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Artikel

Access_open Belemmeringen bij de aanpak van onregelmatigheden door de curator

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 1 2021
Trefwoorden Insolvency practitioner, Insolvency fraud, Directors’ liability, Enforcement, Empty estates
Auteurs Jessie Pool LL.M. BSc., Dr. Helen Pluut en Prof. mr. Reinout Vriesendorp
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    For years, Dutch legal scholars have been debating about the desirability of mandatory private enforcement of irregularities and fraud by the insolvency practitioner. The assumption is that revenue-oriented insolvency practitioners impede efficient enforcement of irregularities in insolvency. The findings of our quantitative study support the assumption that insolvency practitioners do not take enforcement actions in every suspicious insolvency and that norm violations are less likely to enforced when no recourse is offered. The findings of our qualitative study indicate that there are additional explanations for this relative lack of enforcement, such as lack of renumeration and poor follow-up procedures. Therefore, although the insolvency practitioner is assumed to be of great importance in combatting irregularities in bankruptcies, we doubt the effectiveness and preventive effect of the role of the insolvency practitioner. We make various recommendations to facilitate insolvency practitioners in dealing with irregularities.


Jessie Pool LL.M. BSc.
Jessie Pool is als PhD-Fellow verbonden aan de afdeling Ondernemingsrecht van de Universiteit Leiden. Dit artikel is geschreven in het kader van haar proefschrift over het signaleren en redresseren van onregelmatigheden door de curator.

Dr. Helen Pluut
Helen Pluut is als universitair hoofddocent verbonden aan de afdeling Bedrijfswetenschappen van de Universiteit Leiden.

Prof. mr. Reinout Vriesendorp
Reinout Vriesendorp is als hoogleraar Insolventierecht verbonden aan de afdeling Ondernemingsrecht en de afdeling Bedrijfswetenschappen van de Universiteit Leiden en is advocaat te Amsterdam.
Artikel

Dispute settlement among the Nigerian Igbo in Antwerp

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 1 2021
Trefwoorden Legal pluralism, Dispute settlement, Igbo, Antwerp
Auteurs Filip Reyntjens
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This is a case study in ‘new legal pluralism’ which is interested in the operation of plural legal orders in countries of the global North. It considers the way in which the Nigerian Igbo living in Antwerp, Belgium settle their disputes. It first presents the Antwerp Igbo’s organisation in a Union possessing a constitution with precise legal stipulations. It then finds that the Igbo take the law with them from their home region into a diasporic community. Next it looks into the concrete organisation of dispute settlement and presents five cases as exemplars. It then discusses the advantages and drawbacks of applying Igbo law and justice, the issue of women’s rights, and the plurality and flexibility of the system. The conclusion underscores the fact that legal pluralism is a universal empirical reality.


Filip Reyntjens
Filip Reyntjens is Emeritus hoogleraar bij het Instituut voor Ontwikkelingsbeleid aan de Universiteit Antwerpen.
Artikel

Social theory and the significance of free will in our system of criminal justice

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 3 2016
Trefwoorden free will, determinism, communicative action, legitimacy, social theory
Auteurs Dr. Rob Schwitters
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Free will is a key assumption of our system of criminal justice. However, the assumption of a free will is questioned by the rapidly growing empirical findings of the neuro and the brain sciences. These indicate that human behavior is driven by subconscious forces beyond the free will. In this text I aim to indicate how social theory might contribute to this debate. This text is an attempt to demonstrate that social theory does not automatically side with the deterministic attacks on free will. The denial of the free will is to a great extent based on a flawed interpretation of free will, in which it is seen as a capacity of separate individuals. I will suggest that it is the sociological realization that free will is embedded in intersubjective relations that helps to clarify which value is at stake when we deny free will. Free will presumes social practices and social relations that facilitate moral and political discourse. As long as we see human actors as capable to evaluate these practices and contexts in moral and political terms, we cannot deny them a free will. My argumentation will build on the theories of Peter Strawson, Anthony Giddens and Jürgen Habermas.


Dr. Rob Schwitters
Rob Schwitters is Associate Professor of Sociology of Law and connected to the Paul Scholten Centre at the University of Amsterdam. He publishes on tort law, responsibility and liability, the welfare state and compliance.
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

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

National variations in the implementation and enforcement of European food hygiene regulations

Comparing the structure of food controls and regulations between Scotland and the Netherlands

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 3 2014
Trefwoorden food regulation, official controls, EU food law, implementation, enforcement
Auteurs Tetty Havinga
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Over the course of time the European Union has increased its powers considerably. Currently, almost all food safety regulations in the member states rest on European law. Despite this common legal base, several differences between member states still exist. This article compares the way Scottish and Dutch authorities deal with a particular item of European food law: the development of national guides to good practice for hygiene and for the application of HACCP principles by the food industry. The results of this investigation are consistent with the conclusion of Falkner et al. that the implementation of EU law in both the Netherlands and the UK depends on domestic issues. The dominant issue in Scotland (and the UK) is the FSA objective to bring consistent food controls and independency from industry which results in the development of governmental guidance. The prevailing issue in the Netherlands is making industry responsible for food safety which helps explain the extensive use of industry guides. This study shows that in order to understand what happens on the ground it is important to look beyond transposition or direct effect and also to investigate the implementation of regulations and to dig deeper than just their transposition.


