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The provision of legal aid in asylum procedures

A comparative case study in the Netherlands, the UK and France

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 1 2013
Trefwoorden legal aid, asylum procedure, lawyer conduct
Auteurs Tamara Butter
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Several reports covering the provision of legal aid in asylum procedures in a selection of European countries expressed concerns on the effectiveness of the legal aid provided to asylum seekers. Among others, the cuts in legal aid funding and the speed of the asylum process were put forward as issues affecting the provision of adequate and effective legal aid. Lawyers providing legal aid in asylum procedure have to cope with the day-to-day realities arising from the national asylum procedure and legal aid system in which they operate. The aim of my research project is to explore and understand the impact of the institutional context, i.e. the functioning of the asylum procedure and the legal aid system on lawyers’ conduct. To this end I will conduct a comparative case study in three EU Member States which have arranged for the provision of legal aid in different ways, i.e. Netherlands, the United Kingdom1xHere it must be noted that the UK comprises of four constituent countries with different regimes. This research will be confined to the England region of the UK. and France.

Noten

  • 1 Here it must be noted that the UK comprises of four constituent countries with different regimes. This research will be confined to the England region of the UK.


Tamara Butter
Tamara Butter is PhD candidate at the Centre for Migration Law/Institute for Sociology of Law, Radboud University.
Praktijk

Judges and delicate law

Contemporary judicial practices at the Court of First Instance in Tunis examined against their socio-political background

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 2 2010
Trefwoorden islamic law, delicate fields of law, anthropology of law, ethnomethodology
Auteurs Maaike Voorhoeve
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    My current research concerns contemporary judicial practices in Tunisia. I focus on what I call ‘delicate fields of law’, such as domestic violence, unmarried cohabitation, children born out of wedlock, virginity, abortion, etc. Such topics are delicate in any given society, as they are related to a fundamental ‘symbolic order’ (Françoise Héritier). Because of their sensitive character, the legislation concerning these topics is generally characterized by vague and open norms, leaving much interpretational freedom to judges. My research examines how Tunisian judges deal with these discretionary powers.
    I conducted fieldwork in Tunis for a period of fourteen months (2008-2009), when I collected court decisions, attended court hearings and interviewed judges, lawyers and litigants. To treat these empirical data, I developed a non-culturalist approach that is both praxiological and ethnomethodological.
    My research is praxiological as I treat legal practice as an object of investigation in itself (en tant que tel, Dupret), instead of using legal practice as a medium to study society (‘mirror thesis’, Tamanaha). This means that I describe how Tunisian judges apply open norms in delicate fields of law, without interpreting from a meta-level why judges apply the law in one way or another. However, this does not mean that my study remains merely descriptive. For the interpretation of what judges do, I follow the ethnomethodological approach.


Maaike Voorhoeve
Maaike Voorhoeve studeerde rechten, gevolgd door de master ‘Islam in de moderne wereld’, aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam. Zij is op dit moment werkzaam aan dezelfde universiteit, waar zij een proefschrift schrijft aan de Afdeling Algemene Rechtsleer, onder begeleiding van Ruud Peters en Dorien Pessers. Daarnaast is zij bestuurslid van de Vereniging tot de bestudering van het recht van de islam en het Midden-Oosten (RIMO), en heeft zij het vak Familierecht in moslimlanden opgezet.
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