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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: July 1, 2019

Emma van Gelder conducted two-month visiting research at the University of Oxford, Centre for Socio-Legal Studies as part of her PhD under supervision of Professor Christopher Hodges (Trinity Term 2019 May and June).

As the United Kingdom (England and Wales) forms one of her selected case-studies of her PhD, she choose to conduct her research at Oxford. During her time there she researched the UK civil justice system and more specifically, the sector of Consumer ADR within the justice system. Next to theoretical research, she conducted about ten interviews with Consumer ADR schemes throughout the UK that used IT within their dispute resolution process.