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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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Published: October 22, 2018

Between 17 and 20 October, Xandra Kramer and Erlis Themeli attended an international conference on evidence in the judicial process organized by the Iberoamerican Institute of Procedural Law and the International Association of Procedural Law. Xandra Kramer presented a paper on the current problems and future challenges of e-Evidence. It discusses technology as the big game changer in the taking of evidence, the use of electronic documents, and the role of social media and electronic devices. It zooms in on e-discovery and disclosure and technology assisted review, the reliability, authentication and admissability of e-evidence, and the interpretation and evaluation of e-evidence, including social media and the use of emoticons and emojis. At the end of the conference day, by way of tribute to Prof. Marcel Storme who passed away in April of this year, she presented a video including a collection of pictures and quotes, and arranged for a singing tribute.