Legal Aid Reform in the Netherlands: Laspo 2.0?
Jos Hoevenaars was interviewed for the Dutch magazine for the legal profession ‘Het Advocatenblad’ about his insight into the experiences of lawyers who find themselves litigating before the European Court of Justice after their case is referred though a reference for a preliminary ruling. In the interview (freely translated: ‘Court of Justice? Experience Needed!’) he discusses his empirical research among Dutch lawyers and paints a picture of generally overwhelmed professionals scrambling for assistance among EU law scholars, while making the best of their opportunity to plead before the ECJ, often in opposition to a group of well-trained EU law experts appearing on behalf of intervening Member States. His work on the reference procedure highlight the inequality in representation before the ECJ and its potential negative impact on the Court’s caselaw and its national consequences.
Published: November 14, 2018
On 9 November 2018, the Dutch Minister of Legal Protection Sander Dekker presented his plans for the overhaul of the Dutch system for subsidized legal aid. The proposal follows closely one of the aims of the current Dutch government to stimulate out-of-court dispute resolution, and steers significantly towards pre-judicial triage, (online) information and advice, and out-of-court settlement. Jos Hoevenaars draws a parallel between the proposed changes and previous reforms in in England and Wales following the Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO) of 2012 on conflictoflaws.net.