Access to justice in times of corona
Our book New pathways to civil justice in Europe has just been published by Springer. It results from one of the international conferences organized by our ERC group (’Challenge accepted!’) and this one was particularly memorable. The book focuses on innovative pathways to civil justice with a view to improving access to justice. It encompasses the four key topics of the project: use of Artificial Intelligence and its interaction with judicial systems; ADR and ODR tracks in privatising justice systems; the effects of increased self-representation on access to justice; and court specialization and the establishment of commercial courts to counter the trend of vanishing court trials. Top academics and experts from Europe, the US and Canada address these topics in a critical and multidisciplinary manner, combining legal, socio-legal and empirical insights. More information and sales available at the Springer website. The Introductory chapter by the editors (Erasmus University Rotterdam) and the final chapter by Judith Resnik (Yale University) are available for free download.
Published: April 8, 2020
Digital court room Rotterdam (rechtspraak.nl)
While our focus is on keeping ourselves and others healthy and safe and we share the great concerns and grief caused by the corona virus, our team tries to keep the spirit up and is working at a reduced pace from home. Our PhD researcher Georgia had to return earlier from her research stay in Singapore – but we are happy to have her back safe and sound – and many of our planned activities have been cancelled. Luckily, some meetings and events can still go through online and we hope that this virus that has been so devastating for many people can be controlled soon and we can begin to pick up our normal life routines and work activities in a world that has been shaken.
The disruption of society has naturally also affected our justice systems. In the Netherlands, the courts were closed on 17 March 2020, and only process designated urgent cases (including child protection cases, health and security related cases, insolvency cases, and certain criminal cases). A positive side effect is the rapid uptake of digitisation of justice. In the Netherlands, on 3 April 2020 a legislative proposal was put forward to enable more electronic communication and video calling to secure that the judiciary can keep functioning. We report more in detail on this in our blogpost on Conflictoflaws.net.
Stay safe and healthy!