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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

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

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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