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Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid x Jaar 2015 x
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

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.

    Access to justice for those who cannot afford it remains a serious and intractable problem. Financial shortfalls and austerity cuts have caused much of the free legal advice sector to contract. Recent gains in the economy have not been distributed to the poorest in society, many of whom view lawyers as expensive and inaccessible. The result has been a widening of the justice gap – one which can only be filled if new models based on digitalization and internet based technologies fulfill their potential and allow both law firms and major brands to provide more affordable services. A broader market based response to the coming shortfall in legal assistance is possible if unbundling can become standard among legal practitioners. Technology will enable citizens to be supported with targeted advice and information should they need it. It will also bring solicitor managed services to an increasingly wide segment of the public.


Richard Cohen
Richard Cohen founded Landau & Cohen Solicitors before joining Epoq in 1998 as Joint CEO and is now Executive Chairman and Head of Partnerships. He served on the Solicitors Regulation Authority working group for the introduction of alternative business structures and contributed to the Legal Services Institute’s study on the Legal Services Act and the Legal Services Consumer Panel relating to referrals. In 2011, Richard was nominated for the FT Innovative Lawyers Legal Innovator of the Year Award.

Humphrey Clarke
Humphrey Clarke has worked in business development and market research for both Epoq’s UK and US operations. He has over nine years’ experience working in the legal and insurance sectors and has contributed numerous research papers and articles for industry publications.
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.
Artikel

Merits testing in the English legal aid system: exploring its impact in asylum cases

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 3 2015
Trefwoorden access to justice, asylum seekers, merits testing, English legal aid system
Auteurs Tamara Butter
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In recent years, there has been much discussion on the legal aid cuts and reforms in England and Wales, and the possible consequences this would have on access to justice for vulnerable groups in society, including immigrants and asylum seekers. This contribution focuses on one element of the English legal aid system: merits testing by legal aid providers in asylum cases. It explores whether and, if so, how this aspect may affect the access to justice for asylum seekers lacking the financial means to pay privately for legal assistance and representation. The findings indicate that a merits test which makes access to legal aid on appeal conditional upon a case having at least 50% prospect of success and makes legal aid providers responsible for conducting this assessment may compromise asylum seekers’ ability to achieve justice both within and outside the existing body of law.


Tamara Butter
Tamara Butter is a PhD candidate at the Institute for Sociology of Law/Centre for Migration Law of the Radboud University of Nijmegen. Her research consists of a comparative case study into the professional decision making of asylum legal aid lawyers in the Netherlands and England.
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.

Maaike Voorhoeve
Maaike Voorhoeve (Amsterdam, 1979) is Humboldt Fellow aan het Forum Transregionale Studien van het Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin en de Philipps Universität Marburg. Ze schreef een proefschrift over de rechtspraktijk van twee vrouwelijke familierechters aan de rechtbank in Tunis (UvA, 2011, gepubliceerd door I.B. Tauris als Gender and Divorce Law in North Africa). Zij voltooide post-docposities aan Harvard University, het Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin en de Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Parijs. Voorhoeves onderzoek concentreert zich op de rechtsantropologische studie van hedendaags Tunesië.
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.
Diversen

Sociology of law in European civil law countries

Some remarks and correspondent proposals

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 1 2015
Trefwoorden socio-legal studies, high theory, research, achievements and gaps
Auteurs Vincenzo Ferrari
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In continental Europe, post-war sociology of law passed through diverse phases, swinging between grand theorizing and empirical research. In the last two decades, socio-legal studies have shown a more balanced approach with respect to these models. Neo-functionalism à-la Luhmann still takes the lead in high theory, although some more eclectic voices make themselves heard and some signs of renaissance of conflict theories have become visible again. Through an overview of the recent editorial policy of three influential journals in France, Germany and Italy, the author highlights that middle range socio-legal theory has successfully dealt with some relevant aspects of legal change of the last decades, in such fields as criminal justice, migrations, or family law. Yet, it has left aside other and no less important aspects, such as commerce and property laws, common goods, environment, and other crucial questions of our times. Thus, there is a risk for sociology of law not to perform its critical and pioneering task that belongs to its own tradition.


Vincenzo Ferrari
Vincenzo Ferrari is emeritus professor of philosophy and sociology of law. He has taught in the Universities of Cagliari, Bologna and Milan, and has been a visiting professor in diverse world’s academic institutions. He chaired the ISA Research Committee on Sociology of Law and was among the founders of the IISL, Oñati.

John Griffiths
John Griffiths is oud-hoogleraar rechtssociologie aan de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen. Naast onderzoek naar de totstandkoming van bezoekregelingen na echtscheiding, de verdeling van rechtshulp, het functioneren van de bezwaarschriftenprocedure in het bestuursrecht, de rol van het recht bij de bescherming van het tropisch bos, en de werking van het euthanasie-recht, heeft hij zich vooral toegelegd op enkele theoretische vraagstukken: het ontstaan en de levensloop van geschillen, rechtspluralisme, en de sociale werking van (rechts)regels. Momenteel werkt hij aan een soort theoretisch credo met als titel ‘What is sociology of law?’, waarin onderwerpen zoals wat is een feit?, wat is theorie?, wat is ‘recht’? en wat is sociologie? systematisch worden behandeld.

