News

Access to justice in times of corona

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!

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EU flag ERC logo

Published: December 23, 2019

Two ERC Members – Erlis Themeli and Emma van Gelder – in cooperation with Anna van Duin (UvA) received the ACES research grant to organize an academic conference. The theme of this Conference focuses on the question if and how digital and intelligent technologies can contribute to enhancing access to justice for EU citizens and consumers. It aims at bringing together legal scholars and social scientists with an interest in (automated) decision-making processes and dispute resolution mechanisms in contemporary Europe. As such, it aims to spark an interdisciplinary debate within the research community at UvA and beyond on how technological developments can facilitate access to justice, a cornerstone of the rule of law. The organisers are preparing the programma and the conference is intended to take place in September 2020.