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Article

Access_open Legal Constraints on the Indeterminate Control of ‘Dangerous’ Sex Offenders in the Community: The French Perspective

Tijdschrift Erasmus Law Review, Aflevering 2 2016
Trefwoorden Preventive detention, mandatory supervision, sex offenders, retrospective penal laws, legality principle
Auteurs Martine Herzog-Evans
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    France literally ‘discovered’ sexual abuse following neighbour Belgium’s Dutroux case in the late 1990s. Since then, sex offenders have been the focus of politicians, media and law-makers’ attention. Further law reforms have aimed at imposing mandatory supervision and treatment, and in rare cases, preventive detention. The legal framework for mandatory supervision and detention is rather complex, ranging from a mixed sentence (custodial and mandatory supervision and treatment upon release or as a stand-alone sentence) to so-called ‘safety measures’, which supposedly do not aim at punishing an offence, but at protecting society. The difference between the concepts of sentences and safety measures is nevertheless rather blurry. In practice, however, courts have used safety measures quite sparingly and have preferred mandatory supervision as attached to a sentence, notably because it is compatible with cardinal legal principles. Procedural constraints have also contributed to this limited use. Moreover, the type of supervision and treatment that can thus be imposed is virtually identical to that of ordinary probation. It is, however, noteworthy that a higher number of offenders with mental health issues who are deemed ‘dangerous’ are placed in special psychiatric units, something that has not drawn much attention on the part of human rights lawyers.


Martine Herzog-Evans
Martine H-Evans, PhD, is a Professor at the Department of Law, Universite de Reims Champagne-Ardenne.
Artikel

Criminaliteit relateren aan verblijfspopulaties

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift voor Criminologie, Aflevering 4 2016
Trefwoorden crime rate, ambient population, residential population, commuters, tourists
Auteurs Prof. dr. Wim Bernasco en Dr. Chantal van den Berg
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Crime victimization risk is usually calculated by dividing the number of crimes by the size of the local population. This procedure does not account for the mobility of the residents. We develop and apply an alternative procedure that divides the number of crimes by the number of people actually present: the ambient population. The ambient population includes commuters, tourists and other visitors. The regular and the alternative crime rate measures of the four largest cities in the Netherlands are compared using data of the ‘AD Misdaadmeter’. We find that ambient populations are larger than residential populations, in particular in Amsterdam. The differences are small however, and the increased effort of calculating ambient populations does not compensate the increased precision in crime measures. For comparisons between annual crimes rates of cities or municipalities, it is sufficient to divide numbers of crimes by populations.


Prof. dr. Wim Bernasco
Prof. dr. W. Bernasco is bijzonder hoogleraar ‘Ruimtelijke analyse van criminaliteit’ bij de afdeling Ruimtelijke Economie van de Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam en senior onderzoeker bij het Nederlands Studiecentrum Criminaliteit en Rechtshandhaving (NSCR).

Dr. Chantal van den Berg
Dr. C.J.W. van den Berg is onderzoeker bij het Nederlands Studiecentrum Criminaliteit en Rechtshandhaving (NSCR).
Article

Access_open A Theoretical Framework to Study Variations in Workplace Violence Experienced by Emergency Responders

Integrating Opportunity and Vulnerability Perspectives

Tijdschrift Erasmus Law Review, Aflevering 3 2016
Trefwoorden Workplace aggression, workplace violence, emergency responders, blaming the victim, victimology
Auteurs Lisa van Reemst
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Emergency responders are often sent to the front line and are often confronted with aggression and violence in interaction with citizens. According to previous studies, some professionals experience more workplace violence than others. In this article, the theoretical framework to study variations in workplace violence against emergency responders is described. According to criminal opportunity theories, which integrate the routine activity theory and lifestyle/exposure theory, victimisation is largely dependent on the lifestyle and routine activities of persons. Situational characteristics that could be related to workplace violence are organisational or task characteristics, such as having more contact with citizens or working at night. However, they do not provide insight in all aspects of influence, and their usefulness to reduce victimisation is limited. Therefore, it is important to consider the role of personal characteristics of the emergency responders that may be more or less ‘attractive’, which is elaborated upon by the victim precipitation theory. Psychological and behavioural characteristics of emergency responders may be relevant to reduce external workplace violence. The author argues that, despite the risk of being considered as blaming the victim, studying characteristics that might prevent victimisation is needed. Directions for future studies about workplace violence are discussed. These future studies should address a combination of victim and situation characteristics, use a longitudinal design and focus on emergency responders. In addition, differences between professions in relationships between characteristics and workplace violence should be explored.


