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Artikel

Access_open Het effect van een pro Justitia-rapportage op de bewijsbeslissing: een empirische verkenning

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 2 2020
Trefwoorden Pro Justitia, Guilt, Conviction, Forensic mental health report
Auteurs Roosmarijn van Es MSc., Dr. Janne van Doorn, Prof. dr. Jan de Keijser e.a.
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    A forensic mental health report is requested in about 30% of more serious cases presented to the criminal court. These reports can be used at sentencing and advise the judge on criminal responsibility, recidivism risk, and possible treatment measures, but is not a formal factor in decisions about guilt. The current study focuses on the (unwarranted) effect of forensic mental health information on conviction decisions. Using an experimental vignette study among 155 criminology students, results show that when a mental disorder is present, conviction rates are higher than when such information is absent. In line with the story model of judicial decision-making, additional analyses showed that this effect was mediated by the evaluation of guilt rather than by the evaluation of other physical evidence. Implications for further research and practice are discussed.


Roosmarijn van Es MSc.
Roosmarijn van Es is promovenda bij het Instituut voor Strafrecht en Criminologie aan Universiteit Leiden. Haar onderzoek richt zich op de rol van informatie in pro Justitia-rapportages in rechterlijke beslissingen over bewijs en straf.

Dr. Janne van Doorn
Janne van Doorn is universitair docent bij het Instituut voor Strafrecht en Criminologie aan Universiteit Leiden.

Prof. dr. Jan de Keijser
Jan de Keijser is hoogleraar Criminologie bij het Instituut voor Strafrecht en Criminologie aan Universiteit Leiden.

Prof. dr. mr. Maarten Kunst
Maarten Kunst is hoogleraar Criminologie bij het Instituut voor Strafrecht en Criminologie aan Universiteit Leiden.
Werk in uitvoering

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.
Boekbespreking

Soft-drugs, morality and law in Late Modernity

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 2 2016
Trefwoorden review-essay, proefschrift Chevallier, blow-verbod, symbolic crusade, culture of control
Auteurs Thaddeus Müller
Auteursinformatie

Thaddeus Müller
Thaddeus Müller is senior onderzoeker bij de Law School, Lancaster University (criminology). Hij is gespecialiseerd in kwalitatieve methoden en zijn belangstelling gaat uit naar de sociale constructie van perspectieven op veiligheid in publieke ruimten, in het bijzonder in multi-culturele buurten. Een ander thema dat zijn belangstelling heeft is de constructie en ontwikkeling van het softdrugs-beleid in Nederland en over de grenzen. Thaddeus Müller heeft ook gepubliceerd over andere thema’s, met name over de marginalisering van etnische jongeren in de laat-moderniteit, vooral in de context van het strafrechtstelsel, academische fraude (gerelateerd aan de organisatie van academische instellingen), met name de Diederik Stapel-zaak en over Rock en Roll, in het bijzonder Lou Reed.
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

Understanding judges’ choices of sentence types as interpretative work: An explorative study in a Dutch police court

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 1 2016
Trefwoorden Judicial decision-making, sentencing type, (ir)redeemability, whole case approach
Auteurs Peter Mascini, Irene van Oorschot PhD, Assistant professor Don Weenink e.a.
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article critically evaluates the prevailing factor-oriented (e.g. a priori defined legal and extralegal characteristics of defendants) approach in analyses of judicial decision-making. Rather than assuming such factors, we aim to demonstrate how Dutch judges engage in interpretative work to arrive at various sentence types. In their interpretative work, judges attempt to weigh and compare various legal and extralegal features of defendants. Importantly, they do so in the context of the case as a whole, which means that these features do not have independent or fixed meanings. Judges select and weigh information to create an image of defendants’ redeemability. However, extralegal concerns other than redeemability also inform judges’ decisions. We argue that studying the naturally occurring interpretative work of judges results in a better understanding of judicial decision-making than outcome-oriented studies, which view criminal cases as collections of independent legal and extralegal factors.


