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Artikel

Dispute settlement among the Nigerian Igbo in Antwerp

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 1 2021
Trefwoorden Legal pluralism, Dispute settlement, Igbo, Antwerp
Auteurs Filip Reyntjens
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This is a case study in ‘new legal pluralism’ which is interested in the operation of plural legal orders in countries of the global North. It considers the way in which the Nigerian Igbo living in Antwerp, Belgium settle their disputes. It first presents the Antwerp Igbo’s organisation in a Union possessing a constitution with precise legal stipulations. It then finds that the Igbo take the law with them from their home region into a diasporic community. Next it looks into the concrete organisation of dispute settlement and presents five cases as exemplars. It then discusses the advantages and drawbacks of applying Igbo law and justice, the issue of women’s rights, and the plurality and flexibility of the system. The conclusion underscores the fact that legal pluralism is a universal empirical reality.


Filip Reyntjens
Filip Reyntjens is Emeritus hoogleraar bij het Instituut voor Ontwikkelingsbeleid aan de Universiteit Antwerpen.
Artikel

Manoeuvreren binnen smalle marges

Over de rol van wetgevingsjuristen bij de totstandkoming van wet- en regelgeving

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 3 2019
Trefwoorden Legislation, Legislative drafting, Professionalism, Legal Ethics, Sociology of Law
Auteurs Dr. Nienke Doornbos en Mr. dr. Arnt Mein
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In the past five years, the Council of State, the National Ombudsman and several academics have criticized the way in which new legislation has been made. In their view, principles of law and the rule of law are insufficiently uphold due to an instrumentalist view on law. This criticism urged the authors to conduct an empirical study into the question how legislative drafters deal with legislative plans which are problematic from a legal or rule of law point of view, and how they justify their role in the legislative process. This study is explorative and qualitative in nature. During the summer of 2018, 24 legislative lawyers from five different Dutch ministries have been interviewed. The results show that the role of legislative lawyers can best be characterized as constructively critical. As their tasks encompass much more than solely the actual drafting of legislation, they more and more resemble their colleagues from the policy department. The authors suggest that legislative lawyers should articulate their distinctive professional ethics in order to strengthen the checks and balances within the ministries.


Dr. Nienke Doornbos
Nienke Doornbos is universitair docent aan de Faculteit Rechtsgeleerdheid van de Universiteit van Amsterdam. Haar onderzoek richt zich onder meer op beroepsethische kwesties bij juridische beroepen.

Mr. dr. Arnt Mein
Arnt Mein is lector Legal Management aan de Hogeschool van Amsterdam, faculteit Maatschappij en Recht. Hij doet onderzoek naar onder meer de beroepshouding van juristen.
Artikel

De beslispraktijk van het Schadefonds Geweldsmisdrijven: een kwalitatieve studie naar de beoordeling van verzoeken tot tegemoetkoming

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 1 2019
Trefwoorden slachtoffers, geweldscriminaliteit, schade, tegemoetkoming, beslispraktijk
Auteurs Mara Huibers MSc., Prof. dr. mr. Maarten Kunst en Dr. mr. Sigrid van Wingerden
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Victims who suffer severe damages due to the act of a violent crime can request state compensation from the Dutch Violent Offences Compensation Fund (VOCF). VOCF workers who decide on these requests use their discretionary powers to translate the VOCF’s rules and policy into concrete actions. This study investigated (1) to what extent these VOCF workers match Lipsky’s definition of street-level bureaucrats and (2) what routines and heuristics they use to deal with time and information constraints. On the basis of document analysis and interviews, we found that the decision makers of the VOCF can to a certain extent be seen as street-level bureaucrats. To make decisions timely, some of them use routines such as the ‘downstream orientation’. This means that they award requests for compensation if they think that the applicant would be able to successfully contest a rejecting decision. To deal with a lack of information, they sometimes include a review clause in the text of a rejection decision. The use of heuristics was not found among the lawyers who decide in first instance, but in case of appeal hearings heuristics such as the affect and representativeness heuristic seem to play a role in the decision-making process. Future research should investigate whether these routines and heuristics lead to disparities in outcomes.


Mara Huibers MSc.
Mara Huibers is docent Criminologie aan de Universiteit Leiden.

Prof. dr. mr. Maarten Kunst
Maarten Kunst is hoogleraar criminologie aan Universiteit Leiden.

Dr. mr. Sigrid van Wingerden
Sigrid van Wingerden is universitair hoofddocent criminologie aan Universiteit Leiden.
Artikel

Het werk van Wibo van Rossum – een bloemlezing

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 1 2019
Trefwoorden Wibo van Rossum, Legal anthropology, Administration of Justice, Empirical research, The Netherlands
Auteurs Dr. mr. Marc Simon Thomas en Prof. mr. Rick Verschoof
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article is about the work of Wibo van Rossum who passed away in April 2018. Trained as a legal anthropologist he has conducted empirical research on the administration of justice in the Netherlands for many years. This anthology is about four research reports he produced and many articles he has written in two decades. This article provides an academic as well as a practical review of his work.


Dr. mr. Marc Simon Thomas
Marc Simon Thomas is universitair docent aan de Universiteit Utrecht.