Lisa van Reemst
Lisa van Reemst, M.Sc., is a Ph.D. candidate at the Erasmus University Rotterdam.
Article

Access_open Exit, Voice and Loyalty from the Perspective of Hedge Funds Activism in Corporate Governance

Tijdschrift Erasmus Law Review, Aflevering 4 2016
Trefwoorden Uncertainty, entrepreneurship, agency costs, loyalty shares, institutional investors
Auteurs Alessio M. Pacces
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article discusses hedge funds activism based on Hirschman’s classic. It is argued that hedge funds do not create the loyalty concerns underlying the usual short-termism critique of their activism, because the arbiters of such activism are typically indexed funds, which cannot choose short-term exit. Nevertheless, the voice activated by hedge funds can be excessive for a particular company. Furthermore, this article claims that the short-termism debate cannot shed light on the desirability of hedge funds activism. Neither theory nor empirical evidence can tell whether hedge funds activism leads to short-termism or long-termism. The real issue with activism is a conflict of entrepreneurship, namely a conflict between the opposing views of the activists and the incumbent management regarding in how long an individual company should be profitable. Leaving the choice between these views to institutional investors is not efficient for every company at every point in time. Consequently, this article argues that regulation should enable individual companies to choose whether to curb hedge funds activism depending on what is efficient for them. The recent European experience reveals that loyalty shares enable such choice, even in the midstream, operating as dual-class shares in disguise. However, loyalty shares can often be introduced without institutional investors’ consent. This outcome could be improved by allowing dual-class recapitalisations, instead of loyalty shares, but only with a majority of minority vote. This solution would screen for the companies for which temporarily curbing activism is efficient, and induce these companies to negotiate sunset clauses with institutional investors.


Alessio M. Pacces
Professor of Law & Finance, Erasmus School of Law, and Research Associate, European Corporate Governance Institute.
Article

Access_open A World Apart? Private Investigations in the Corporate Sector

Tijdschrift Erasmus Law Review, Aflevering 4 2016
Trefwoorden Corporate security, private investigations, private troubles, public/private differentiation
Auteurs Clarissa Meerts
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article explores the investigative methods used by corporate security within organisations concerned about property misappropriation by their own staff and/or others. The research methods are qualitative: interviews, observations and case studies carried out between October 2012 and November 2015. The findings include that, even though corporate investigators do not have the formal investigative powers enjoyed by police and other public agencies, they do have multiple methods of investigation at their disposal, some of which are less used by public investigative agencies, for example the in-depth investigation of internal systems. Corporate investigators also rely heavily on interviews, the investigation of documentation and financial administration and the investigation of communication devices and open sources. However, there are many additional sources of information (for example, site visits or observations), which might be available to corporate investigators. The influences from people from different backgrounds, most notably (forensic) accountants, (former) police officers, private investigators and lawyers, together with the creativity that is necessary (and possible) when working without formal investigative powers, make corporate security a diverse field. It is argued that these factors contribute to a differentiation between public and private actors in the field of corporate security.


Clarissa Meerts
Clarissa Meerts, MSc., is a PhD student at the Criminology Department of the Erasmus University Rotterdam.
Artikel

Amerikaans rechtsrealisme en empirisch-juridisch onderzoek

Tijdschrift Justitiële verkenningen, Aflevering 6 2016
Trefwoorden American Legal Realism, Empirical Legal Studies, New Deal Policy, Research program, Lakatos
Auteurs Prof. dr. F.L. Leeuw
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The American Legal Realism movement, which originated in the beginning of the twentieth century and was active until the Fifties, can be seen as one of the founders of current Empirical Legal Studies because of the importance it attached to social scientific knowledge on behavior of – for instance – judges and others involved in the judiciary. The author sketches several characteristics of Legal Realism at that time. Exploring their range of thought he also examines whether Legal Realism’s studies can be seen as a research program. The recent emergence of New Legal Realism in the US and elsewhere leads to the question what characterizes this (re)new(al) movement. Finally it is argued that American Legal Realism especially contributed to scientific progress by posing new questions, changing focus and by stressing the importance of empirical evidence.


