Search result: 101 articles

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Article

Access_open A Comparative Perspective on the Protection of Hate Crime Victims in the European Union

New Developments in Criminal Procedures in the EU Member States

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 3 2021
Keywords hate crime, victims, victim rights, procedural justice, EU Member States, criminal procedure
Authors Suzan van der Aa, Robin Hofmann and Jacques Claessen
AbstractAuthor's information

    Hate crime victims involved in a criminal procedure experience difficulties that are different from problems encountered by other victims. In trying to meet the specific procedural needs of hate crime victims many EU Member States have introduced protective measures and services in criminal proceedings, but the adopted approaches are widely disparate. By reporting the results of an EU-wide comparative survey into hate crime victims within national criminal procedures the authors aim to: (1) make an inventory of the national (legal) definitions of hate crime and the protection measures available (on paper) for hate crime victims; and (2) critically discuss certain national choices, inter alia by juxtaposing the procedural measures to the procedural needs of hate crime victims to see if there are any lacunae from a victimological perspective. The authors conclude that the Member States should consider expanding their current corpus of protection measures in order to address some of the victims’ most urgent needs.


Suzan van der Aa
Suzan van der Aa, PhD, is Professor of Criminal Law at Maastricht University, the Netherlands.

Robin Hofmann
Robin Hofmann is Assistant Professor at Maastricht University, the Netherlands.

Jacques Claessen
Jacques Claessen is Professor at Maastricht University, the Netherands.
Article

Access_open Ruled by Fear or Safety-Related Empowerment

The Experience and Meaning of Penal Protection Orders in Intimate Partner Violence in the Netherlands

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 3 2021
Keywords intimate partner violence, stalking, protection orders, empowerment, safety, well-being
Authors Irma W.M. Cleven
AbstractAuthor's information

    This study uses a novel approach to understand the experience and meaning of unsafety and the contribution of penal protection orders to victim empowerment in cases of intimate partner violence (IPV). In ten in-depth interviews, IPV survivors reflect on their relationship with their ex-partner and the previous years in which the order against their ex-partner was issued, including its role within the wider process of coming to terms with IPV victimisation and moving on. Depending on expectations of protection orders (POs) enforcement and deterrence, POs enhance one’s safety-related self-efficacy and result in a sense of empowerment. Its meaning can be understood in terms of one’s power from the ex-partner, power to act, status vis-à-vis the offender and the wider community, care/help of the CJS, and unity/togetherness with the wider community. Several implications for theoretical and empirical research and practice are discussed.


Irma W.M. Cleven
Irma W.M. Cleven, MSc, is PhD Candidate at the Department of Criminology of the Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
Article

Access_open Victims’ Fundamental Need for Safety and Privacy and the Role of Legislation and Empirical Evidence

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 3 2021
Keywords needs for safety, victim impact statements, legislation, Empirical Legal Studies, privacy protection
Authors Marijke Malsch
AbstractAuthor's information

    Various laws, guidelines and other types of regulation have been created that introduced new rights worldwide for victims of crime. Many of these rights focus on active victims who wish to step into the open and to orally express their views and experiences in court. Rights and wishes to remain in the background and to preserve one’s privacy received less attention. This article focuses primarily on the wishes of victims that reveal their intention to not play an active role in the criminal process, and on victims who fear an invasion of their safety and privacy. According to the literature, such wishes and needs can be considered to be fundamental. The article questions the empirical basis for the present victim legislation: are the new laws that have been created over the decades founded on empirically established victim needs, or on presumed victim needs? The article concludes with a plea for a more extensive use of empirical findings that shed light on victim wishes in the legislation and the criminal process.


