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Digitale markten

Access_open Het voorstel voor de Digital Services Act

Op zoek naar nieuw evenwicht in regulering van onlinediensten met betrekking tot informatie van gebruikers

Tijdschrift Nederlands tijdschrift voor Europees recht, Aflevering 1-2 2021
Trefwoorden Digital Services Act, Wet inzake digitale diensten, Richtlijn elektronische handel, onlinediensten, illegale inhoud
Auteurs Mr. dr. F. Wilman
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In deze bijdrage wordt het recente voorstel voor de Digital Services Act besproken. De voorgestelde verordening is bedoeld om de digitale interne markt te versterken en, meer specifiek, de activiteiten van aanbieders van onlinediensten die draaien om de doorgifte, opslag en publieke verspreiding van informatie van hun gebruikers – zoals videoplatforms, onlinemarktplaatsen, sociale media en internetaanbieders – beter te reguleren. Het gaat onder meer om hun activiteiten ter bestrijding van illegale inhoud en desinformatie, hun aansprakelijkheid en hun verantwoordelijkheden jegens de gebruikers. We zullen zien dat het DSA-voorstel in verschillende opzichten ambitieus en vernieuwend is, terwijl het op andere punten eerder nuttig-maar-voorspelbaar en behoudend kan worden genoemd. Na een inleiding worden de voorgestelde verplichtingen voor de verschillende onlinedienstverleners achtereenvolgens besproken, gevolgd door enkele algemene opmerkingen.
    Europese Commissie, Voorstel voor een Verordening van het Europees Parlement en de Raad betreffende een eengemaakte markt voor digitale diensten (Wet inzake digitale diensten) en tot wijzing van Richtlijn 2000/31/EG, COM(2020)825, 15 december 2020


Mr. dr. F. Wilman
Mr. dr. F. (Folkert) Wilman is lid van de Juridische Dienst van de Europese Commissie. De zienswijzen opgenomen in deze bijdrage zijn uitsluitend die van de auteur en kunnen niet worden toegeschreven aan de Europese Commissie.
Artikel

Access_open ILO-Conventie 190: een ‘geïntegreerde aanpak’ van geweld en intimidatie?

Tijdschrift Arbeidsrechtelijke Annotaties, Aflevering 1 2021
Trefwoorden ILO-Conventie 190, Geweld en (seksuele) intimidatie, Gelijke behandeling, Arbeidsomstandigheden
Auteurs Mr. dr. Bas Rombouts
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    De twee meest recent aangenomen ILO-instrumenten – Conventie 190 en Aanbeveling 206 – reguleren de aanpak van geweld en intimidatie in de context van werk. Het fundament van deze instrumenten is een ‘inclusive, integrated and gender-reponsive approach’ die middels de routes van preventie en bescherming, handhaving en genoegdoening en advies en scholing dient te worden geïmplementeerd. Conventie 190 hanteert een brede definitie van ‘geweld en intimidatie’ en is van toepassing op formele werknemers, maar ook op andere groepen ‘werkenden’. Maar wat is de inhoud en het belang van deze geïntegreerde aanpak, bezien in nationaal en internationaal perspectief? Hoe verhoudt de bescherming tegen geweld en intimidatie onder gelijkebehandelingswetgeving en arbeidsomstandighedenrecht zich tot elkaar en voldoet het Nederlands juridisch raamwerk aan de voorgestelde ‘integrated approach’? Alhoewel de Conventie als normatieve basis gelijke behandeling en non-discriminatie neemt, geeft zij uitdrukkelijk de opdracht aan ratificerende lidstaten om een geïntegreerde aanpak toe te passen, waarbij geweld en intimidatie niet slechts onder gelijkebehandelingswetgeving, maar tevens onder arbeidsomstandighedenrecht en strafrecht worden ondergebracht om zo lacunes in de juridische bescherming voor slachtoffers te voorkomen. Alhoewel de juridische infrastructuur voor deze ‘integrated approach’ in Nederland aanwezig lijkt, is er nog een aantal aandachtspunten aangaande een effectieve implementatie hiervan, met name in relatie tot criteria voor zorgvuldige klachtbehandeling, risicoanalyse en aanpak en de rol van de vertrouwenspersoon.


Mr. dr. Bas Rombouts
Mr. dr. B. Rombouts is werkzaam als universitair hoofddocent aan het departement Private, Business and Labour Law van Tilburg Law School, Tilburg University. Hij is gespecialiseerd in internationaal arbeidsrecht, fundamentele arbeidsnormen, mensenrechten en duurzame ontwikkeling.