Prof. dr. F.L. Leeuw
Prof. dr. Frans Leeuw is directeur van het Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek- en Documentatiecentrum van het ministerie van Veiligheid en Justitie en daarnaast hoogleraar Recht, openbaar bestuur en sociaal-wetenschappelijk onderzoek aan de Universiteit Maastricht.

    This article examines the main assumptions and theoretical underpinnings of case study method in legal studies. It considers the importance of research design, including the crucial roles of the academic literature review, the research question and the use of rival theories to develop hypotheses and the practice of identifying the observable implications of those hypotheses. It considers the selection of data sources and modes of analysis to allow for valid analytical inferences to be drawn in respect of them. In doing so it considers, in brief, the importance of case study selection and variations such as single or multi case approaches. Finally it provides thoughts about the strengths and weaknesses associated with undertaking socio-legal and comparative legal research via a case study method, addressing frequent stumbling blocks encountered by legal researchers, as well as ways to militate them. It is written with those new to the method in mind.


Lisa Webley
Artikel

Over warmte, gezelligheid en ontspanning: positieve veiligheid in stedelijke uitgaansgebieden

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift over Cultuur & Criminaliteit, Aflevering 3 2016
Trefwoorden positive criminology, experienced safety, assemblage, nightlife areas
Auteurs dr. Jelle Brands
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    From a geographical perspective, this article explores positive images of safety in the context of nightlife areas. It also considers the ways by which nightlife visitors’ experienced safety might be nurtured, as an alternative to how experienced lack of safety might be ‘prevented’. From our interviews, we find safety to emerge from interactions between many (im)material elements, and the nightlife consumers themselves. We argue that positive safety can be understood as something that envelopes and at the same time is reworked by individuals, but that does not necessarily require a conscious understanding. From this finding, we offer a different logic and rhetoric regarding safety in nightlife spaces.


dr. Jelle Brands
Dr. Jelle Brands is werkzaam bij het Instituut voor Strafrecht & Criminologie, Universiteit Leiden.
Artikel

Viermaal auteursrecht in de digitale eengemaakte markt

Tijdschrift Nederlands tijdschrift voor Europees recht, Aflevering 8 2016
Trefwoorden Digitale eengemaakte markt, Auteursrecht, Digitaal en grensoverschrijdend gebruik, Online-uitzendingen van omroeporganisaties, Visueel gehandicapten
Auteurs Prof. mr. D.J.G. Visser
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Als onderdeel van haar strategie voor een ‘digitale eengemaakte markt’ (Digital Single Market, afgekort DSM) heeft de Europese Commissie op 14 september 2016 voorstellen gedaan voor maar liefst vier verschillende instrumenten op het gebied van het auteursrecht: een richtlijn en een verordening over digitaal en grensoverschrijdend gebruik én een richtlijn en een verordening over gebruik voor visueel gehandicapten. Deze voorstellen worden in deze bijdrage besproken.

    • Voorstel voor een richtlijn van het Europees Parlement en de Raad inzake auteursrechten in de digitale eengemaakte markt- COM(2016)593. (‘DSM-richtlijn’)

    • Voorstel voor een verordening van het Europees Parlement en de Raad tot vaststelling van voorschriften inzake de uitoefening van auteursrechten en naburige rechten die van toepassing zijn op bepaalde online-uitzendingen van omroeporganisaties en doorgifte van televisie- en radioprogramma’s - COM(2016)594. (‘Online Omroep verordening’, (OOV))

    • Voorstel voor een verordening van het Europees Parlement en de Raad inzake de grensoverschrijdende uitwisseling tussen de Unie en derde landen van exemplaren in toegankelijke vorm van bepaalde door het auteursrecht en naburige rechten beschermde werken en ander materiaal ten behoeve van personen die blind zijn, visueel gehandicapt of anderszins een leeshandicap hebben - COM(2016)595 (‘Marrakesh’-verordening).

