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Artikel

De civiele rechter als problem solver

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 2 2017
Trefwoorden legal profession, conflict resolution, procedural justice
Auteurs Dr. Wibo van Rossum en Prof. Rick Verschoof
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    We investigate a recent development in the practice of the civil courts: judges increasingly devote attention to the underlying conflict of parties instead of only to their legal dispute. In administrative law, this development has already been codified and termed ‘de Nieuwe zaaksbehandeling’, but not so in other areas of law.
    Lawyers know that social conflicts are transformed into legally viable disputes so that the court can decide on them. For a long time, the most important task for lawyers was to resolve those legal disputes. Nowadays, that does not seem to be enough: judges should become problem solvers. Civil judges seem to blend in with these new requirements, but the question is whether the new approach really works. Based on our empirical material of 100 observed cases in civil law, we answer the following questions. 1. What do judges actually do in civil cases when they address underlying conflicts and try to steer parties toward a settlement? 2. What effects do these interventions of judges have on the outcome of cases? 3. How are these interventions perceived by the parties in terms of procedural justice?


Dr. Wibo van Rossum
Wibo van Rossum is Universitair Hoofddocent aan het departement Sociology, Theory & Methodology van de Erasmus School of Law te Rotterdam.

Prof. Rick Verschoof
Rick Verschoof is senior-rechter bij de Rechtbank Midden-Nederland en bijzonder hoogleraar rechtspraak aan de Universiteit Utrecht.
Artikel

Waarom schakelen burgers (geen) rechtshulp in?

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 1 2017
Trefwoorden Legal advice / assistance, Acces to justice, Income level, Judicial autonomy, Cost-benefit analysis
Auteurs Dr. Marijke ter Voert en Dr. Carolien Klein Haarhuis
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article serves to gain insight in the use and non-use of various types of legal advice, particularly in relation to income levels and legal costs. Based on (logistic regression) analyses involving survey data on 1,928 Dutch citizens who experienced a non-trivial problem in the period May 2009 to May 2014, main findings are as follows: (1) 37% of citizens facing a (potential) legal problem contacted various types of legal advisers once or repeatedly. (2) In the explanation of use/non-use of advocates, problem characteristics turned out to matter significantly, in contrast with the level of household income. Entitlements to subsidized legal aid (lower income groups) as well as legal expenses insurance have made income a factor of less importance. (3) Looking at the degree in which citizens reported (high) costs being a reason for not using legal advice, again no significant differences were found between income groups. Especially advocates were deemed too expensive, regardless of household income; a reason for non-use in half of the cases in which advocates had been considered.


Dr. Marijke ter Voert
Marijke ter Voert is werkzaam als (senior-)onderzoeker bij het Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek- en Documentatiecentrum (WODC), ministerie van Veiligheid en Justitie. Zij is betrokken geweest bij inmiddels drie edities van het Geschilbeslechtingsdelta-onderzoek naar (potentieel) juridische problemen van burgers en de wegen die zij bewandelen om die op te lossen.

Dr. Carolien Klein Haarhuis
Carolien Klein Haarhuis is werkzaam als (senior-)onderzoeker bij het Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek- en Documentatiecentrum (WODC), ministerie van Veiligheid en Justitie. Zij is betrokken geweest bij inmiddels drie edities van het Geschilbeslechtingsdelta-onderzoek naar (potentieel) juridische problemen van burgers en de wegen die zij bewandelen om die op te lossen.
Artikel

Huurachterstand, huisuitzetting en rechterlijke besluitvorming

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 2 2016
Trefwoorden Eviction, rent arrears, home interests, systematic content analysis
Auteurs Michel Vols en Nathalie Minkjan
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Recent developments in the field of housing law have led to a renewed interest in eviction and the legal protection against homelessness. Because of European case law, courts need to apply a contextual approach in which tenants’ home interests and personal circumstances are taken into account more seriously. This paper explores the ways in which home interests and personal circumstances play a role in Dutch litigation concerning eviction because of rent arrears. Based on a quantitative systematic content analysis of nearly 100 written judgments of courts of first instance, it is found that tenants frequently advance various types of proportionality defences and refer to home interests and personal circumstances. Although Dutch courts do take these defences, home interests and personal circumstances into account, the vast majority of landlords’ claims are allowed. In one third of the analysed cases, the court dismisses the landlord’s claim and most of the time minimises the breach of the lease or refers to the disproportional effects of eviction or a tenant’s promise to change his behaviour.


Michel Vols
Michel Vols is adjunct hoogleraar Openbare-orderecht aan de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen en verbonden aan het Centrum voor Openbare Orde en Veiligheid. Hij doet onder meer onderzoek naar de bescherming van het recht op respect voor de woning en de aanpak van huisjesmelkerij en overlast. Hij is coördinator van de Housing Law Working Group binnen het European Network for Housing Research.

Nathalie Minkjan
Nathalie Minkjan is student aan de Togamaster en het Honours College aan de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen. Zij was tussen 2015 en 2016 als onderzoeksassistent verbonden aan het Centrum voor Openbare Orde en Veiligheid.
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.
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