypes in interpersonal relationships. Furthermore, it highlights the convergences or divergences that are evident in the bodies’ approaches to those obligations.


Andrea Broderick
Andrea Broderick is Assistant Professor at the Universiteit Maastricht, the Netherlands.
Article

Access_open The Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act 4 of 2000: Proposals for Legislative Reform to Promote Equality through Schools and the Education System

Tijdschrift Erasmus Law Review, Aflevering 3 2020
Trefwoorden Transformative pedagogy, equality legislation, promotion of equality, law reform, using law to change hearts and minds
Auteurs Anton Kok, Lwando Xaso, Annalize Steenekamp e.a.
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In this article, we focus on how the education system can be used to promote equality in the context of changing people’s hearts and minds – values, morals and mindsets. The duties contained in the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act 4 of 2000 (‘Equality Act’) bind private and public schools, educators, learners, governing bodies and the state. The Equality Act calls on the state and all persons to promote substantive equality, but the relevant sections in the Equality Act have not been given effect yet, and are therefore currently not enforceable. We set out how the duty to promote equality should be concretised in the Equality Act to inter alia use the education system to promote equality in schools; in other words, how should an enforceable duty to promote equality in schools be fashioned in terms of the Equality Act. Should the relevant sections relating to the promotion of equality come into effect in their current form, enforcement of the promotion of equality will take the form of obliging schools to draft action plans and submit these to the South African Human Rights Commission. We deem this approach inadequate and therefore propose certain amendments to the Equality Act to allow for a more sensible monitoring of schools’ duty to promote equality. We explain how the duty to promote equality should then play out practically in the classroom to facilitate a change in learners’ hearts and minds.


Anton Kok
Anton Kok is Professor of Jurisprudence at the Faculty of Law of the University of Pretoria.

Lwando Xaso
Lwando Xaso is an independent lawyer, writer and historian.

Annalize Steenekamp
Annalize Steenekamp, LLM, is a Multidisciplinary Human Rights graduate from the University of Pretoria.

Michelle Oelofse
Michelle Oelofse is an Academic associate and LLM candidate at the University of Pretoria.
Article

Access_open South African Mandatory Offers Regime: Assessing Minorities’ Leverage to Seek Recourse and Equal Treatment in Takeover Bids

Tijdschrift Erasmus Law Review, Aflevering 2 2020
Trefwoorden company takeovers, mandatory offers, minority shareholders, equal treatment, acquisition procedure
Auteurs Paul Nkoane
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    A firm intention announcement must be made when the offeror is able and willing to acquire securities, and when a mandatory offer must be made. When the firm intention announcement is implemented, some sort of a contract is created. This rule has helped to determine the particular time the offeror should be liable to minorities. The question of when the offeror should bear the obligation to implement mandatory offers in aborted takeovers is thus no more problematic. Previously, the courts wrestled with this issue, but delivered what appears to be unsatisfactory decisions. This article will discuss the effect of a firm intention announcement and the responsibility that attends the making of that announcement. It intends to illustrate the extent of liability the offeror must bear in the event of a lapsed takeover, before and after the making of the firm intention announcement. The article examines the manner in which takeover rules can be enforced, and whether the current measures afford minorities proper protection. This brings to light the issue of equal treatment in takeovers and the fallacy thereof. A minor appraisal of the takeover rules in two jurisdictions in Europe (the United Kingdom and the Netherlands) is conducted to assess how equal treatment for minorities is promoted. Due to the difficulty minorities may experience in enforcing equal treatment in company takeovers, the article advocates for the alteration of the current South African takeover procedure for the promotion of minorities’ interests and for establishing rules that provide the offeror adequate information.


Paul Nkoane
Paul Nkoane is lecturer at the College of Law of the University of South Africa in Pretoria.
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