News

Self-Represented Litigation Network - Access to Justice Across the Atlantic

Xandra Kramer and Jos Hoevenaars will host a panel at the Self-Represented Litigation Network Conference 2018 in San Francisco on 22-23 February. This part of our research, primarily conducted by Jos, will scrutinize self-representation trends against the backdrop of access to justice. It focuses on how self-representation changes procedural dynamics between courts and parties as well as the repercussions for the effectiveness of litigation and procedural justice as components of access to justice. The panel, with a roundtable format, aims to bring together researchers and practitioners from different jurisdictions, to foster cross-Atlantic ties and collaborations, and provides an opportunity for the exchange of insights and experiences. Join us in San Francisco on 23 February!

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Self-Represented Litigation Network - Access to Justice Across the Atlantic

Xandra Kramer and Jos Hoevenaars will host a panel at the Self-Represented Litigation Network Conference 2018 in San Francisco on 22-23 February. This part of our research, primarily conducted by Jos, will scrutinize self-representation trends against the backdrop of access to justice. It focuses on how self-representation changes procedural dynamics between courts and parties as well as the repercussions for the effectiveness of litigation and procedural justice as components of access to justice. The panel, with a roundtable format, aims to bring together researchers and practitioners from different jurisdictions, to foster cross-Atlantic ties and collaborations, and provides an opportunity for the exchange of insights and experiences. Join us in San Francisco on 23 February!

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e-Court in the Netherlands

Recently, there has been a lot of criticism on e-Court including in a recent Dutch television program ‘Nieuwsuur’. E-Court is a private initiative of online dispute resolution in the Netherlands. Emma van Gelder wrote a blogpost on e-Court, in which she acknowledges and discusses the criticism. Next to the criticism, she sets out the key benefits of a system of online dispute resolution.

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Conference on the Development of Consumer ADR

On 9 January 2018, Alexandre Biard participated in a conference hosted by the French energy Ombudsman (Médiateur de l’énergie) with key stakeholders from European and French consumer ADR sectors: representatives of the Commission d’Evaluation et de Contrôle de la Médiation (the authority in charge of certifying and supervising consumer ADR providers in France), various European ombudsmen and mediators, consumers associations, officials from the Ministry of Justice, and academics.

Together, they reviewed and assessed the development of consumer ADR, two years after the implementation of the Consumer ADR Directive in France, and drew some comparisons with the experience acquired in several other Member States.

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Publication of ‘From Common Rules to Best Practices in European Civil Procedure’

In December, the book ‘From common rules to best practices in European Civil Procedure’ was published, edited by Professors Burkhard Hess and Xandra Kramer. The book is the result of a concluding five year grant project by Xandra Kramer (PI), provided under  the Innovational Research Incentives Scheme Vidi grant of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). Part of the papers is also important as a point of departure for the current project, in particular part II on E-Justice and part III on alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in the context of judicial cooperation.

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Functioning of the ODR Platform: EU Commission Publishes First Results

On 13 December 2017, the European Commission published a report on the functioning of the Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) Platform for consumer disputes, and the findings of a web-scraping exercise of EU traders’ websites investigating traders’ compliance with their information obligations vis-à-vis consumers. Emma van Gelder and Alexandre Biard wrote a blogpost detailing key results.

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Presentations on digitalizing justice at Ius Commune Conference

On 24 November 2017, Xandra Kramer, Emma van Gelder and Erlis Themeli presented their work on the digitalization of justice at the Ius Commune Conference (workshop on civil procedure). The presentation prepared by Erlis focused on general aspects of the digitalization of justice. Xandra discussed the digitalization resulting from the Dutch Quality and Innovation of Justice program. Emma concluded with a presentation on Online Dispute Resolution, discussing private initiatives on digitalization in out-of-court dispute resolution and developments at the EU level concerning ADR/ODR. Subsequently, Xandra and Emma participated in a panel discussion, receiving interesting questions from the audience and resulting in vivid discussions generating fruitful insights.

