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Artikel

Access_open Advocaten in Europa: vertegenwoordiging op het hoogste niveau?

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 3 2019
Trefwoorden Representation, Lawyers, European Court of Justice, Preliminary References, Relational Expertise
Auteurs Jos Hoevenaars PhD
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Research on the significance of representation indicates that lawyers contribute to positive outcomes of legal procedures not only by their substantive expertise but also by the relational expertise they bring. The latter involves understanding how to navigate the relationships involved in getting work done. In this paper these insights are used to investigate the highly specific and atypical practise of the preliminary reference procedure in the European legal system in order to reveal how lawyers deal with such an unexpected change of (legal) context. The empirical data, collected through semi-structured interviews with twenty-eight lawyers with past experience with the procedure, reveals the significant ways in which lawyers’ positive contribution to such cases is undermined by their lack of both substantive and relational expertise in pleading a case before the European Court of Justice. The fact that such cases do not necessarily fall into the hands of the professionals best equipped to plead such disputes before the Court, and the inability of the less well-off parties in particular to hire further expertise, points in the direction of a disadvantaged position for this group of litigants in having their interest represented effectively at the European level.


Jos Hoevenaars PhD
Jos Hoevenaars is postdoc onderzoeker aan de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam.
Artikel

The precaution controversy: an analysis through the lens of Ulrich Beck and Michel Foucault

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 3 2016
Trefwoorden Precautionary principle, risk society, governmentality, risk governance, environmental law
Auteurs Tobias Arnoldussen
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    According to the precautionary principle lack of scientific evidence for the existence of a certain (environmental) risk should not be a reason not to take preventative policy measures. The precautionary principle had a stormy career in International environmental law and made its mark on many treaties, including the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). However it remains controversial. Proponents see it as the necessary legal curb to keep the dangerous tendencies of industrial production and technology in check. Opponents regard it with suspicion. They fear it will lead to a decrease in freedom and fear the powers to intervene that it grants the state. In this article the principle is reviewed from the perspectives of Ulrich Beck’s ‘reflexive modernisation’ and Michel Foucault’s notion of governmentality. It is argued that from Beck’s perspective the precautionary principle is the result of a learning process in which mankind gradually comes to adopt a reflexive attitude to the risks modernity has given rise to. It represents the wish to devise more inclusive and democratic policies on risks and environmental hazards. From the perspective of Michel Foucault however, the principle is part and parcel of neo-liberal tendencies of responsibilisation. Risk management and prudency are devolved to the public in an attempt to minimise risk taking, while at the same time optimising production. Moreover, it grants legitimacy to state intervention if the public does not live up to the responsibilities foisted on it. Both perspectives are at odds, but represent different sides of the same coin and might learn from each other concerns.


Tobias Arnoldussen
Tobias Arnoldussen is a socio-legal scholar affiliated with the University of Amsterdam Law School and the PPLE honours college. Next to lecturing on a variety of subjects, he focusses on interdisciplinary legal research into the possibilities of law to deal with contemporary social problems.
Artikel

Opinio juris as epistème: A constructivist approach to the use of contested concepts in legal doctrine

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 3 2016
Trefwoorden Opinio juris, Interpretive concepts, Customary law, Constructivism, Pierre Bourdieu, Peter Berger & Thomas Luckmann
Auteurs Associate Professor Olaf Tans
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Seeing that the role of opinio juris in the identification of customary international law is essentially contested, this contribution seeks to explain how this concept plays a fruitful role in legal doctrine despite of, or perhaps even due to, this essential contestedness. To that effect the paper adopts a constructivist perspective, primarily drawing from Bourdieu’s theory of practice and Berger & Luckmann’s ideas about institutionalization. In this perspective, contested concepts such as opinio juris are conceived of as multifaceted tools of knowledge production in the hands of members of epistemic communities.


Associate Professor Olaf Tans
Olaf Tans works as legal philosopher and political scientist at Amsterdam University College and the Centre for the Politics of Transnational Law. His contribution to this special issue is part of a research line focusing on the social construction of normativity in legal doctrine. He has also published about constitutionalism, citizenship, democracy, and most recently (e.g. in Ratio Juris and Law & Literature) about the use of foundational narratives in public deliberation and law-finding.
Artikel

Becker’s theory on crime and punishment, a useful guide for law enforcement policy in The Netherlands?

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 1 2016
Trefwoorden Economics of crime, law enforcement policy, Gary Becker
Auteurs Ben van Velthoven en Peter van Wijck
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Becker’s theory on crime and punishment provides guidelines for designing an optimal law enforcement policy. In designing such a policy the costs of law enforcement should be traded-off against the benefits that originate in deterring criminal acts. We investigate whether law enforcement policy in the Netherlands is consistent with this guidelines. Since policy makers are not very precise on the goals of law enforcement policy and hardly anything is known about the effectiveness and efficiency of instruments, it turns out to be impossible to say whether law enforcement policy actually contributes to social welfare. This is not necessarily problematic if, in line with the efficient law hypothesis, law enforcement automatically converges to an efficient outcome. Furthermore, Becker’s theory appears to miss a crucial element by not taking account of existing preferences for retribution. If utility is derived from seeing that justice is done, this should be included in the welfare criterion. Assuming policy makers prefer welfare enhancing law enforcement, they would be well-advised to start systematically collecting information on the effectiveness and efficiency of instruments of law enforcement policy.


Ben van Velthoven
Ben van Velthoven is universitair hoofddocent Rechtseconomie aan de Faculteit der Rechtsgeleerdheid van de Universiteit Leiden.

Peter van Wijck
Peter van Wijck is universitair hoofddocent Rechtseconomie aan de Faculteit der Rechtsgeleerdheid van de Universiteit Leiden.
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

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.
Artikel

Medical liability: do doctors care?

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 2 2012
Auteurs Ben C.J. van Velthoven en Peter W. van Wijck
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Van Velthoven and Van Wijck review empirical studies on the effects of tort law in the medical sector. The data they present comes mainly from the US, because from the 1970’s US states have enacted a variety of reforms in their tort systems. This variation has provided very useful data to study preventive effects. The empirical evidence analysed shows that medical malpractice risk affects the behaviour of health care providers. It has a negative impact on the supply of services and it encourages extra diagnostic testing;yet if the additional tests and procedures have any value, it is only a marginal one. Furthermore it has been found that changes in the supply of services do not affect health adversely. This suggests that the physicians who are driven out of business have a below average quality of performance. The authors conclude that, at the margin, medical liability law may have some social benefits after all.


Ben C.J. van Velthoven
Ben van Velthoven is associate professor of law and economics at Leiden University. His research interests are: liability issues, civil litigation, and criminal law enforcement.

Peter W. van Wijck
Peter van Wijck is associate professor of law and economics at Leiden University and coordinator strategy development at the Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice. His research interests concern tort law, contract law, civil litigation, and crime.

Harry Willekens
Harry Willekens teaches jurisprudence and juvenile law at the University of Hildesheim and comparative inheritance law at the University of Hannover. His research focuses on the history and sociology of the legal regulation of the family in a broad sense. His last sociological publication: Child Care and Preschool Institutions in Europe. (Houndmills, Palgrave MacMillan 2008, coedited with Kirsten Scheiwe).
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