Prof. mr. Rick Verschoof
Rick Verschoof is senior rechter en bijzonder hoogleraar rechtspraak aan de Universiteit Utrecht.
Artikel

Responsibilities of the state and legal professions

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 3 2015
Trefwoorden responsibilities, the state, lawyers, the judiciary and judges
Auteurs Mies Westerveld en Ashley Terlouw
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

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


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

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

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

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 3 2015
Trefwoorden tenants’ rights, adequate housing, discrimination, effectiveness of law
Auteurs Nico Moons
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

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


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

Opting-in in de relaxbranche, een legitieme oplossing?

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 1 2015
Trefwoorden prostitution, lifting of the ban on brothels, opting-in, labour rights, deliberative governance, legitimacy
Auteurs Elise Ketelaars
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In 2000 the Netherlands has lifted the ban on brothels. By legalizing sex work the Dutch government aimed to increase the opportunities to regulate this sector and to improve the social position of sex workers. This article examines to what extent the application of a particular fiscal regulation known as ‘opting-in’ to certain branches of the Dutch prostitution industry is legitimate from a socio legal perspective. It takes into account both the efficacy of the regulation with an eye on achieving the goals which were formulated in 2000 and the experiences of sex workers with this fiscal construction. Aubert’s theory regarding the influence of social factors on the observance of regulations is used to explain the discrepancy between the high degree of acceptance of the regulation amongst sex workers and the limited effectiveness with regard to the improvement of their labour rights.


Elise Ketelaars
Elise Ketelaars is een masterstudent Legal Research aan de Universiteit Utrecht. Haar onderzoek richt zich op mensenrechten en gender.
Artikel

Scripts, de voertuigen van kennis

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 2 2014
Trefwoorden knowledge of law, scripts, medical treatment at the end of life, findings of empirical research
Auteurs Heleen Weyers en Donald van Tol
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article presents the results of a study into the knowledge of doctors regarding three kinds medical treatment regulation at the end of life, the so-called KOPPEL study. One of the findings of this study is that most doctors know the law that regulates ending life at request (euthanasia) and guideline for palliative sedation quite well. However, hardly any of them know Book 7, Section 450.3 of the Dutch Civil Code, the section that regulates written treatment refusals. Apart from the description of the findings, we elaborate on three reasons that Aubert distinguishes for knowledge of the law: the period the regulation exists, the congruence between habits and norms of the law, and experience with the law. We conclude that Aubert’s factors do indeed explain the differences in knowledge of the doctors. In the discussion we come to the conclusion that sociology of law should not only pay attention to ‘what knowledge of the law is’ (Griffiths, Van Tol) and ‘which factors influence this knowledge’ (Aubert) but also to ‘how knowledge of law can be ascertained’. In our opinion the idea of scripts, as introduced by Schank and Abelson, can be of great help in this respect.


Heleen Weyers
Heleen Weyers is universitair docent bij de Vakgroep Rechtstheorie aan de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen. Zij geeft onderwijs in rechtssociologie, politieke theorie en wetsevaluatie. In haar onderzoek richt zij zich op de totstandkoming van recht, de sociale werking van recht en de relatie tussen beide. Qua onderwerpen gaat het daarbij onder andere om de regulering van het medisch handelen aan het einde van het leven en het rookverbod in de horeca.

Donald van Tol
Donald van Tol is werkzaam als docent bij de Afdeling Huisartsgeneeskunde, UMC Groningen en bij de afdeling Sociologie van de faculteit Gedrags- en Maatschappij Wetenschappen aan de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen. Hij verzorgd onderwijs in medische ethiek, medische sociologie, arts-patiënt communicatie en medische professionaliteit. In onderzoek en publicaties gaat zijn aandacht uit naar (de regulering van) medisch handelen rond het levenseinde en naar vraagstukken rondom medicalisering. Van Tol is tevens ethicus-lid van een van de vijf Regionale Toetsingscommissies Euthanasie in Nederland.
Artikel

Overvragende wetgever zet gezagsuitoefening van rechter onder druk

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 1 2014
Trefwoorden judiciary, legislature, legitimacy, overburdening
Auteurs Meike Bokhorst
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    During the recent Senate debate about the constitutional state some senators expressed a concern about the tensions between the legislature and judiciary. The problems of overburdening, underfunding and instrumentalisation of the judiciary have a long history. The legislature has a tendency to overburden himself and the other powers of state, like the judiciary, notwithstanding the official policy to be reserved with regard to the responsibilities of government. The judiciary must adapt itself to an ever more prominent role in the constitutional state. The judiciary also has to generate its own legitimacy and cannot consider this to be a function of the legitimacy basis of the democratic legislator. The legislator for his part has all kinds of democratic wishes and expectations on how the judiciary can increase its own legitimacy basis by dealing quicker with more cases. In this context, the minister strongly adheres to the maxim that justice delayed is justice denied. The working methods of the judiciary have shown small and gradual steps in the direction of a more responsive and communicative procedure. However, the judiciary is not able to transform all its ideas into concrete initiatives and to transform successful initiatives into settled practices.


Meike Bokhorst
Meike Bokhorst is wetenschappelijk medewerker bij de Wetenschappelijke Raad voor het Regeringsbeleid in Den Haag. Onlangs promoveerde zij in Tilburg op het proefschrift ‘Bronnen van legitimiteit. Over de zoektocht van de wetgever naar zeggenschap en gezag.’ Hiervoor werkte ze als onderzoeker bij de Algemene Rekenkamer en als beleidsmedewerker bij het Ministerie van Justitie. Ze studeerde filosofie met journalistiek aan de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen en politicologie aan de Universiteit Leiden.
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