    • Voorstel voor een richtlijn van het Europees Parlement en de Raad inzake bepaalde toegestane vormen van gebruik van door auteursrechten en naburige rechten beschermde werken en ander materiaal ten behoeve van personen die blind zijn, visueel gehandicapt of anderszins een leeshandicap hebben, en tot wijziging van Richtlijn 2001/29/EG betreffende de harmonisatie van bepaalde aspecten van het auteursrecht en de naburige rechten in de informatiemaatschappij - COM(2016)596. (‘Marrakesh’-richtlijn)


Prof. mr. D.J.G. Visser
Prof. mr. D.J.G. (Dirk) Visser is hoogleraar Intellectuele Eigendom in Leiden en advocaat in Amsterdam.
Diversen: Artikelen

Outlawbikers voor de rechter: een analyse van rechterlijke uitspraken in de periode 1999-2015

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift voor Criminologie, Aflevering 3 2016
Trefwoorden outlaw motorcycle clubs, OMCG, ‘1%-MC’, organized crime
Auteurs Prof. dr. Arjan Blokland en Jeanot David MSc
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The fight against outlaw motorcycle gangs is high on the Dutch criminal justice agenda. Yet, much is unclear about the extent to which Dutch outlaw motorcycle clubs are involved in (organized) crime, and the exact role club membership plays in the crimes committed by individual members. This study analyses all court decisions between 1999 and 2015 that were made publicly available through the Rechtspraak.nl database to yield insight in the frequency and nature of (members of) outlaw motorcycle clubs’ court appearances. Results show that members of outlaw biker clubs are convicted for violence and drug offending. In a third of all incidents, fellow club members are among the co-offenders. Membership of an outlaw motorcycle club is often used to put pressure on victims. Non-members also make use of the violent track record of outlaw bikers.


Prof. dr. Arjan Blokland
Prof. dr. A.A.J. Blokland is bijzonder hoogleraar Criminology & Criminal Justice aan de Universiteit Leiden en senior onderzoeker bij het Nederlands Studiecentrum Criminaliteit en Rechtshandhaving.

Jeanot David MSc
J.P.G. David MSc was ten tijde van het onderhavige onderzoek werkzaam als onderzoeksassistent bij de afdeling Criminologie van de Universiteit Leiden.
Article

Access_open ‘We Do Not Hang Around. It Is Forbidden.’

Immigration and the Criminalisation of Youth Hanging around in the Netherlands

Tijdschrift Erasmus Law Review, Aflevering 1 2016
Trefwoorden Criminalisation of youth hanging around, culture of control, immigration and discrimination
Auteurs Thaddeus Muller
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The focus in this article is the ‘criminalisation’ of youth hanging around with the emergence of bans on hanging around. A critical social constructivist approach is used in this study, which draws predominantly on qualitative primary data collected between the late 1980s and 2010s. The article compares indigenous with immigrant youth, which coincides with, respectively, youth in rural communities and youth in urban communities. This study shows that there is discrimination of immigrant youth, which is shaped by several intertwining social phenomena, such as the ‘geography of policing’ – more police in urban areas – familiarity, sharing biographical information (in smaller communities), and the character of the interaction, normalising versus stigmatising. In further research on this topic we have to study (the reaction to) the transgressions of immigrant youth, and compare it with (the reaction to) the transgressions of indigenous youth, which is a blind spot in Dutch criminology.


Thaddeus Muller
Thaddeus Muller, Ph.D., is senior lecturer at the Lancaster University Law School.
Article

Access_open Harmony, Law and Criminal Reconciliation in China: A Historical Perspective

Tijdschrift Erasmus Law Review, Aflevering 1 2016
Trefwoorden Criminal reconciliation, Confucianism, decentralisation, centralisation
Auteurs Wei Pei
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In 2012, China revised its Criminal Procedure Law (2012 CPL). One of the major changes is its official approval of the use of victim-offender reconciliation, or ‘criminal reconciliation’ in certain public prosecution cases. This change, on the one hand, echoes the Confucian doctrine that favours harmonious inter-personal relationships and mediation, while, on the other hand, it deviates from the direction of legal reforms dating from the 1970s through the late 1990s. Questions have emerged concerning not only the cause of this change in legal norms but also the proper position of criminal reconciliation in the current criminal justice system in China. The answers to these questions largely rely on understanding the role of traditional informal dispute resolution as well as its interaction with legal norms. Criminal reconciliation in ancient China functioned as a means to centralise imperial power by decentralizing decentralising its administration. Abolishing or enabling such a mechanism in law is merely a small part of the government’s strategy to react to political or social crises and to maintain social stability. However, its actual effect depends on the vitality of Confucianism, which in turn relies on the economic foundation and corresponding structure of society.


