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Artikel

Upperdogs Versus Underdogs

Judicial Review of Administrative Drug-Related Closures in the Netherlands

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 1 2020
Trefwoorden Eviction, War on drugs, Party capability, Empirical legal research, Drug policy
Auteurs Mr. Michelle Bruijn en Dr. Michel Vols
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In the Netherlands, mayors are entitled to close public and non-public premises if drug-related activities are being conducted there. Using data from the case law of Dutch lower courts, published between 2008 and 2016, this article examines the relative success of different types of litigants, and the influence of case characteristics on drug-related closure cases. We build on Galanter’s framework of ‘repeat players’ and ‘one-shotters’, to argue that a mayor is the stronger party and is therefore more likely to win in court. We categorise mayors as ‘upperdogs’, and the opposing litigants as ‘underdogs’. Moreover, we distinguish stronger mayors from weaker ones, based on the population size of their municipality. Similarly, we distinguish the stronger underdogs from the weaker ones. Businesses and organisations are classified as stronger parties, relative to individuals, who are classified as weaker parties. In line with our hypothesis, we find that mayors win in the vast majority of cases. However, contrary to our presumptions, we find that mayors have a significantly lower chance of winning a case if they litigate against weak underdogs. When controlling for particular case characteristics, such as the type of drugs and invoked defences, our findings offer evidence that case characteristics are consequential for the resolution of drug-related closure cases in the Netherlands.


Mr. Michelle Bruijn
Michelle Bruijn is promovendus en docent aan de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen. Haar onderzoek richt zich op de regulering van cannabis en de sluiting van drugspanden.

Dr. Michel Vols
Michel Vols is hoogleraar Openbare-Orderecht aan Rijksuniversiteit Groningen. Zijn onderzoek richt zich op Openbare orde en veiligheid, en het gebruik van data science (machine learning) bij het bestuderen van juridische data.
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.

    In the course of it short existence, Socio-legal studies (SLS) in the Anglo-Saxon world has burgeoned into a rich and variegated field. Reviewing it is therefore a challenging task. I begin with some general reflections and an outline of recent developments. Although these indicate an extremely vibrant field, concerns have been expressed for the future. In my discussion of these, I argue that our analysis of SLS needs to be historicised since the emergence of SLS is connected to processes of social modernization and democratization. The erosion of these processes by neo-liberal discourses and policies is the background to a discussion of my own research into the impact of the cuts to civil legal aid in England and Wales. This leads me to conclude that the fundamental dissonance between neo-liberal rationality and social science may portend a difficult future, in particular for empirical work; however, I note too that other developments such as the ongoing juridification of society and new social media may make continued SL engagement irresistible.


Hilary Sommerlad
Hilary Sommerlad is professor of Law and Research Director of the Centre for Professional Legal Education and Research, University of Birmingham, and Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. Dr. Sommerlad’s research interests are access to justice, the cultural practices of the professional workplace and diversity. She is Articles Editor of Legal Ethics, and serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Law and Society and the International Journal of the Legal Profession.
Discussie

Still a rule of law guy

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 1 2013
Trefwoorden rule of law, sociology of law, suppression of arbitrary power, normative theory
Auteurs Martin Krygier
Auteursinformatie

Martin Krygier
Martin Krygier is Gordon Samuels Professor of Law and Social Theory at the University of New South Wales, co-director of its Network for Interdisciplinary Studies of Law, Adjunct Professor at the Regulatory Institutions Network, Australian National University, and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences. His most recent book is Philip Selznick. Ideals in the World, Stanford University Press, 2012. He has written extensively on the rule of law: its nature, conditions, and challenges. Apart from some 40 essays on these themes, he has edited and contributed to Spreading Democracy and the Rule of Law? (Springer Verlag, 2006); Rethinking the Rule of Law after Communism (CEU Press, 2005); Community and Legality: the Intellectual Legacy of Philip Selznick (Rowman & Littlefield, 2002), The Rule of Law after Communism (Ashgate, 1999), Marxism and Communism. Posthumous Reflections on Politics, Society, and Law (Rodopi, 1994). He is on the editorial boards of the Hague Journal on the Rule of Law, Annual Review of Law and Social Science, Ratio Juris, East Central Europe, and is a contributing jurisprudence editor to Jotwell (Journal of things we like lots).
Artikel

Non-pecuniary damages: financial incentive or symbol?

Comparing an economic and a sociological account of tort law

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 2 2012
Auteurs Rob Schwitters
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Schwitters focuses on the differences between economic and a sociological perspectives on non-pecuniary damages. By exposing the alternative perspectives on this issue, he illuminates some methodological differences between both disciplines. Although law and economics has had a positive influence on empirical research, he questions the merits of this perspective when analysing non-pecuniary damages. Law and economics regards non-pecuniary damages exclusively as a financial incentive to realise optimal deterrence and maximisation of welfare. Alternatively, in sociology of law there is also attention for the symbolic dimension of law in which rules are seen as normative standards of behaviour. Compensation is a way to bring the wrongdoer to recognise that he has done wrong and has to compensate the victim, and to show the victim that his rights are taken seriously. Through a sociological lens, the adoption of an exclusively economic model of human behaviour has to be questioned. To what extent human behaviour is really influenced by either financial incentives or by normative standards of behaviour is an open empirical question. Finally, he argues that the decision to base our institutions (such as law) on economic underpinnings is a decision which itself cannot be based on an economic procedure of aggregating individual preferences and maximising welfare.


Rob Schwitters
Rob Schwitters is associate professor (sociology of law) and member of the Paul Scholten Centre (University of Amsterdam). He publishes on tort law, responsibility and liability, the welfare state, compliance and methodological issues.

Tobias Arnoldussen
Tobias Arnoldussen is a PhD candidate at the department of Sociology of Law of Erasmus University Rotterdam and he teaches courses in philosophy at the Dutch ‘Instituut voor Filosofie’. He also participates in the Erasmus Centre for Law and Society and the Research School Safety & Security in Society, (OMV).

Jeff Handmaker
Jeff Handmaker is lecturer in law, development and human rights at the International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam and honorary research fellow in the School of Law of the University of the Witwatersrand.

Laurens Bakker
Laurens Bakker (l.bakker@jur.ru.nl) is a researcher and lecturer at the Institute of Cultural Anthropology and Development Studies and the Institute of Sociology of Law at Radboud University, Nijmegen, the Netherlands.
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