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Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid x Jaar 2015 x
Artikel

Moving access to justice ‘upstream’ from the courts

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 3 2015
Trefwoorden access to justice, legal problems, justice system, legal needs
Auteurs Ab Currie
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    A very large number of people experience everyday legal problems considered by them to be serious and difficult to resolve, the vast majority say it is important to resolve these problems, and virtually everybody experiencing legal problems takes some action to resolve them. However, the fact that very few people make use of the formal justice system suggests that the justice system is not meeting the legal needs of the public. One response would be to expand the traditional formal justice system to include an early-resolution services sector. An ERSS would encompass the early intervention and supported self-help objectives of many existing access to justice initiatives, but would go farther by conceiving what we mean by the justice system more broadly in a way that would accommodate what the everyday legal problems approach tells us about how the public experiences legal problems.


Ab Currie
Ab Currie, Ph.D. (Sociology, University of Toronto), is Senior Research Fellow at the Canadian Forum on Civil Justice, where he is currently involved in a range of research on access to civil justice mainly. Prior to joining the Forum, Ab was for over 30 years Principal Researcher in areas of legal aid and access to justice at the Federal Department of Justice in Canada. He has conducted extensive research in criminal and civil legal aid, in particular on unmet need for criminal legal aid and on the civil justice problems experienced by the public. Contact by email at abcurrie@sympatico.ca or acurrie@cfcj-fcjc.org.
Artikel

Social security and social welfare: barriers and retrograde policies, but cause for optimism?

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 3 2015
Trefwoorden social security, legal representation, means-testing, Britain, fees
Auteurs Amir Paz-Fuchs
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This contribution addresses the limits placed on access to justice in the context of social services, with a particular, but not exclusive, focus on the UK, across five central platforms: legal representation, the financial barriers, the structure of the programme, the attitude of the bureaucracy, and the personal attributes of the client. The contribution finds that there exist, for decades, problematic elements that constitute barriers to justice in this area: the means-tested element in the programmes and the bureaucracy’s double role as provider of services and detector of fraud. But to them, in recent years, significant barriers were added: recent cuts in legal aid and the imposition of tribunal fees in the UK are retrograde steps, reverting 40 years of impressive achievements in the field.


Amir Paz-Fuchs
Amir Paz-Fuchs (D. Phil Oxford) is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Law, University of Sussex, where he teaches employment law, public law, and legal theory. In addition, he is a Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies and a Research Associate at Wolfson College, both at the University of Oxford. He is also Co-Director of the ‘The Limits of Privatization’ research project, based at the Van Leer Institute in Jerusalem. He also served on the board of several human rights and social justice NGOs.
Diversen

Wetgeving in een veranderende wereld: uitdagingen en dilemma’s

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 2 2015
Trefwoorden Legislation, Internet, Internationalisation, Policy, Instrument
Auteurs Joris Groen, Bert Niemeijer en Monika Smit
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This editorial offers an introduction to the current issue.


Joris Groen
Joris Groen is werkzaam als wetgevingsjurist bij het ministerie van Veiligheid en Justitie.

Bert Niemeijer
Bert Niemeijer is rector van de Academie voor Wetgeving en Overheidsjuristen en (bijz.) hoogleraar Rechtssociologie bij de juridische faculteit van de Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

Monika Smit
Monika Smit is hoofd van de interne onderzoeksafdeling Rechtsbestel, Wetgeving en Internationale en vreemdelingenaangelegenheden (RWI) van het Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek- en Documentatiecentrum (WODC) van het ministerie van Veiligheid en Justitie.
Artikel

Digitalisering: kans of bedreiging voor wetgeving?

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 2 2015
Trefwoorden internet, governance, jurisdiction, legal theory
Auteurs Bart Schermer
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In this article Bart Schermer, describes the difficulties in regulating the internet. The global reach of the internet, the fact that it is for the most part owned by private actors and creates opportunities for anonymity challenge regulators. The article describes issues related to sovereignty and jurisdiction, ambiguity in legal texts and dependence on private sector actors. Possible solutions lie in global internet governance, institutional innovation and the internet’s architecture itself.


Bart Schermer
Bart W. Schermer (1978) is universitair hoofddocent aan de Universiteit van Leiden (eLaw@Leiden) en partner bij juridisch adviesbureau Considerati. Bart is fellow bij het E.M. Meijers Instituut, redacteur bij het Tijdschrift voor Internetrecht en lid van de Cybercrime expertgroep van het Hof Den Haag.
Artikel

Wetgeving: uitdagingen, dilemma’s en vernieuwing

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 2 2015
Trefwoorden Legislation, quality of legislation, Policy, Offences
Auteurs Piet Hein Donner
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Legislation as we know it is a recent phenomenon, and its quality has been under debate for 40 years. It is not surprising or problematic that the place and function of legislation evolve under the influence of societal changes. It is, however, important to change the mechanistic view of legislation. Instead of viewing it as an instrument of policy, we must search for structures and institutions that create room for diversity without breaking the unity of law. In our dealings with inevitable risks and damage to society, rules too often take the place of ethics or professional judgment. Rules are essential, but they should leave room to dissent from them if justified: rules as a point of departure, not rules that must be respected on pain of sanctions.


Piet Hein Donner
Piet Hein Donner is vicepresident van de Raad van State.
Artikel

Wetgeving, empirisch-juridisch onderzoek en Legal Big Data

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 2 2015
Trefwoorden legislation, big data, empirical legal research, nudging
Auteurs Frans L. Leeuw
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    A second empirical revolution in law is in full swing: legal big data have made their entrance and will play an increasingly important role in the legal field. Legal big data, for example, increase the accessibility and transparency of files. They make it easier for legislators to find out how society views proposed legislation. Using big data, all jurisprudence can be processed very easily and judicial decisions can be predicted with a high degree of certainty. The contribution concludes with a number of legal and ethical issues and methodological challenges in relation to legal big data, such as ownership, privacy and representativeness.


Frans L. Leeuw
Frans L. Leeuw is directeur van het Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek- en Documentatiecentrum (WODC) bij het ministerie van Veiligheid en Justitie. Tevens is hij hoogleraar Recht, openbaar bestuur en sociaalwetenschappelijk onderzoek aan de universiteit van Maastricht. Eerder was hij onder meer directeur Doelmatigheidsonderzoek bij de Algemene Rekenkamer. Hij publiceerde vele artikelen en boeken, vooral op het terrein van evaluatie.

Gijs van Dijck
Gijs van Dijck is een empirisch-juridisch onderzoeker aan de Universiteit van Tilburg en gespecialiseerd in aansprakelijkheidsrecht, faillissementsrecht en onderzoeksmethodologie, waaronder empirisch-juridisch onderzoek. Onderzoeksthema’s zijn andersoortige remedies in het aansprakelijkheidsrecht dan financiële remedies, de rol van excuses, de gevolgen van aansprakelijkheid voor gedrag, massaschade, beloningssystemen in faillissement, ‘tegendenken’ in juridisch onderzoek en hoe empirisch-juridisch onderzoek de juridische onderzoeksmethodologie kan verbeteren.

    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.
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