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Interview Jos Hoevenaars in ‘Het Advocatenblad’

Jos Hoevenaars was interviewed for the Dutch magazine for the legal profession ‘Het Advocatenblad’ about his insight into the experiences of lawyers who find themselves litigating before the European Court of Justice after their case is referred though a reference for a preliminary ruling. In the interview (freely translated: ‘Court of Justice? Experience Needed!’) he discusses his empirical research among Dutch lawyers and paints a picture of generally overwhelmed professionals scrambling for assistance among EU law scholars, while making the best of their opportunity to plead before the ECJ, often in opposition to a group of well-trained EU law experts appearing on behalf of intervening Member States. His work on the reference procedure highlight the inequality in representation before the ECJ and its potential negative impact on the Court’s caselaw and its national consequences.

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Published: February 24, 2020

On Friday 21 February 2020, the team of the ERC project Building EU Civil Justice organised a seminar on European Cross-Border Procedures. Guests of this seminar were nine students from the Sigmund Freud University Vienna. The aim of this event was to create an international outlet where students would discuss topics related to the theme of the seminar and receive feedback from senior academics.

Before joining the Seminar, the students prepared a presentation which they presented and discussed at the Austrian Ministry of Justice, EU institutions in Brussels and the Hague Conference on Private International Law. The Erasmus School of Law was the last stage of this trip and the Building EU Civil Justice team gladly accepted to discuss with the students.

The Seminar was opened by Prof. Xandra Kramer, the leader of Building EU Civil Justice, and Florian Heindler, assistant professor at the Sigmund Freud University who was accompanying the students. After these warm greetings, Alina Ontanu gave a short lecture on Access to Justice via e-Handling of Cross-border Procedures. Next, Felix Gruber, Sarah Kremser, and Mariella Sturz presented respectively their research on the amendment of the EU Evidence Regulation in the light of IT, the amendment of the EU Service Regulation in the light of IT, and the impact of the Hague Service Convention on Austria. Priskila Pratita Penasthika form the ESL commented on their presentation and gave some feedback.

Emma van Gelder started the second half of the seminar with a lecture on online dispute resolution in Europe. Her lecture was followed by the presentations of Stella Galehr, Tessa Grosz, and Tanja Pfleger who respectively presented on the liability of states and private entities in relation to the use of IT in international legal cooperation, non-discriminatory access to IT-based judicial infrastructure, and questions of data protection in judicial cooperation under the Hague Adults Convention. For this panel, Betul Kas served as discussant and moderator. In the last panel of this seminar, Julius Merhaut, Simon Kirschner, and Andrea Szell presented while Erlis Themeli provided feedback. The presentations of these students focused on iSupport status quo and further perspectives, possibilities and risks of IT for a uniform commercial register, and the EIO - The implementation of the Directive 2014/41/EU (Int adm law).

In the end, those attending the seminar joined a small reception where they expressed their gratitude for the organisation and in particular for Erlis and Florian who coordinated it. Considering the positive experience, the Austrian guests wish to see similar events more often in the future. The Building EU Civil Justice team is more than happy to host and help organising similar events in the future.