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Digitalisation in the Netherlands

The Netherlands is one of the pioneers in digitalisation worldwide. Next to the implementation of the Quality and Innovation project (KEI) within the courts, digitalisation is increasingly taking place in out-of-court dispute resolution. Emma van Gelder discusses two well-known examples of private initiatives of digitalisation in the Netherlands and subsequently assesses the online tools against the background of access to justice.

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Establishment of the Advisory Board

Our advisory board has been established. The members are prof. dr. Burkhard Hess (Heidelberg University), prof. dr. Christopher Hodges (University of Oxford), prof. dr. Peter Mascini (Erasmus University Rotterdam), prof. dr. Elisabetta Silvestri (University of Pavia), dr. John Sorabji (University College London) and prof. dr. Sebastian Spinei (Lucian Blaga University). The advisory board will offer expertise on national law and specific topics of our research, and will support in the design and implementation of empirical research where necessary.

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ERC project discussed at Queen Mary University London

On 22 November 2017, Xandra Kramer and Jos Hoevenaars presented the ERC project at the Erasmus-Queen Mary Dialogues meeting at Queen Mary University London. Xandra presented the background, objectives, and challenges of the project. Jos zoomed in on his postdoc project on self-representation, benefitting from two meetings he had with English experts on the day before. We received valuable feedback from commentator Eva Nanopoulos (Queen Mary) and other participants.

 

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A2J and Navigating the Maze of the Law

Xandra Kramer and Christoph Engel (ESL; Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods) presented their ideas for a vignette study on how laypeople navigate the maze of the law at Erasmus School of Law on 16 November 2017. The study aims to  investigate the relevance of legal uncertainty for the decision of laypersons to rely on the legal system as a means for seeking redress.

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Publication of the Encyclopedia of Private International Law

The Encyclopedia of Private International Law has been published. The encyclopedia is written by 181 authors from 57 countries and among them is Xandra Kramer, who authored a part on Legal Aid, which is an important subject for Access to Justice. 

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Presentation Eurojuris International

On 14 October, Xandra Kramer gave a lecture and workshop for members of the EUROJURIS INTERNATIONAL Litigation, ADR & Contracts Practice Group, on the ocassion of the 25th anniversary of Eurojuris (a leading network of law firms) in Brussels. She presented new developments in the area of international commercial litigation and ADR in Europe and discussed the consequences of Brexit for international litigation in Europe.

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Presentations collective redress at European Law Academy

On 12 October, two team members presented on collective redress at the annual consumer conference at the European Law Academy in Trier. Alexandre Biard presented a paper on the Recommendation on collective redress and the upcoming evaluation. Xandra Kramer gave a talk on Dutch collective settlements and the pending bill on collective compensatory actions, and chaired a lively round table discussion on safeguards to avoid abuse of collective redress mechanisms in the EU.

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Opinion on Netherlands Commercial Court in financial newspaper FD

Xandra Kramer in collaboration with Eddy Bauw (professor at the Universities of Utrecht and Amsterdam) published an opinion in the Dutch financial newspaper Het Financieele Dagblad (FD) on the Netherlands Commercial Court. Providing counter arguments to an opinion published in the FD of last week, it contends that generally this initiative should be welcomed as it equips the court better to offer high quality and more tailor-made justice. The bill to establish this specialized chamber of the Amsterdam District court is currently pending in Parliament. It aims to facilitate the handling of complex, commercial and international cases, among others by allowing parties to choose English as the language of the litigation.

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Dutch collective redress dangerous? A call for a more nuanced approach

Recently, the Dutch approach to the resolution of mass claims, including the Mass Claim Settlement Act (WCAM), has been criticised by the US ILR for failing to comply with the European Commission’s 2013 Recommendation on Collective Redress, and therefore being particularly prone to abuses. In response to this, Xandra Kramer and Alexandre Biard in collaboration with Ilja Tillema wrote a blogpost calling for a more nuanced approach, and stressed that it remains of the utmost importance that both drawbacks and benefits of collective redress mechanism be thoroughly addressed and assessed.