Peter Mascini
Peter Mascini holds a chair in Empirical Legal Studies at the Erasmus School of Law of the Erasmus University Rotterdam, where he is also associate professor of sociology at the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences. His research focuses on the legitimization, implementation, and enforcement of laws and policies.

Irene van Oorschot PhD
Irene van Oorschot is a PhD candidate at the Faculty of the Social Sciences at the Erasmus University Rotterdam and will soon start as a postdoctoral researcher at the Anthropology Department of the University of Amsterdam. Drawing on actor network theory and feminist studies of knowledge, her research focuses on legal and scientific modes of truth-production.

Assistant professor Don Weenink
Don Weenink is assistant professor of Sociology at the Department of Sociology at the University of Amsterdam. He has published work on, among other subjects, ethnic inequalities in judicial sentencing.

Gratiëlla Schippers
Gratiëlla Schippers has studied Sociology at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. For her master thesis she has done research about the understanding of judges’ choices of sentence types.

    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.

    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.
Praktijk

Understanding knowledge sharing between judges

A quantitative analysis

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 2 2014
Trefwoorden knowledge exchange, knowledge sharing behavior, knowledge management system, judicial knowledge
Auteurs Sandra Taal PhD
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Over the last two decades, there has been a growing interest in the development and implementation of knowledge management systems. In the judicial context, these knowledge management systems are designed to support judges in the decision-making process by providing them with the knowledge that they need in order to deal with doubts or uncertainties in complex cases. However, less attention has been given to the related process of knowledge sharing between judges. In order to optimally benefit from the knowledge available in the organization, this process should be better understood and acted upon. The aim of this research project is to gain a better insight into the interactive process of knowledge sharing between judges. To this end, a research model has been developed which will be quantitatively tested on the basis of survey responses from judges.


Sandra Taal PhD
PhD Candidate
Artikel

De afstand tussen burger en rechter

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 2 2013
Trefwoorden Confidence in the judiciary, punitivity gap, accessibility gap
Auteurs Marijke Malsch
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The distance between the public and the judiciary takes two forms: a punitivity gap and an accessibility gap. This article discusses both types of gap and elaborates on the issue of whether the existence of these gaps influences confidence in the judiciary. From the literature, it appears that the public is generally of the opinion that courts sentence too leniently. However, experiments show that when citizens receive information on a specific case, they become less punitive. Information provision may also help to bridge an accessibility gap, as does actual citizen involvement in the administration of justice. The relation between the gaps discussed and confidence in the judiciary is not clear as yet. The article discusses methods generally used to assess confidence and suggests that confidence may be increased by a reduction of the two gaps.


Marijke Malsch
Marijke Malsch is senior onderzoeker bij het Nederlands Studiecentrum Criminaliteit en Rechtshandhaving (NSCR) te Amsterdam, en rechter-plaatsvervanger bij de Rechtbank Haarlem en het Hof Den Bosch. Bij de Vrije Universiteit (VU) verzorgt zij het vak ‘Recht en Praktijk’. Enkele publicaties: ‘De aanvaarding en naleving van rechtsnormen door burgers: participatie, informatieverschaffing en bejegening’, in: P.T. de Beer & C.J.M. Schuyt (red.), Bijdragen aan waarden en normen, Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press 2004, p. 77-106. En: Democracy in the courts. Lay participation in European criminal justice systems, Aldershot: Ashgate 2009.

Friso Kulk
Friso Kulk studeerde in 2003 cum laude af in Arabische Taal en Cultuur aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam. Daarna studeerde hij de tweejarige master Staats- en Bestuursrecht, eveneens aan de UvA. Hij werkte onder meer als juridisch adviseur bij Vluchtelingenwerk, als vertaler en als docent Arabisch. Zijn promotieonderzoek gaat over de familierechtelijke relatie tussen ouders en kinderen in Egyptisch-Nederlandse en Marokkaans-Nederlandse gezinnen.
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