Gijs van Maanen
Gijs van Maanen is PhD researcher at Tilburg Law School.
Artikel

Access_open Art, Science and the Poetry of Justice – ­Pragmatist Aesthetics and Its Importance for Law and Legal Education

Special Issue on Pragmatism and Legal Education ­Sanne Taekema & Thomas Riesthuis (eds.)

Tijdschrift Law and Method, maart 2021
Trefwoorden legal research, legal education, epistemology, law, science and art
Auteurs Wouter de Been
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Classic pragmatists like John Dewey entertained an encompassing notion of science. This pragmatic belief in the continuities between a scientific, ethical and cultural understanding of the world went into decline in the middle of the 20th century. To many mid-century American and English philosophers it suggested a simplistic faith that philosophy and science could address substantive questions about values, ethics and aesthetics in a rigorous way. This critique of classic pragmatism has lost some of its force in the last few decades with the rise of neo-pragmatism, but it still has a hold over disciplines like economics and law. In this article I argue that this criticism of pragmatism is rooted in a narrow conception of what science entails and what philosophy should encompass. I primarily focus on one facet: John Dewey’s work on art and aesthetics. I explain why grappling with the world aesthetically, according to Dewey, is closely related to dealing with it scientifically, for instance, through the poetic and aesthetic development of metaphors and concepts to come to terms with reality. This makes his theory of art relevant, I argue, not only to studying and understanding law, but also to teaching law.


Wouter de Been
Wouter de Been is a legal theorist who has written widely on pragmatism and legal realism. I would like to thank the reviewers for their comments. Their critical commentary made this a much better article. Any remaining shortcomings are of course my own. I dedicate this article to the memory of Willem Witteveen, who always saw the art in law.
Artikel

Access_open Theme: introduction to the Dutch system of dismissal and its constituents

The editorial board

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift voor Ontslagrecht, Aflevering 1 2021
Trefwoorden Ontslagrecht, Rechtsvergelijking, Dismissal law
Samenvatting

Artikel

Access_open The ECHR and Private Intercountry Adoptions in Germany and the Netherlands: Lessons Learned from Campanelli and Paradiso v. Italy

Tijdschrift Family & Law, januari 2021
Trefwoorden Private intercountry adoptions, surrogacy, ECHR, UNCRC, the best interests of the child
Auteurs dr. E.C. Loibl
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Within the past half century, a market in adoptable children has emerged. The imbalance between the demand for and the supply of adoptable children, combined with the large sums of Western money, incite greedy actors in poor countries to illegally obtain children for adoption. This renders intercountry adoption conducive to abuses. Private adoptions are particularly prone to abusive and commercial practices. Yet, although they violate both international and national law, German and Dutch family courts commonly recognize them. They argue that removing the child from the illegal adopters would not be compatible with the rights and best interests of the individual child concerned. In 2017, the ECtHR rendered a ground-breaking judgement in Campanelli and Paradiso v. Italy. In this case, the Court dealt with the question as to whether removing a child from the care of an Italian couple that entered into a surrogacy agreement with a Russian clinic, given that surrogacy is illegal in Italy, violated Article 8 ECHR. Contrary to previous case law, in which the ECtHR placed a strong emphasis on the best interests of the individual child concerned, the Court attached more weight to the need to prevent disorder and crime by putting an end to the illegal situation created by the Italian couple and by discouraging others from bypassing national laws. The article argues that considering the shifting focus of the ECtHR on the prevention of unlawful conduct and, thus, on the best interests of children in general, the German and Dutch courts’ failure to properly balance the different interests at stake in a private international adoption by mainly focusing on the individual rights and interests of the children is difficult to maintain.