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Pathways to empirical legal research

The ERC team had the opportunity to further explore the use of empirical methodologies in legal research and its relevance in the context of the ERC project. On 22 September 2017, Georgia Antonopoulou and Emma van Gelder attended the Ius Commune Empirical Legal Research Workshop organized at Maastricht University, where they discussed and exchanged ideas with empirical legal experts on key topics concerning empirical research relevant to the project, including data gathering and data interpretation. On 26 September Alexandre Biard and Emma van Gelder attended a guest lecture at Leuven University, where they further considered the relevance of empirics when applied to the ADR sector during a guest lecture given by Professor Deborah Hensler from Stanford University.

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Kick-off meeting EGSL for PhD researchers

On 21 September 2017, the kick-off meeting of Erasmus Graduate School of Law (EGSL) of Erasmus School of Law took place where Emma van Gelder and Georgia Antonopoulou introduced themselves and their research projects. During this first year they will follow research-related courses to guide them in their PhD research.

Erlis Themeli was a panel member exchanging experiences and good practices on how to successfully pursue a PhD research.

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Presentation ERC project at BACT annual meeting

On 21 September 2017, Xandra Kramer presented the ERC project and all team members introduced their subproject at the annual meeting of the multi-disciplinary and international research program BACT at Erasmus School of Law. The synergies with projects of other researchers within the program  strengthens the ERC research.

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Effective Access to Courts v. Compulsory Mediation Procedures:  CJEU Clarifies the Matter

On 14 June 2017, the First Chamber of the CJEU delivered an interesting preliminary ruling (case C-75/16, Menini & Rampanelli v Banco Popolare – Società Cooperativa) bringing in new insights on the admissibility of compulsory mediation procedures in the EU. Alexandre Biard wrote a blogpost on the case and implications of the ruling here.

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Participation in ELI Annual Conference

Several team members participated in the ELI annual conference that took place in Vienna from 6-8 September 2017. On 7 September Xandra Kramer, as Co-Reporter of the “Structure” working group, presented the progress of the ELI-UNIDROIT joint project “European Rules of Civil Procedure” that is expected to contribute significantly to the development of European civil procedure. The first official consolidated draft of three sets of civil procedure rules on evidence, provisional measures and the service of documents was critically discussed with the panelists and the participants. The team members attended among others the “The Courts and Alternative Dispute Resolution” panel, which focused on court-based dispute resolution processes (“CBDRPs”) and the various challenges arising from it as well as panels on digitalization In addition, the team participated in the Special Interest Groups on Digital Law and Dispute Resolution, where cutting-edge developments in each field were presented. During the SIG meeting on Dispute Resolution the team had the chance to briefly introduce the ERC project and to exchange ideas on the establishment of specialized international courts in particular.

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Kick-off ERC project

On 1 September 2017, the ERC project team had its kick-off meeting, discussion content, organization and strategy of the project. The team consists of three postdocs, Erlis Themeli, Alexandre Biard and Jos Hoevenaars and two PhD candidates, Emma van Gelder and Georgia Antonopoulou. Kyra Hanemaayer has been appointed as student assistant to support the project team. Go to team for more information on the project team.

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Xandra Kramer presents on eJustice at Wiesbaden Conference

On 23 June 2017 Xandra Kramer gave a presentation on 'Digitalization at full speed: Innovating justice in the Netherlands' at a conference organized by the EBS Law School in Wiesbaden dedicated to the 'Digital Single Market: Bausteine eines Digitalen Binnenmarktes'. The paper will be published in a conference volume in 2018.

 

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ERC Consolidator Grant awarded to Xandra Kramer

Xandra Kramer was awarded a European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Grant for her project on Building EU civil justice: challenges of procedural innovations bridging access to justice. We are currently recruiting three postdocs and two PhD researchers and will finalize the selection well before the kick-off on 1 September 2017.

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