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7th annual Civil Justice Council National Forum on access to justice for those without means

On invitation Jos Hoevenaars attended the 7th annual Civil Justice Council National Forum on access to justice for those without means taking place in London on 7 December 2018. The full day forum brought together members from across the British advice and pro bono sector, courts and tribunals, government, the legal profession, universities (UK and abroad), charities, foundations and institutions to discuss the current state of the legal aid sector in the jurisdictions of the United Kingdom. The day saw some 20 different speakers as well as several in-depth breakout session in which divergent subjects such as funding, technology, the need for data collection and analysis, and the intersection between legal needs and mental health were discussed among the over 200 participants in more detail.

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Published: March 9, 2018

On 2 March Xandra Kramer gave a talk at a conference in Berlin on 'How European is European Private International Law?'. She focused on the how the judicial infrastructure can contribute to the application of European private international law rules, using among others aggregated statistics on the number of preliminary questions of national courts in the Member States and an inventory among experts and stakeholders in a number of Member States. One of the issues addressed was the rise of international commercial courts, in the Netherlands, Belgium, France, and Germany in particular, as is studied in depth by Georgia Antonopoulou in our ERC project. These courts are, however, not established with a view to facilitating the proper application of EU private international law rules.

Whereas specialized courts, special chambers within courts, specialised judges, court experts, judicial training, formal (e.g. EJN) and informal networks are useful to improve the application of these rules, it should be realized that in many courts these rules are only relevant in relatively a small number of cases, and measures should be cost-effective not to burden the available court budget. In addition, reflection is necessary as to the role of European private international law in view of current developments and  the political and social climate in the EU.