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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

‘Ik ben slecht in het legen van mijn brievenbus en heb een telefoonfobie’

Het belang van een match in het soort contact tussen uitkeringsgerechtigden en uitkeringsinstanties

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 1 2017
Trefwoorden Satisfaction, Digital contact, Matching, Public Assistance
Auteurs Dr. Willem Bantema
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In recent years, contacts between citizens and the government have increasingly become digital. Most people believe that the development toward more digital and thus more impersonal contact could be negative in terms of procedural justice and policy effectiveness. Higher educated and younger citizens embrace contact through the internet more than lower educated and older citizens. This study questions the call for more personal contact. Based on a panel survey, two different kinds of recipients of public assistance are compared: recipients of municipal social services (N=596) and recipients of unemployment benefits (N=709). Because of the social-demographic characteristics mentioned earlier, the recipients of the former are expected to be more negative about digital contact than the latter. This study identifies how these types of recipients of public assistance prefer to have contact with their municipality or agency, and how that works in practice. It shows that neither personal contact preferences, nor the way contact works in practice are decisive for satisfaction with the contact, but the way those two elements are matched. A match of impersonal contact leads to similar satisfaction as a match of personal contact.


Dr. Willem Bantema
Dr. Willem Bantema is senior onderzoeker binnen de interdisciplinaire onderzoeksgroep ‘Handhaving van onderop’ aan de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen en is werkzaam als docent-onderzoeker aan het lectoraat Cybersafety aan de Noorderlijke Hoge School Leeuwarden (NHL). Hij is gespecialiseerd in kwantitatieve en kwalitatieve onderzoeksmethoden en geïnteresseerd in de wijze waarop mensen in hun dagelijks leven met wetgeving omgaan.
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

The precaution controversy: an analysis through the lens of Ulrich Beck and Michel Foucault

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 3 2016
Trefwoorden Precautionary principle, risk society, governmentality, risk governance, environmental law
Auteurs Tobias Arnoldussen
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    According to the precautionary principle lack of scientific evidence for the existence of a certain (environmental) risk should not be a reason not to take preventative policy measures. The precautionary principle had a stormy career in International environmental law and made its mark on many treaties, including the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). However it remains controversial. Proponents see it as the necessary legal curb to keep the dangerous tendencies of industrial production and technology in check. Opponents regard it with suspicion. They fear it will lead to a decrease in freedom and fear the powers to intervene that it grants the state. In this article the principle is reviewed from the perspectives of Ulrich Beck’s ‘reflexive modernisation’ and Michel Foucault’s notion of governmentality. It is argued that from Beck’s perspective the precautionary principle is the result of a learning process in which mankind gradually comes to adopt a reflexive attitude to the risks modernity has given rise to. It represents the wish to devise more inclusive and democratic policies on risks and environmental hazards. From the perspective of Michel Foucault however, the principle is part and parcel of neo-liberal tendencies of responsibilisation. Risk management and prudency are devolved to the public in an attempt to minimise risk taking, while at the same time optimising production. Moreover, it grants legitimacy to state intervention if the public does not live up to the responsibilities foisted on it. Both perspectives are at odds, but represent different sides of the same coin and might learn from each other concerns.


Tobias Arnoldussen
Tobias Arnoldussen is a socio-legal scholar affiliated with the University of Amsterdam Law School and the PPLE honours college. Next to lecturing on a variety of subjects, he focusses on interdisciplinary legal research into the possibilities of law to deal with contemporary social problems.
Artikel

Framing labor contracts: Contract versus network theories

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 3 2016
Trefwoorden contract theory, Network theory, Labor regulation, subjectivity, performativity
Auteurs Robert Knegt
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Since the 18th century the ‘contractual model’ has become both a paradigm of social theories (f.i. ‘rational choice’) and a dominant model of structuring labour relations. Its presupposition of the subjectivity of individual actors as a given is criticized with reference to network-based theories (Latour, Callon) and to analyses of Foucault. The current contract model of labour relations is analyzed from a historical perspective on normative regimes of labour relations, that imply different conceptions of ‘subjectivity’. Research into the regulation of labour relations requires an analysis in terms of an entanglement of human beings, technologies and legal discourse.