Tetty Havinga
Tetty Havinga is Associate Professor at the Institute for the Sociology of Law, Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands. She has published on the regulation of food safety, policy implementation and law enforcement, equal opportunities law, asylum migration and migrant workers. Her recent research projects deal with the development and effects of private regulation of food safety, oversight and official controls in the food industry, and the experiences of large companies with Dutch special courts. She is co-editor of The Changing Landscape of Food Governance (to be published by Edward Elgar, 2015).
Artikel

The food label as governance space: free-range eggs and the fallacy of consumer choice

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 3 2014
Trefwoorden food label, free-range eggs, animal welfare, regulatory governance
Auteurs Christine Parker
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In a neoliberal age governments, NGOs, food producers and retailers all state that the food system can be governed via consumer choice aka voting with your fork. This makes the retail food label an important space for contests between different actors who each seek to govern the food system according to their own interests and priorities. The paper argues that this makes it crucial to ‘backwards map’ the regulatory governance networks behind the governance claims staked on food labels. The paper uses the example of the contested meaning of ‘free-range’ claims on animal products in Australia to propose and illustrate a methodology for this backwards mapping.


Christine Parker
Christine Parker is a Professor of Law at Monash University, Melbourne Australia. She conducts socio-legal research on business regulation enforcement and compliance and lawyer ethics. Her books include The Open Corporation (2002), Explaining Compliance (edited with Vibeke Nielsen, 2011), and Inside Lawyers Ethics (with Adrian Evans, 2014).
Artikel

The need for an integrated comparison of the effectiveness of international sustainable forestry, coffee and cocoa initiatives

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 3 2014
Trefwoorden effectiveness, private sustainability standards, certification, FSC, UTZ Certified
Auteurs Martijn Scheltema
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    To date the effectiveness of private sustainability standards has been assessed from different angles which attribute different meanings to effectiveness. This contribution compares the effectiveness of two international certification initiatives (i.e. sustainable forestry (Forest Stewardship Council, FSC) and sustainable coffee and cacoa (UTZ Certified)) from three different angles (legal, impact, acceptance/legitimacy/governance). Based on publicly available data, it is shown that FSC scores better on some dimensions of these three angles (e.g. enforcement, cost and price premium, and government acceptance), while UTZ Certified scores better on others (e.g. verifiable evaluation criteria, regular evaluation, innovation). Hence, this analysis shows that a comparative evaluation of both initiatives would have been biased if it would have been based on a single angle approach. There is all the more reason to use such an integrated approach, since the different angles are intertwined. Therefore, it has been established that in order to establish the effectiveness of private certification initiatives an integrated approach is needed which combines different angles. This contribution shows such an approach is feasible.


Martijn Scheltema
Martijn Scheltema is professor at Erasmus University Rotterdam (the Netherlands). He researches the effectiveness of international private regulation in the CSR arena. He is board member of ACCESS Facility (www.accessfacility.org.) Beside this, he is board member of the CSR committee of the International Bar Association and attorney at law/partner with Pels Rijcken & Droogleever Fortuijn (The Hague, the Netherlands).
Boekbespreking

Ensuring Corporate Misconduct

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 2 2012
Auteurs Tetty Havinga

Tetty Havinga

    Visscher gives an overview of the empirical research on the deterrent effects of tort law within the domain of traffic accidents. An impressive amount of law and economics research has been done in the last few decades. This has resulted in special attention for the deterrent effects of the financial incentives which are embedded in various legal systems. Contradictory empirical evidence motivates Visscher to reflect on methodological issues. A major shortcoming of most studies is that the dependent and independent variables are not properly defined and distinguished. Another difficulty is to properly assess the influence of the introduction of the no-fault system on incentives: no-fault not only implies that the prevalence of the tort-system is more-or-less marginalised, but also that it transforms the extent to which the damages of those injured are covered by insurances in various ways. It is not easy to isolate both factors properly. Nevertheless, Visscher finds enough support in the empirical evidence to conclude that, without added financial deterrence incentives, no-fault schemes are likely to lead to increased accident rates, more injuries and more fatalities.


Louis Visscher
Louis Visscher is associate professor in law and economics at the Rotterdam Institute of Law and Economics (RILE) of the Erasmus School of Law. He has studied both economics and law (cum laude) at the Erasmus University Rotterdam, where he also wrote a PhD dissertation on ‘An economic analysis of Dutch tort law’. Louis has published articles and book chapters in the area of the economic analysis of tort law, the law of damages, causation in tort law, insurance, contract law and law enforcement.
Artikel

Transnationalism, Legal Pluralism and Types of Conflicts

Contractual Norms Concerning Domestic Workers

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 3 2011
Auteurs Antoinette Vlieger
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Transnationalism and migration are recognised contributors to legal pluralism. Scholars of legal pluralism state that in conflicts, social actors sustain their claims with arguments from coexisting legal systems. They manoeuvre between different legal systems, or contradicting norms within one system, to achieve the most satisfactory decision in a conflict. In doing so, they use norms as discursive tools. Indeed, according to data on domestic workers in Saudi Arabia and the Emirates, this manoeuvring with norms as discursive tools is often recognisable in conflicts between workers and their employers. However, transnational contractual norms and the legal pluralism they create are not merely discursive tools in existing conflicts; they are also regularly the cause of conflicts. Domestic workers conclude agreements with agents in their countries of origin, while employers conclude agreements with different agents in the destination countries. Both parties believe the other party has signed the same contract, while in reality that is not the case. Because of the differences between the two sets of contractual norms, these norms cause conflicts; they are not merely discursive tools. This finding calls for a division between different types of conflicts, which is proposed here for the purpose of socio-legal analysis of conflicts in general and particularly in situations of transnationalism and legal pluralism.


Antoinette Vlieger
Antoinette Vlieger is a researcher and lecturer at the Law School of the University of Amsterdam. For the last five years she has been researching conflicts between domestic workers and their employers in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Her PhD thesis on this topic is to be published in fall 2011. Thereafter she hopes to do research on the question of why there is little labour protection on the Arabian Peninsula, combining this with hands-on human rights work in the Middle East.
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