    ---

    In de afgelopen halve eeuw is er een markt voor adoptiekinderen ontstaan. De disbalans tussen de vraag naar en het aanbod van adoptiekinderen, in combinatie met grote sommen westers geld, zet hebzuchtige actoren in arme landen ertoe aan illegaal kinderen te verkrijgen voor adoptie. Dit maakt interlandelijke adoptie bevorderlijk voor misbruik. Particuliere adoptie is bijzonder vatbaar voor misbruik en commerciële praktijken. Ondanks het feit dat deze privé-adopties in strijd zijn met zowel internationaal als nationaal recht, worden ze door Duitse en Nederlandse familierechtbanken doorgaans wel erkend. Daartoe wordt aangevoerd dat het verwijderen van het kind van de illegale adoptanten niet verenigbaar is met de rechten en belangen van het individuele kind in kwestie. In 2017 heeft het EHRM een baanbrekende uitspraak gedaan in de zaak Campanelli en Paradiso t. Italië. In deze zaak behandelde het Hof de vraag of het verwijderen van een kind uit de zorg van een Italiaans echtpaar dat een draagmoederschapsovereenkomst met een Russische kliniek is aangegaan, in strijd is met artikel 8 EVRM, daarbij in ogenschouw genomen dat draagmoederschap in Italië illegaal is. In tegenstelling tot eerdere jurisprudentie, waarin het EHRM sterk de nadruk legde op de belangen van het individuele kind, hechtte het Hof meer gewicht aan de noodzaak om de openbare orde te bewaken en criminaliteit te voorkomen door een einde te maken aan de illegale situatie die door het Italiaanse echtpaar was gecreëerd door onder andere het omzeilen van nationale wetten. Het artikel stelt dat, gezien de verschuiving in de focus van het EHRM op het voorkomen van onwettig gedrag en dus op het belang van kinderen in het algemeen, de Duitse en Nederlandse rechtbanken, door met name te focussen op de individuele rechten en belangen van de kinderen, er niet in slagen om de verschillende belangen die op het spel staan ​​bij een particuliere internationale adoptie goed af te wegen.


dr. E.C. Loibl
Elvira Loibl is Assistant Professor Criminal Law and Criminology, Universiteit Maastricht.
Rechtsbescherming

Nieuwe richtlijn over bescherming klokkenluiders in de Europese Unie: inhoud en eerste analyse

Tijdschrift Nederlands tijdschrift voor Europees recht, Aflevering 5-6 2020
Trefwoorden klokkenluiders, rechtsbescherming, uitingsvrijheid, arbeidsrecht
Auteurs Mr. E.W. Jurjens
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In een nieuwe richtlijn is de bescherming van klokkenluiders in Europa, geïnspireerd door onder meer artikel 10 EVRM, gecodificeerd. De richtlijn biedt een bredere bescherming voor klokkenluiders dan momenteel naar Nederlands recht geldt, maar beperkt deze bescherming wel tot meldingen van klokkenluiders over inbreuken op specifieke delen van het Unierecht. De Nederlandse wetgever zal moeten bezien hoeveel gebruik er gaat worden gemaakt van de ruimte die de richtlijn biedt om verdergaande bescherming te realiseren, in het bijzonder door de bescherming uit te breiden tot meldingen van klokkenluiders over inbreuken op andere (rechts)gebieden.
    Richtlijn (EU) 2019/1937 van het Europees Parlement en de Raad van 23 oktober 2019 inzake de bescherming van personen die inbreuken op het Unierecht melden, PbEU 2019, L 305


Mr. E.W. Jurjens
Mr. E.W. (Emiel) Jurjens is advocaat bij Kennedy Van der Laan.
Artikel

Gelijkebehandelingswetgeving en identiteitsgebonden benoemingsbeleid van orthodox-protestantse scholen

Onzekerheid over consistentie en het enkele feit

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 2 2020
Trefwoorden Equal treatment / anti-discrimination, Orthodox-protestant schools, Religious norms, Semi-autonomous social fields, Uncertainty
Auteurs Mr. dr. Niels Rijke
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Within orthodox-protestant schools in The Netherlands there is growing diversity and uncertainty about internal religious, cultural and social norms. Though orthodox-protestant schools are among the strongest semi-autonomous social fields, where it is difficult for equal treatment law to pervade, this growing diversity and uncertainty about internal norms can make this pervasion possible. The uncertainty about the meaning of the exception clause in equal treatment legislation for the appointment policy of religious schools also affects this.
    Because of the uncertainty about the meaning of the exception clause the position of the school board was strengthened in comparison to the employee, even though the intention of the equal treatment law was the opposite. At a later stage the clarification of the anti-discrimination norm by changing the exception clause has strengthened the position of the employee. Though this is only possible when religious, cultural and social norms are changing. In that case orthodox-protestant schools, as semi-autonomous fields, are more open for the effects of this legal norm.
    Uncertainty about the meaning of the requirement of a consistent appointment policy has led both to tightening as well as relaxation of the policy. In the first place tightening or relaxation of policies depends on the development of religious, cultural and social norms within different school denominations. Thus, uncertainty about internal norms works both contrary as well as strengthening to uncertainty about equal treatment legislation.


Mr. dr. Niels Rijke
Niels Rijke was van 2015 tot 2019 als buitenpromovendus verbonden aan de Universiteit Utrecht en voerde hij onderzoek uit naar identiteitsgebonden benoemingsbeleid ten aanzien van personeel op orthodox-protestantse basis- en middelbare scholen in Nederland in relatie tot mensenrechten.

