Representing Future Generations - 4th EU Civil Justice Seminar Series
On 1 November 2023, Jos Hoevenaars re-joined Erasmus School of Law after completing a one-year research project at the Dutch Council for the Judiciary which focused on questions of effectiveness of judgments in the Dutch legal system (report available early 2024). Previously, he was part of our ERC ‘Building EU civil justice’ team, where his research focused mainly on (self)representation in court and access to justice in a cross-border context. In 2022, he was the executive project manager for a study commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security and its Research and Documentation Centre (WODC) that looked into the usefulness and necessity of a litigation fund for collective actions in the Netherlands (Dutch report available here, English book forthcoming).
The coming years he will strengthen the Vici ‘Affordable Access to Justice’ team, focusing on costs and funding of collective actions, and he will develop a new line of research in the area of strategic litigation in which he will investigate the collective and representative action field from a legal mobilisation perspective. He will also play a role in the setting up of a European Civil Justice Centre.
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.