Robert Knegt
Senior researcher at Hugo Sinzheimer Institute, University of Amsterdam
Artikel

Opinio juris as epistème: A constructivist approach to the use of contested concepts in legal doctrine

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 3 2016
Trefwoorden Opinio juris, Interpretive concepts, Customary law, Constructivism, Pierre Bourdieu, Peter Berger & Thomas Luckmann
Auteurs Associate Professor Olaf Tans
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Seeing that the role of opinio juris in the identification of customary international law is essentially contested, this contribution seeks to explain how this concept plays a fruitful role in legal doctrine despite of, or perhaps even due to, this essential contestedness. To that effect the paper adopts a constructivist perspective, primarily drawing from Bourdieu’s theory of practice and Berger & Luckmann’s ideas about institutionalization. In this perspective, contested concepts such as opinio juris are conceived of as multifaceted tools of knowledge production in the hands of members of epistemic communities.


Associate Professor Olaf Tans
Olaf Tans works as legal philosopher and political scientist at Amsterdam University College and the Centre for the Politics of Transnational Law. His contribution to this special issue is part of a research line focusing on the social construction of normativity in legal doctrine. He has also published about constitutionalism, citizenship, democracy, and most recently (e.g. in Ratio Juris and Law & Literature) about the use of foundational narratives in public deliberation and law-finding.
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

The preliminary reference procedure: challenge or opportunity?

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 3 2015
Trefwoorden preliminary reference procedure, empowerment, EU law, Court of Justice EU
Auteurs Jos Hoevenaars
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This contribution approaches the theme of access to justice from an EU law perspective and deals with the question: to what extent can the preliminary reference procedure serve as an empowering tool for individuals and civil society? The first part of the contribution deals with the structure of the EU legal system and the theoretically empowering function of preliminary references. Based on interviews with litigants and their counsellors, the second part deals with this notion from a sociological and empirical perspective. The analysis reveals the practical obstacles to realizing ones rights by preliminary references, and thus nuances the empowerment thesis found both among legal- and political sciences theories as well as in the legitimating rhetoric by propagators of the EU legal system.


Jos Hoevenaars
Jos Hoevenaars holds a Master’s degree in Sociology from the Erasmus University in Rotterdam and is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the Institute for Sociology of Law/Centre for Migration Law of the Radboud University of Nijmegen. In his research, he studies individual litigation in the European legal system, with a specific focus on the preliminary reference procedure.
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

The government’s roles in transnational forest governance

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 3 2014
Trefwoorden transnational governance, forest certification, legality verification, emerging economies, public-private interaction
Auteurs Liu Jing
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Forest certification schemes and the legality regime are two main methods of transnational forest governance. A recent review of the literature has revealed that the government and forest certification are often intertwined. Based on that review, this contribution argues that governments play divergent roles in forest certification schemes in different aspects of the regulatory process: namely, agenda and standard setting, implementation, monitoring, and enforcement. In most FSC schemes, governments in developed countries play a less active role in most of these aspects than they do in context-based industry-dominated schemes. In the three emerging economies examined – Indonesia, Brazil, and China – the government sometimes plays a more active role in context-based, industry-dominated schemes than it does in developed countries. The rising legality regime might further strengthen the role of the government in forest governance in these emerging economies. Moreover, China may exemplify the fact that forest governance is entering a new phase, because the country not only exports to countries demanding legal verification, but also imports from countries where the risk of illegal logging is high. This illustrates that the role of governments in forest governance is constantly evolving.


Liu Jing
Liu Jing is a postdoctoral researcher in Erasmus University Rotterdam (the Netherlands). She is conducting research on ‘smart mixes in relation to transboundary environmental problems’, especially in the areas of forest, fishery, oil and climate change governance. Her research interests cover regulation and governance, environmental law as well as law and economics.
Artikel

Regulatory governance by contract: the rise of regulatory standards in commercial contracts

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 3 2014
Trefwoorden contracts, transnational regulation, codes of conduct, private standards, supply chain
Auteurs Paul Verbruggen
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In this paper a literature review is used to explore the role that commercial contracts concluded between private actors play as instruments of regulatory governance. While such contracts are traditionally seen as a means to facilitate exchange between market participants, it is argued in the literature that commercial contracts are becoming increasingly important vehicles for the implementation and enforcement of safety, social and sustainability standards in transnational supply chains. The paper maps the pervasiveness of this development, its drivers, and the governance challenges that arise from it. While doing so, the paper more generally explores the relationship between regulation and contract law.


