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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: December 31, 2017

In December, the book ‘From common rules to best practices in European Civil Procedure’ was published, edited by Professors Burkhard Hess and Xandra Kramer. The book is the result of a concluding five year grant project by Xandra Kramer (PI), provided under  the Innovational Research Incentives Scheme Vidi grant of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). Part of the papers is also important as a point of departure for the current project, in particular part II on E-Justice and part III on alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in the context of judicial cooperation.