Representing Future Generations - 4th EU Civil Justice Seminar Series
Sustaining Access to Justice in Europe: New Avenues for Costs and Funding
The team of the NWO Vici project ‘Affordable Access to Justice’ at Erasmus School of Law, Erasmus University (Rotterdam), is organising the conference ‘Sustaining Access to Justice in Europe: New Avenues for Costs and Funding’ on 19 and 20 October 2023 at the Erasmus Paviljoen at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
Access to civil justice is of paramount importance for enforcing citizens’ rights. At the heart of access to civil justice lies litigation funding and cost management. Yet, over the past decades, access to justice has been increasingly put under pressure due to retrenching governments, high costs of procedure, and the inefficiency of courts and justice systems. Within this context, the funding of litigation in Europe seems to be shifting from public to private sources. Private actors and innovative business models emerged to provide new solutions to the old problem of financial barriers of access to justice.
With the participation of policymakers, practitioners, academics, and civil society representatives from all over Europe and beyond, the conference seeks to delve deeper into the financial implications of access to justice and the different ways to achieve sustainable civil justice systems in Europe.
The topics addressed in this international academic conference will include the different methods of financing dispute resolution, particularly in the context of group litigation (third-party funding, crowdfunding, blockchain technologies), public interest litigation, developments in ADR/ODR, the new business models of legal professionals as well as law and economics aspects on litigation funding. The conference is supported by the Dutch Research Council (NWO).
Find the link to registration here.
Please find the preliminary conference programme below.
Call for papers Vici Conference Sustainable justice 2023.pdf
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.