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.
Discussie

Law is again

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 1 2015
Trefwoorden legal anthropology, legal pluralism, anthropology of law
Auteurs Barbara Oomen
Auteursinformatie

Barbara Oomen
Barbara Oomen holds a chair in the Sociology of Human Rights at Utrecht University and is the Dean of University College Roosevelt, one of the first Liberal Arts and Sciences Colleges in the Netherlands. She previously held an endowed chair in Legal Pluralism at the University of Amsterdam. Her most recent book is Rights for Others: the slow home-coming of human rights in the Netherlands (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014).
Diversen

Sociology of law in search of a distinct identity

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 1 2015
Trefwoorden sociology of law, legal sociology, socio-legal studies, interdisciplinary study of law, law & society
Auteurs Koen Van Aeken
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Rechtssociologie en recht-en-samenlevingstudies hebben behoefte aan de ontwikkeling van een eigen identiteit, die hen onder meer onderscheidt van het groeiende juridisch onderzoek waarbij empirische methoden gehanteerd worden. Deze identiteit kent vijf verbindende elementen: excellente (primaire of secundaire) empirische methodologie, kritisch, nuttig, blijvend geïnformeerd door theorie uit een inclusieve sociologie, en afwijzend tegenover reductionistische benaderingen van de werkelijkheid. Als een van deze eigenschappen ontbreekt, is er geen sprake van volwaardige rechtssociologie. Als alle eigenschappen aanwezig zijn, is de rechtssociologie bijzonder goed uitgerust om de actuele veranderingen in recht en samenleving te bestuderen. In die context kan de ontwikkeling en verspreiding van een eigen identiteit, die de vijf eigenschappen incorporeert, kansen bieden om de rechtssociologie een meer centrale positie toe te kennen in de rechtenfaculteiten.


Koen Van Aeken
Koen Van Aeken studeerde politieke en sociale wetenschappen en methodologie en promoveerde op een rechtssociologisch proefschrift over wetsevaluatie aan de Universiteit Antwerpen. Sinds 2006 is hij verbonden aan Tilburg Law School. Zijn onderwijs en onderzoek situeren zich op het terrein van de interdisciplinaire benadering van het recht, met bijzondere aandacht voor reguleringsvraagstukken.
Discussie

Legalism and the Anthropology of Law

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 1 2015
Trefwoorden anthropology, legalism, text, history
Auteurs Fernanda Pirie
Auteursinformatie

Fernanda Pirie
Fernanda Pirie is Associate Professor of Socio-Legal Studies at the University of Oxford. She is author of The Anthropology of Law (OUP, 2013) and Peace and Conflict in Ladakh (Brill 2007). She has co-edited volumes with Keebet von Benda-Beckmann (on order and disorder), with Toni Huber (on social order in Tibet), with Martijn van Beek (on modern Ladakh), and with Judith Scheele (on legalism, justice, and community).

    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.
Diversen

Cracks in the mirror

Does European law and society research still reflect European society?

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 1 2015
Trefwoorden Europe, socio-legal studies, legal culture, methodology
Auteurs Marc Hertogh
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    What’s the significance of sociology of law in Europe? Before we can answer this question, it’s even more important to consider the reverse question: what’s the significance of Europe in sociology of law? European sociology of law has been very productive, but it has also become increasingly out of touch. Unlike the early years of the discipline, contemporary European law and society research is no longer a mirror of European society. There are three main reasons for this development. First, there’s a strong pull of the policy audience. Second, some of the most important studies in European sociology of law borrow their theories and concepts from previous work in the United States. And finally, most researchers are concerned with studying law and society in their own country, but only very few studies look at law and society from a transnational perspective. To fix these cracks in the mirror, we need more ‘Europe’ in European sociology of law. Similar to the work of the founding fathers of the discipline, sociology of law should once again become a reflection of society. Not for reasons of nostalgia, but because this will secure the future of European law and society research.


Marc Hertogh
Marc Hertogh is Professor of Socio-Legal Studies at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. He is Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Law in Context (Cambridge University Press) and he is a member the Advisory Board of Recht der Werkelijkheid. His research focuses on public opinion about law, with a special interest in legal consciousness, legal pluralism, and administrative justice. His publications include: Recht van onderop [Law from below] (with Heleen Weyers) (Ars Aequi, 2011), Living Law: Reconsidering Eugen Ehrlich (Hart Publishing, 2008), Judicial Review and Bureaucratic Impact (with Simon Halliday) (CUP, 2004).
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