Paul Verbruggen
Paul Verbruggen is Assistant Professor of Private Law at the Business and Law Research Centre of Radboud University, Nijmegen, the Netherlands. He conducted his PhD research at the European University Institute, Florence, Italy, which resulted in the monograph Enforcing Transnational Private Regulation: A Comparative Analysis of Advertising and Food Safety (Edward Elgar, 2014). Paul writes on the design and operation of regulatory frameworks (both public and private), focusing on questions of legitimacy, accountability and enforcement. His research interests concern European private law, regulatory policy, risk regulation and certification.
Artikel

What role is there for the state in contemporary governance?

Insights from the Dutch building sector

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 3 2014
Trefwoorden governance, collaborative governance, governance performance, urban sustainability, fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA)
Auteurs Jeroen van der Heijden
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    An emerging body of empirical governance studies highlights that the role of the state in governance has been changing. It has moved away from governing societal problems solely through traditional direct regulatory interventions. State actors are now (also) taking up facilitative and enabling roles in innovative voluntary governance arrangements. This article seeks to gain a better understanding of these facilitating and enabling roles of state actors in real world practice and what (clusters of) roles are needed to obtain successful outcomes from these arrangements. It builds on an empirical study of ten different arrangements in the Dutch sustainable building sector, which are analysed using fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) methodology. It finds no evidence that any of the specific (clusters of) role(s) is necessary to achieve positive outcomes from the arrangements studied, but uncovers that when combined, such roles affect the outcomes of arrangements. It concludes by presenting an evidence-based typology of combinations of roles that state actors may wish to take up in seeking positive outcomes from innovative voluntary governance arrangements, or preventing negative outcomes.


Jeroen van der Heijden
Jeroen van der Heijden is a senior research fellow at the Australian National University and an assistant professor at the University of Amsterdam. His main research interest is governance for urban sustainability and resilience. He has recently brought together his research on this topic, conducted over nearly the last ten years, in his book Governance for Urban Sustainability and Resilience: Responding to Climate Change and the Relevance of the Built Environment (Edward Elgar Publishers, 2014).
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).
Artikel

The need for an integrated comparison of the effectiveness of international sustainable forestry, coffee and cocoa initiatives

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 3 2014
Trefwoorden effectiveness, private sustainability standards, certification, FSC, UTZ Certified
Auteurs Martijn Scheltema
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    To date the effectiveness of private sustainability standards has been assessed from different angles which attribute different meanings to effectiveness. This contribution compares the effectiveness of two international certification initiatives (i.e. sustainable forestry (Forest Stewardship Council, FSC) and sustainable coffee and cacoa (UTZ Certified)) from three different angles (legal, impact, acceptance/legitimacy/governance). Based on publicly available data, it is shown that FSC scores better on some dimensions of these three angles (e.g. enforcement, cost and price premium, and government acceptance), while UTZ Certified scores better on others (e.g. verifiable evaluation criteria, regular evaluation, innovation). Hence, this analysis shows that a comparative evaluation of both initiatives would have been biased if it would have been based on a single angle approach. There is all the more reason to use such an integrated approach, since the different angles are intertwined. Therefore, it has been established that in order to establish the effectiveness of private certification initiatives an integrated approach is needed which combines different angles. This contribution shows such an approach is feasible.


Martijn Scheltema
Martijn Scheltema is professor at Erasmus University Rotterdam (the Netherlands). He researches the effectiveness of international private regulation in the CSR arena. He is board member of ACCESS Facility (www.accessfacility.org.) Beside this, he is board member of the CSR committee of the International Bar Association and attorney at law/partner with Pels Rijcken & Droogleever Fortuijn (The Hague, the Netherlands).
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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