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: September 11, 2017

Several team members participated in the ELI annual conference that took place in Vienna from 6-8 September 2017. On 7 September Xandra Kramer, as Co-Reporter of the “Structure” working group, presented the progress of the ELI-UNIDROIT joint project “European Rules of Civil Procedure” that is expected to contribute significantly to the development of European civil procedure. The first official consolidated draft of three sets of civil procedure rules on evidence, provisional measures and the service of documents was critically discussed with the panelists and the participants. The team members attended among others the “The Courts and Alternative Dispute Resolution” panel, which focused on court-based dispute resolution processes (“CBDRPs”) and the various challenges arising from it as well as panels on digitalization In addition, the team participated in the Special Interest Groups on Digital Law and Dispute Resolution, where cutting-edge developments in each field were presented. During the SIG meeting on Dispute Resolution the team had the chance to briefly introduce the ERC project and to exchange ideas on the establishment of specialized international courts in particular.