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The role of attitudes in the professional judicial decision-making progress: a work in progress

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 1 2020
Trefwoorden Professional judicial decision-making process, Attitudes, Impartiality, Semi-structured interviews, Scenario-survey
Auteurs Mr. Elke Olthuis
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In our daily decision-making processes, attitudes play an important role. An attitude is an evaluative judgement of a person, object or an issue on a scale of favorability. A large amount of research has been done on the role of attitudes in our daily decision-making processes. There is, however, a gap in empirical knowledge when it concerns the role of attitudes in the professional judicial decision-making process. It has been accepted that the professional judicial decision-making process has a subjective element, but this subjective element remains unexplained. Attitudes are inherently personal and subjective, and they can make our decision-making process easier. They can, however, also be the basis for biases and prejudices. Herein lies a potential risk, especially in the professional judicial decision-making process. If attitudes play a role in the decision-making process of judges there is a possibility that impartiality, one of the judiciary’s core professional values, might be unobtainable. To see whether attitudes play a role in the professional judicial decision-making process semi-structured interviews will be conducted among judges, who will also be asked to fill in a scenario survey. Hopefully the obtained data will lead to a start in filling this gap in empirical knowledge.


Mr. Elke Olthuis
Elke Olthuis is een promovenda bij de Universiteit van Amsterdam. In haar onderzoek integreert ze recht en psychologie. Ze is verbonden aan het PPLE College en het Paul Scholten Centre for Jurisprudence.
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 Process of Interlegality in a Situation of Formal Legal

Pluralism: A Case Study from La Cocha, Ecuador

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 03 2009
Auteurs Marc Simon Thomas
Auteursinformatie

Marc Simon Thomas
Marc Simon Thomas (m.a.simonthomas@uu.nl) is a PhD candidate at the Centre for Latin American Research and Education (CEDLA) in Amsterdam and Utrecht University, and affiliated as a tutor at the Department of Cultural Anthropology of Utrecht University. He obtained a Dutch law degree at the University of Leiden in 1992. After a decade of work experience in business services, he continued his academic career in Cultural Anthropology at Utrecht University where he graduated in 2006 (cum laude). Next, he received his masters degree in Latin American Studies at CEDLA in 2008. His current research interest concern indigenous rights and legal consciousness in Ecuador.
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