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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

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.
Artikel

“The production of law”: Law in action in the everyday and the juridical consequences of juridification

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 3 2016
Trefwoorden juridification, production of space, law in action, local bye-laws
Auteurs dr. mr. Danielle Chevalier
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In an increasingly diversifying society, public space is the quintessential social realm1x Lofland 1998. where members of that diverse society meet each other. Thus space is shared, whilst norms regarding that space are not always shared. Of rivalling norms, some are codified into formal law, in a process Habermas called juridification. Early Habermas regarded juridification a negative process, ‘colonizing the lifeworld’. Later Habermas argued juridification a viable pillar for conviviality in diversity. The shift in Habermas’ perspective invites the question how law works in action. In this article a frame is offered to scrutinize the working of law in action in public space, by applying the conceptual triad of spatial thinker Lefebvre to understand how law is “produced”. It argues that how law is perceived in action is pivotal to understanding how law works in action. Moreover, it discusses the possible ramifications of the perception of law in action for how the legal system as a whole is perceived.

Noten

  • 1 Lofland 1998.


dr. mr. Danielle Chevalier
Danielle Chevalier is a lecturer and research fellow at the University of Amsterdam, affiliated to both the Bonger Institute for Criminology and the Amsterdam School for Social Science Research. Her academic works focuses on the intersection of the legal and the spatial, positioned within the frames of urban sociology, criminology and legal sociology. More specifically she researches legal interventions in the urban realm through qualitative methods, and publishes both on law in action and research methods. Her current project centers on the development of the concept 'emotional ownership of public space'.
Artikel

Autonomy of law in Indonesia

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 3 2016
Trefwoorden Rule of law, Indonesia, Socio-legal studies, Legal scholarhip, Judiciary
Auteurs Professor Adriaan Bedner
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article seeks to answer how useful the theoretical approaches developed in Europe and the United States are for explaining or understanding the autonomy of law in Indonesia – a nation that is on the verge of becoming a lower-middle-income country and whose legal system presents many of the features found in other developing countries’ legal systems. The article first sketches three lines of theoretical thought that have dominated the inquiry into autonomy of law in (Western) sociology and then assesses to what extent they are represented in the socio-legal studies of Indonesian law. The conclusion is that although socio-legal scholars studying developing countries need supplementary concepts and theories, they can use the Western ones as their point of departure in understanding the functioning of law in a setting that is very different from the one in which these theories were developed.


Professor Adriaan Bedner
Adriaan Bedner is professor of law and society in Indonesia at the Van Vollenhoven Institute (Leiden Law School). He has worked on many different subjects within this field, including family law, administrative courts, and environmental law. His present focus is on the Indonesian Ombudsman and on legal education.
Artikel

Social theory and the significance of free will in our system of criminal justice

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 3 2016
Trefwoorden free will, determinism, communicative action, legitimacy, social theory
Auteurs Dr. Rob Schwitters
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Free will is a key assumption of our system of criminal justice. However, the assumption of a free will is questioned by the rapidly growing empirical findings of the neuro and the brain sciences. These indicate that human behavior is driven by subconscious forces beyond the free will. In this text I aim to indicate how social theory might contribute to this debate. This text is an attempt to demonstrate that social theory does not automatically side with the deterministic attacks on free will. The denial of the free will is to a great extent based on a flawed interpretation of free will, in which it is seen as a capacity of separate individuals. I will suggest that it is the sociological realization that free will is embedded in intersubjective relations that helps to clarify which value is at stake when we deny free will. Free will presumes social practices and social relations that facilitate moral and political discourse. As long as we see human actors as capable to evaluate these practices and contexts in moral and political terms, we cannot deny them a free will. My argumentation will build on the theories of Peter Strawson, Anthony Giddens and Jürgen Habermas.


Dr. Rob Schwitters
Rob Schwitters is Associate Professor of Sociology of Law and connected to the Paul Scholten Centre at the University of Amsterdam. He publishes on tort law, responsibility and liability, the welfare state and compliance.
Artikel

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

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 3 2015
Trefwoorden definition and dimensions access to justice, recommendations, historic context access to justice, current context access to justice
Auteurs Bernard Hubeau
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

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


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

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

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 3 2015
Trefwoorden social security, legal representation, means-testing, Britain, fees
Auteurs Amir Paz-Fuchs
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

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


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

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

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 3 2015
Trefwoorden access to justice, asylum seekers, merits testing, English legal aid system
Auteurs Tamara Butter
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

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


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

The food label as governance space: free-range eggs and the fallacy of consumer choice

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 3 2014
Trefwoorden food label, free-range eggs, animal welfare, regulatory governance
Auteurs Christine Parker
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In a neoliberal age governments, NGOs, food producers and retailers all state that the food system can be governed via consumer choice aka voting with your fork. This makes the retail food label an important space for contests between different actors who each seek to govern the food system according to their own interests and priorities. The paper argues that this makes it crucial to ‘backwards map’ the regulatory governance networks behind the governance claims staked on food labels. The paper uses the example of the contested meaning of ‘free-range’ claims on animal products in Australia to propose and illustrate a methodology for this backwards mapping.


Christine Parker
Christine Parker is a Professor of Law at Monash University, Melbourne Australia. She conducts socio-legal research on business regulation enforcement and compliance and lawyer ethics. Her books include The Open Corporation (2002), Explaining Compliance (edited with Vibeke Nielsen, 2011), and Inside Lawyers Ethics (with Adrian Evans, 2014).
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