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Sustaining Access to Justice in Europe: New Avenues for Costs and Funding

The team of the NWO Vici project ‘Affordable Access to Justice’ at Erasmus School of Law, Erasmus University (Rotterdam), is organising the conference ‘Sustaining Access to Justice in Europe: New Avenues for Costs and Funding’ on 19 and 20 October 2023 at the Erasmus Paviljoen at Erasmus University Rotterdam.

Access to civil justice is of paramount importance for enforcing citizens’ rights. At the heart of access to civil justice lies litigation funding and cost management. Yet, over the past decades, access to justice has been increasingly put under pressure due to retrenching governments, high costs of procedure, and the inefficiency of courts and justice systems. Within this context, the funding of litigation in Europe seems to be shifting from public to private sources. Private actors and innovative business models emerged to provide new solutions to the old problem of financial barriers of access to justice.

With the participation of policymakers, practitioners, academics, and civil society representatives from all over Europe and beyond, the conference seeks to delve deeper into the financial implications of access to justice and the different ways to achieve sustainable civil justice systems in Europe.

The topics addressed in this international academic conference will include the different methods of financing dispute resolution, particularly in the context of group litigation (third-party funding, crowdfunding, blockchain technologies), public interest litigation, developments in ADR/ODR, the new business models of legal professionals as well as law and economics aspects on litigation funding. The conference is supported by the Dutch Research Council (NWO).

Find the link to registration here.

Please find the preliminary conference programme below.

Call for papers Vici Conference Sustainable justice 2023.pdf

Provisional Programme.pdf

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Published: July 14, 2022

We are happy to announce the publication of the Erasmus Law Review Special Issue on Global Developments and Challenges in Costs and Funding of Civil Justice (also reported here). This Special Issue contains three contributions from our team members alongside an editorial note by Masood Ahmed and Xandra Kramer.

Firstly, Adriani Dori inquired whether the fact-finding process that supports the preparation of the EU Justice Scoreboard, as well as the data this document displays, conveys reliable and comparable information. Adrian Cordina critically examines, including from a law-and-economics perspective, the main sources of concern leading to the skepticism shown towards TPF in Europe and how the regulatory frameworks of England and Wales, the Netherlands, and Germany in Europe, and at the European Union level, the Representative Actions Directive address such concerns. Finally, in view of the UKSC’s finding of non-infringement of Article 6 ECHR in Coventry v. Lawrence [2015] 50, Eduardo Silva de Freitas argued that a more holistic view of the procedural guarantees provided for by Article 6 ECHR is called for to properly assess its infringement, considering mainly the principle of equality of arms.