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Out Now: Frontiers in Civil Justice

We are happy and proud that our book Frontiers in Civil Justice: Privatisation, Monetisation and Digitisation (eds. Xandra Kramer, Jos Hoevenaars, Betül Kas and Erlis Themeli) has been published by Elgar. It is a volume evolving from the ERC project Building EU Civil Justice, and contains excellent chapters by many colleagues we have worked with in the past years.

The book studies three interrelated frontiers in civil justice from a European and national perspectives, combining theory with policy and insights from practice: the interplay between private and public justice, the digitization of justice, and litigation funding. These current topics are viewed against the backdrop of the requirements of effective access to justice and the overall goal of establishing a sustainable civil justice system in Europe.

The combined works take on a pan-European perspective and zoom in on several European jurisdictions, thereby providing a holistic exploration of current civil justice debates and frontiers. The book includes chapters dedicated to the interaction between public and private justice, the digitisation of both private dispute resolution and court litigation, including the rapid development and use of advanced forms of Artificial Intelligence, and the funding of justice, especially collective actions and settlements by means of private funding and common funds.

The book can be ordered here. The first Introductory chapter is open access available on the EE website.

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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.