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Out Now: Frontiers in Civil Justice

We are happy and proud that our book Frontiers in Civil Justice: Privatisation, Monetisation and Digitisation (eds. Xandra Kramer, Jos Hoevenaars, Betül Kas and Erlis Themeli) has been published by Elgar. It is a volume evolving from the ERC project Building EU Civil Justice, and contains excellent chapters by many colleagues we have worked with in the past years.

The book studies three interrelated frontiers in civil justice from a European and national perspectives, combining theory with policy and insights from practice: the interplay between private and public justice, the digitization of justice, and litigation funding. These current topics are viewed against the backdrop of the requirements of effective access to justice and the overall goal of establishing a sustainable civil justice system in Europe.

The combined works take on a pan-European perspective and zoom in on several European jurisdictions, thereby providing a holistic exploration of current civil justice debates and frontiers. The book includes chapters dedicated to the interaction between public and private justice, the digitisation of both private dispute resolution and court litigation, including the rapid development and use of advanced forms of Artificial Intelligence, and the funding of justice, especially collective actions and settlements by means of private funding and common funds.

The book can be ordered here. The first Introductory chapter is open access available on the EE website.

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Published: June 23, 2021

The Fourth seminar of the EU Civil Justice Seminar Series took place on Thursday July 1st. The seminar focused on the private law aspects of climate litigation. Striking a bridge between his current work on (self)representation in civil justice and past work on strategic litigation and the representation of public interest through law, Jos Hoevenaars brought together a panel to discuss the most recent developments in climate change litigation.

In that context, the recent Milieudefensie/Shell decision of the district court of The Hague signifies a move in climate change litigation from targeting mainly the responsibilities of governments in curtailing the effects of climate change, like in the already famous Urgenda case, to suing corporations, and using the courts to force multinationals to adjust their practices. The panel of speakers discussed the implications the Shell decisions at the crossroads of strategic litigation, collective representation, civil tort law and human rights in climate litigation.

Chantal Mak, professor of Professor of Private law at the Amsterdam Centre for Transformative Private Law (ACT) analyzed the Shell decisions and highlighted the human rights angle of climate change litigation. Professor Geert van Calster, Head of the department of European and international law at the University of Leuven, gave an overview of the private international law aspects of climate change litigation. And finally, Sanne Biesmans, PhD candidate at the Business Law Institute of the Radboud University Nijmegen, analysed the Shell decision from a corporate liability perspective and sketched a future outlook for corporations and how this decision may affect their practices going forward.

The seminar was very well-attended, with some 65 participants joining for the subsequent discussions.