Wei Pei
Wei Pei, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor at the Beihang School of Law in the Beihang University.
Artikel

Access_open KEI en wat er (niet) verandert in het procesrecht in het civiele hoger beroep

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift voor Civiele Rechtspleging, Aflevering 3 2016
Trefwoorden KEI, Hoger beroep, Wetboek van Burgerlijke Rechtsvordering
Auteurs Mr. drs. F.J.P. Lock
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Dit artikel beoogt in kaart te brengen wat er met de invoering van het programma Kwaliteit en Innovatie rechtspraak (KEI) en de daarbij horende wijzigingen in het Wetboek van Burgerlijke Rechtsvorderingen al dan niet verandert in het appelprocesrecht.


Mr. drs. F.J.P. Lock
Mr. drs. F.J.P. Lock is senior-raadsheer in gerechtshof Arnhem-Leeuwarden en tevens als onderzoeker verbonden aan de Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen.
Artikel

Predictive policing: politiewerk aan de hand van voorspellingen

Tijdschrift Justitiële verkenningen, Aflevering 3 2016
Trefwoorden predictive policing, prescriptive policing, Big Data, risks, legal safeguards
Auteurs Ir. A. de Vries en Dr. S. Smit
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Law enforcement around the world, including the Netherlands, is currently experimenting with predictive policing: policing based on crime predictions. Big Data on past crimes and the help of sophisticated machine learning enable police to use reliable predictions about when and where the next offense will take place. If the effectiveness of policing actions is stored in the system, it can also predict which intervention is most effective. This is called prescriptive policing. The authors explain how these methods work, how reliable and effective they are and which associated risks can be identified. The authors emphasize that legal, ethical and organizational safeguards are necessary for a responsible implementation.


Ir. A. de Vries
Ir. Arnout de Vries is senior onderzoeker en adviseur op het gebied van social media en veiligheid bij TNO en auteur van het boek Social media: het nieuwe DNA.

Dr. S. Smit
Dr. Selmar Smit is aan de Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam gepromoveerd op het onderwerp machine learning en sindsdien werkzaam als data scientist bij TNO.
Artikel

Reflecties op het verantwoord gebruik van kunstmatige intelligentie

Tijdschrift Justitiële verkenningen, Aflevering 3 2016
Trefwoorden Artificial Intelligence, Ethical dilemma’s, Designing process, Restrictions and controls, Human rights
Auteurs Dr. M.V. Dignum en Prof.dr. J. van den Hoven
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The potential perils of robots and other forms of artificial intelligence (AI) have been a subject for discussion since the 1950s. Nevertheless it seems that society is still not prepared for the great impact of the rapid advancement of AI in the last decennium and the many ethical dilemmas involved. How can moral, social and legal values be integrated in the designing process of AI technologies? Is it imaginable that these AI systems would ever be considered as ethical entities? How to control these systems? The authors argue that we should not only analyze these problems, but also reflect on ethics itself. AI has the potential to change the way we live and work. But it is important to introduce restrictions and controls to guarantee our freedom, autonomy and fundamental human rights.


Dr. M.V. Dignum
Dr. Virginia Dignum is als Associate Professor verbonden aan de Faculteit voor Techniek, Bestuur en Management van de Technische Universiteit Delft.

Prof.dr. J. van den Hoven
Prof. dr. Jeroen van den Hoven is als hoogleraar Ethiek verbonden aan de Faculteit voor Techniek, Bestuur en Management van de Technische Universiteit Delft.
Artikel

Technologie voor opsporing en handhaving

Kansen, ervaringen en knelpunten

Tijdschrift Justitiële verkenningen, Aflevering 3 2016
Trefwoorden technology in policing, effectiveness, promising technologies, legal obstacles, success stories
Auteurs Mr. dr. ir. B. Custers en B. Vergouw MSc.
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Police forces and law enforcement agencies in many countries are continuously trying to optimize the use of technologies in policing and law enforcement. Efforts are being made to remove existing technological, legal and organizational obstacles to create more opportunities of promising technologies, both existing and new. This contribution describes the results of a survey among 46 police forces and other law enforcement agencies in eleven countries. Their experiences with policing technologies and their needs and preferences in this regard are described. The prevalence and satisfaction of existing technologies, including wiretapping, fingerprints, DNA research, database coupling, data mining and profiling, camera surveillance and network analyses were investigated. Legal, technological and organizational obstacles for the use of technology in policing were mapped and the extent to which policing technologies are evaluated and yield success stories was investigated. The main obstacles, according to the respondents, are insufficient financial resources and insufficient availability of technology. One in four organizations is lacking any clear, appealing success stories and half of the respondents indicated they were not performing any evaluations on the effectiveness of using particular technologies in policing. As a result, the information available on whether technologies in policing are actually working is very limited.


