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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

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

Responsibilities of the state and legal professions

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 3 2015
Trefwoorden responsibilities, the state, lawyers, the judiciary and judges
Auteurs Mies Westerveld en Ashley Terlouw
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This contribution, which is based on the Dutch legal system, deals with the responsibilities of the State and legal professions in ensuring access to justice. The responsibilities of the four main players involved in bringing justice to the citizen are discussed: the legislator, the executive, the judiciary, and the legal profession. Responsibilities for access to justice do not only stem from the law, they do also evolve from societal problems and discussions. The contribution deals with both. Several actors share some of the responsibilities. One can think of responsibilities for information, for financing, and for being aware of vulnerabilities and other obstacles. What are the legal responsibilities and what other responsibilities are felt by the actors involved and how do they deal with them? And as a result: do they contribute to access to justice, do they form an obstacle, or both?


Mies Westerveld
Mies Westerveld is Professor Legal aid by special appointment and Professor in Labour Law (social insurance) at the University of Amsterdam. Her research concentrates on current issues of access to justice and state-financed legal aid on the one hand and the decreasing role of social insurance on a fragmented labour market on the other hand.

Ashley Terlouw
Ashley Terlouw is Professor in Sociology of Law at the Radboud University of Nijmegen. She is responsible for the Centre for Migration Law of the Radboud University. Besides she is part-time Judge at the District Court of Gelderland. Her research concentrates on legal and societal issues of asylum and equal treatment and on the working of the judiciary.
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.
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.

    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.
Artikel

The government’s roles in transnational forest governance

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 3 2014
Trefwoorden transnational governance, forest certification, legality verification, emerging economies, public-private interaction
Auteurs Liu Jing
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Forest certification schemes and the legality regime are two main methods of transnational forest governance. A recent review of the literature has revealed that the government and forest certification are often intertwined. Based on that review, this contribution argues that governments play divergent roles in forest certification schemes in different aspects of the regulatory process: namely, agenda and standard setting, implementation, monitoring, and enforcement. In most FSC schemes, governments in developed countries play a less active role in most of these aspects than they do in context-based industry-dominated schemes. In the three emerging economies examined – Indonesia, Brazil, and China – the government sometimes plays a more active role in context-based, industry-dominated schemes than it does in developed countries. The rising legality regime might further strengthen the role of the government in forest governance in these emerging economies. Moreover, China may exemplify the fact that forest governance is entering a new phase, because the country not only exports to countries demanding legal verification, but also imports from countries where the risk of illegal logging is high. This illustrates that the role of governments in forest governance is constantly evolving.


Liu Jing
Liu Jing is a postdoctoral researcher in Erasmus University Rotterdam (the Netherlands). She is conducting research on ‘smart mixes in relation to transboundary environmental problems’, especially in the areas of forest, fishery, oil and climate change governance. Her research interests cover regulation and governance, environmental law as well as law and economics.

    This editorial offers an introduction to the current issue.


Peter Mascini
Peter Mascini is an associate professor of sociology at Erasmus University Rotterdam and he holds a chair in empirical legal studies at the same university. He serves as co-director of the research program Behavioral Approaches to Contract and Tort. His research focuses on the legitimization, implementation, and enforcement of different policy ideas. He often studies the tenability of assumptions underlying policy instruments.

Judith van Erp
Judith van Erp is an associate professor in Criminology at Erasmus School of Law and chair of its research program Monitoring Safety and Security. Her research focuses on monitoring and compliance of business. She co-chairs the Collaborative Research Network on Regulatory Governance at the Law and Society Association and the European Society of Criminology’s working group on Corporate and White Collar Crime.
Redactioneel

Introduction

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 2 2012
Auteurs Rob Schwitters en Bert Niemeijer
Auteursinformatie

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.

Bert Niemeijer
Bert Niemeijer is part-time professor of sociology of law at the VU University of Amsterdam and coordinator of strategy development at the Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice. His research interests concern family law, evaluation of law, the social working of rules and courts, trust and confidence in law and courts and the development of legal disputes.
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.

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).

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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