European digital constitutionalism and remedies - 3rd 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 9, 2021
The third seminar of the EU Civil Justice Seminar Series took place on Friday 4th of June 2021. The Seminar touched upon the topic of European digital constitutionalism and remedies. In the past two decades, the European Union has developed a framework of European digital constitutionalism. This framework was prompted as a reaction towards the predominance of digital private norm activities which were accelerating within the EU. Within this EU framework, there are various remedies and dispute resolution mechanisms available. These remedies are not just public remedies, but also bottom-up approaches to enforcement. For example, the Facebook Oversight Board presents a form of private adjudication. The European Commission proposal for a Digital Services Act (DSA) acknowledges the need to regulate such online platforms, for instance it requires online platforms to be transparent about why they take particular decisions.
Giovanni De Gregorio, who is a postdoc at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies at the University of Oxford, kicked of the seminar with providing the introduction of the topic European digital constitutionalism. He explained how the remedies within the framework are shaped and why these remedies have been made available. He noted the shift which is experienced from digital liberalism to digital constitutionalism.
The second speaker, Catalina Goanta, who is an assistant professor at Maastricht University, touched upon the platform powers. She explained that platforms are offering much more functions than just content, such as commercial functions of social commerce. She gave the example of Instagram, through which people can buy shoes. Catalina stressed the importance of asking the question on how to answer to this increasing power of these platforms. In this regard, Catalina addressed the potential of the DSA.
The third speaker was Clara Iglesias Keller, who is a postdoc research fellow at the Leibniz Institute for Media research and at WBZ Berlin Social Sciences Centre. She touched upon the topic of judicial review and constitutionalism. She highlighted the complexity of drawing up regulation for the Internet and also raised concerns of how claims can be redressed, as she pointed out that some claims are not brought to court.
A vivid discussion followed raising numerous insights and food for future thought.