Anna Gerbrandy
Prof. mr. dr. A. Gerbrandy is hoogleraar Mededingingsrecht aan de Universiteit Utrecht, non-governmental advisor bij de ACM en Kroonlid bij de SER.

Wolf Sauter
Prof. mr. dr. drs. W. Sauter is verbonden aan de ACM en deels gedetacheerd bij de Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
Artikel

Access_open De gelegenheid te baat nemen?

Criminaliteit in tijden van corona en sociale onthouding

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 3 2020
Trefwoorden Corona, Crime, Lockdown, Opportunity theory, COVID-19
Auteurs Dr. Edwin Kruisbergen, Marco Haas MA, Drs. Joanieke Snijders e.a.
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    To control the COVID-19 outbreak Dutch government opted for a so-called intelligent lockdown. The virus as well as the lockdown caused significant personal and societal damage. It also created, however, a unique natural experiment. How did the forced stay in affect the crime levels? This article presents empirical data on crime trends during the lockdown. Initially, the general crime level decreased sharply. However, the general crime level quickly returned to pre-lockdown levels. Different types of crime displayed divergent trends, e.g. property crimes decreased sharply whereas online crime rates increased considerably. These trends fit rather well with an opportunity theoretical approach regarding crime.


Dr. Edwin Kruisbergen
Edwin Kruisbergen is onderzoeker Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek- en Documentatiecentrum (WODC) en Kenniscoördinator DG Politie en Veiligheidsregio’s, Ministerie van Justitie en Veiligheid. Als onderzoeker vooral actief op de terreinen georganiseerde criminaliteit en opsporing.

Marco Haas MA
Marco Haas is teamleider van het Informatie-analyseteam (IAT) van DG Politie en Veiligheidsregio’s (Ministerie van JenV) en de politie. Het IAT is een gecombineerd team van politie, JenV en het CBS dat op basis van data-analyse politiethema’s onderzoekt ten behoeve van beleids- en besluitvorming.

Drs. Joanieke Snijders
Joanieke Snijders is informatieanalist bij het Informatie-analyseteam (IAT) van DG Politie en Veiligheidsregio’s (Ministerie van JenV) en de politie. Projectcoördinator van de ontwikkeling van een datagedreven monitor die maatschappelijke ontwikkelingen volgt en de mogelijke invloed daarvan in kaart brengt.

Ron Maas MMO
Ron Maas is teamleider Informatie-analyseteam (IAT) en Hoofd Nationale Briefing, Politie.
Annotatie

One train! (but different working conditions)

CJEU 19 December 2019, C-16/18, ECLI:EU:C:2019:1110 (Michael Dobersberger v Magistrat der Stadt Wien)

Tijdschrift Arbeidsrechtelijke Annotaties, Aflevering 3 2020
Trefwoorden Posting of workers, International train, Transport sector, Subcontracting, Short-term posting
Auteurs Marco Rocca
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The Dobersberger decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union deals with the legal situation of posted workers on an international train. These workers, employed by a Hungarian company and based in Hungary, operate on a train connecting Budapest with Salzburg and Munich. The Court concludes against their inclusion under the Posting of Workers Directive, considering their connection to the Austrian territory as too limited. This decision is based on a selective representation of the facts and sits difficultly with the letter of the law and the intention of the legislator.


Marco Rocca
Dr. M. Rocca is werkzaam als CNRS Researcher aan de University of Strasbourg, UMR 7354 DRES, France, https://marcorocca.wordpress.com, mrocca@unistra.fr.


Claire Toumieux
Claire Toumieux and Susan Ekrami is partner at Allen & Overy LLP in Paris, www.allenovery.com.

Susan Ekrami
Susan Ekrami is a senior associate with Allen & Overy LLP in Paris, www.allenovery.com.
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.
Artikel

Whose narratives?

The Self as (also) an alien – for a complex concept of ‘Self’ in narrative criminology

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift over Cultuur & Criminaliteit, Aflevering 3 2020
Trefwoorden Self, narrative criminology
Auteurs Professor Alfredo Verde
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This paper, answering to a recent critique by Ben Laws to the concept of Self developed by narrative criminology, and recognizing its importance, shows that narrative criminology has formulated a complex dynamic definition of it, in addressing both the limit-experiences and the unconscious dimension. Such enlargement can be attained by adding to narrative criminology the contributions of psychosocial criminology, that considers also the emotional dimension of crime narratives and the enjoyment connected to crime: the offender Self, in this perspective, is a multiplex, not completely definable, sometimes alien entity, which can be exposed analysing in depth criminal narratives.