Mr. dr. ir. B. Custers
Mr. dr. ir. Bart Custers is universitair hoofddocent en hoofd onderzoek bij eLaw, het Centrum voor Recht en Digitale Technologie van de Universiteit Leiden. Eerder was hij hoofd van de onderzoeksafdeling Criminaliteit, Rechtshandhaving en Sancties van het WODC.

B. Vergouw MSc.
Bas Vergouw MSc. is werkzaam als digitaal onderzoeker bij de Autoriteit Consument en Markt (ACM) en houdt zich voornamelijk bezig met open source intelligence.
Artikel

Datagestuurde stedelijke planning en ‘smart cities’

Tijdschrift Justitiële verkenningen, Aflevering 3 2016
Trefwoorden Big Data, data analytics, governance, smart cities, urban science
Auteurs Prof. R. Kitchin
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The article provides a critical overview of data-driven urbanism and smart cities focusing in particular on the relationship between data and the city, and critically examines a number of urban data issues, including: the politics of urban data; data ownership and control, data protection and privacy, dataveillance, and data uses such as social sorting and anticipatory governance; and technical data issues such as data quality and veracity of data models and data analytics. Whilst data-driven urbanism provides a set of solutions for urban problems, it does so within limitations and in the service of particular interests.


Prof. R. Kitchin
Prof. Rob Kitchin is als hoogleraar verbonden aan het National Institute of Regional and Spatial Analysis van Maynooth University in Ierland.
Artikel

Legal tech made in Holland

Tijdschrift Advocatenblad, Aflevering 6 2016
Auteurs Nathalie Gloudemans-Voogd

Nathalie Gloudemans-Voogd

    Sensitive interviews involve emotionally difficult topics which require participants to face issues that are deeply personal and possibly distressing. This paper draws together reflections concerning how researchers manage the challenges of conducting sensitive interviews, including the author’s own reflections concerning interviewing clinical negligence claimants. First, it examines the ethical guidelines that regulate sensitive research, and the challenges of obtaining informed consent and maintaining confidentiality. Ethical guidelines, however, provide limited assistance for ensuring the emotional care of research participants, and we also consider challenges that are not usually formally regulated. These include preparing for the interview, and then ensuring the emotional care of participants both during and after the interview itself. Sensitive research also raises deeper ethical issues concerning the negotiation of relations between researcher and participant, especially when this relationship is unequal. Finally, while previous research has generally focused on the need to take emotional care of research participants, less attention has been given to the emotional needs of researchers. It is argued that support systems for researchers are too often ad hoc, and that providing support is often not a priority of granting bodies, grant holders or supervisors, and that formal systems need to be put in place.


Angela Melville
Flinders Law School, Flinders University, Adelaide, South Australia. Email: angela.melville@flinders.edu.au.

Darren Hincks
Flinders Law School, Flinders University, Adelaide, South Australia.

    In this article I argue that the major issue in taxonomies of interdisciplinary research is the problem of authority. In a project on the needs of Aboriginal Australians in inheritance, involving interdisciplinary research using law (in both common law and customary law form) and anthropology, issues of translateability and truth/validity arose. Issues for the Aboriginal people included problems of identifying the correct kin, dealing with the body, and protecting customary law information and secrecy, all matters which the customary law could handle but which were not recognised by Australian common law. Because the characterization of these matters in law is often characterized as a problem of authority the article explores the various different ways forms of authority in law and anthropology exist and how they might clash. Because the anthropology concerned was about Aboriginal Customary Law there seemed to be a double problem of authority which needed to be resolved in order to ensure that the connections between the disciplines were clear and the inheritance issues could be resolved.


Prue Vines
Professor, Director of First Year Studies, Co-Director, Private Law Research & Policy Group Faculty of Law, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. Email: p.vines@unsw.edu.au.
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