Professor Alfredo Verde
Professor Alfredo Verde is professor of Criminology, Department of Health Sciences (DISSAL), University of Genoa, Italy.
Artikel

Cultural criminology and narrative criminology’s shared interests

More than just criminological verstehen

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift over Cultuur & Criminaliteit, Aflevering 3 2020
Trefwoorden verstehen, cultural criminology, media looping, narrative criminology, storytelling
Auteurs Dr. Avi Brisman
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article explores the intersection of two criminological perspectives—cultural criminology and narrative criminology. Taking inspiration from Mills and Fleetwood’s article, ‘Prepping and verstehen: A narrative criminological perspective’, where the authors contend that stories complement the pursuit of criminological verstehen, this article draws attention to other ways in which cultural criminology and narrative criminology are imbricated, taking notice of commonalities in cultural criminology’s analysis of media looping and narrative criminology’s identification of cycles of storytelling practice and lived experiences. A consideration of Donald Trump’s attempts to control narrative is used to develop an argument regarding cultural criminology’s and narrative criminology’s joint questioning of linear sequencing and mutual recognition of circulating fluidity


Dr. Avi Brisman
Dr. Avi Brisman (MFA, JD, PhD) is professor in the School of Justice Studies at Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, KY, USA.
Article

Access_open Can Non-discrimination Law Change Hearts and Minds?

Tijdschrift Erasmus Law Review, Aflevering 3 2020
Trefwoorden law and society, social change, discrimination, non-discrimination law, positive action
Auteurs Anita Böcker
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    A question that has preoccupied sociolegal scholars for ages is whether law can change ‘hearts and minds’. This article explores whether non-discrimination law can create social change, and, more particularly, whether it can change attitudes and beliefs as well as external behaviour. The first part examines how sociolegal scholars have theorised about the possibility and desirability of using law as an instrument of social change. The second part discusses the findings of empirical research on the social working of various types of non-discrimination law. What conclusions can be drawn about the ability of non-discrimination law to create social change? What factors influence this ability? And can non-discrimination law change people’s hearts and minds as well as their behaviour? The research literature does not provide an unequivocal answer to the latter question. However, the overall picture emerging from the sociolegal literature is that law is generally more likely to bring about changes in external behaviour and that it can influence attitudes and beliefs only indirectly, by altering the situations in which attitudes and opinions are formed.


Anita Böcker
Anita Böcker is associate professor of Sociology of Law at 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.
Article

Access_open How Far Should the State Go to Counter Prejudice?

A Positive State Obligation to Counter Dehumanisation

Tijdschrift Erasmus Law Review, Aflevering 3 2020
Trefwoorden prejudice, soft paternalism, empathy, liberalism, employment discrimination, access to goods and services
Auteurs Ioanna Tourkochoriti
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article argues that it is legitimate for the state to practice soft paternalism towards changing hearts and minds in order to prevent behaviour that is discriminatory. Liberals accept that it is not legitimate for the state to intervene in order to change how people think because ideas and beliefs are wrong in themselves. It is legitimate for the state to intervene with the actions of a person only when there is a risk of harm to others and when there is a threat to social coexistence. Preventive action of the state is legitimate if we consider the immaterial and material harm that discrimination causes. It causes harm to the social standing of the person, psychological harm, economic and existential harm. All these harms threaten peaceful social coexistence. This article traces a theory of permissible government action. Research in the areas of behavioural psychology, neuroscience and social psychology indicates that it is possible to bring about a change in hearts and minds. Encouraging a person to adopt the perspective of the person who has experienced discrimination can lead to empathetic understanding. This, can lead a person to critically evaluate her prejudice. The paper argues that soft paternalism towards changing hearts and minds is legitimate in order to prevent harm to others. It attempts to legitimise state coercion in order to eliminate prejudice and broader social patterns of inequality and marginalisation. And it distinguishes between appropriate and non-appropriate avenues the state could pursue in order to eliminate prejudice. Policies towards eliminating prejudice should address the rational and the emotional faculties of a person. They should aim at using methods and techniques that focus on persuasion and reduce coercion. They should raise awareness of what prejudice is and how it works in order to facilitate well-informed voluntary decisions. The version of soft paternalism towards changing minds and attitudes defended in this article makes it consistent with liberalism.


Ioanna Tourkochoriti
Ioanna Tourkochoriti is Lecturer Above the Bar, NUI Galway School of Law.

    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.

Kristin Henrard
Kristin Henrard is Professor International Human Rights and Minorities, Erasmus School of Law, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
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