Marijke Malsch
Marijke Malsch is Professor of Empirical Legal Studies at Open Universiteit Netherlands.
Article

Access_open Dutch Penal Protection Orders in Practice

A Study of Aims and Outcomes

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 3 2021
Keywords enforcement practice, victim safety, street level bureaucracy, criminal justice chain, penal protection orders
Authors Tamar Fischer and Sanne Struijk
AbstractAuthor's information

    Penal protection orders (PPOs) aim to protect initial victims from repeat victimisation and in a broader sense from any danger for his or her dignity or psychological and sexual integrity and may therefore be important instruments for victim safety. However, knowledge on the actual practice of the PPOs and the successes, dilemmas and challenges involved is scarce. In this article, we describe the legal framework and actual enforcement practice of Dutch PPOs. The theoretical framework leading our explorative analyses regards Lipsky’s notion of ‘street-level bureaucracy’ and the succeeding work of Maynard & Musheno and Tummers on coping strategies and agency narratives of frontline workers. Using interview data from criminal justice professionals, victims and offenders, we describe the conditions of the enforcement practice and answer the question which coping mechanisms and types of agencies the professionals tend to apply in order to meet the legislative aims and to protect victims as effectively as possible. Results show that the five conditions described by Lipsky are clearly present. So far, in almost all situations the process of monitoring violations is reactive and because knowledge on risk indicators for violent escalation is still limited, it is difficult for frontline workers to decide how many and what type of resources should be invested in which cases. This results in a ‘moving away from clients’ strategy. However, within this context in which reactive enforcement is the default, we also found several examples of coping that represent ‘moving towards clients’ strategies.


Tamar Fischer
Tamar Fischer is Associate Professor of Criminology at the Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Sanne Struijk
Sanne Struijk is Professor of Penal Sanctions Law and associate professor of Criminal Law at the Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Sanne Struijk
Sanne Struijk is Professor of Penal Sanctions Law, Erasmus School of Law, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and also Endowed Professor Penology and Penitentiary Law, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands.
Article

Access_open Is It All That Fishy? A Critical Review of the Concerns Surrounding Third Party Litigation Funding in Europe

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 4 2021
Keywords access to justice, third-party litigation fund, collective redress, Europe, conflicts of interest
Authors Adrian Cordina
AbstractAuthor's information

    Virtually all major jurisdictions worldwide, including those in Europe, have been facing constrained budgets in civil justice and increasing litigation volume, delays, complexity and costs in the last few decades. This makes it difficult, or impossible, for certain individuals and entities to pursue meritorious claims, be it individually or collectively, posing a significant challenge to access to justice. With third-party funding (TPF) of litigation frequently touted as a promising private funding solution to this problem, this article explores the question of how and why the proliferation of TPF has been viewed with a considerable degree of caution in Europe, and questions to what extent this caution is warranted. The scale of the civil justice crisis in Europe, the shift from public to private funding and the purported benefits of TPF are first briefly investigated. The article then proceeds to critically examine, including from a law-and-economics perspective, the main sources of concern leading to the scepticism shown towards TPF in Europe, which is still largely unregulated. These sources are the commodification of justice, conflicts of interest and funder capital inadequacy. Particular reference is made to the regulatory frameworks of the jurisdictions of England and Wales, the Netherlands and Germany in Europe, and at the European Union level, to the Representative Actions Directive. It concludes by restating the potential benefits and complexity of this industry and the importance of distinguishing and analysing the arguments most commonly raised against it in the literature, policy and jurisprudence.


Adrian Cordina
Adrian Cordina, LLM, is a PhD candidate at the department of Private Law of the Erasmus School of Law, Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
Article

Access_open Cyprus: Affordability and Accessibility of the Civil Justice System

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 4 2021
Keywords Cyprus, accessibility, affordability, costs, legal aid, civil procedure
Authors Nicolas Kyriakides, Iphigeneia Fisentzou and Nayia Christodoulou
AbstractAuthor's information

    In determining the accessibility and affordability of the civil justice system, this article will evaluate the costs regime and litigation funding available in Cyprus in light of the recent proposed reforms to the civil procedure rules. At the time of writing, civil cases in Cyprus are ranked according to their value and governed by fixed costs rules depending on the scale of the claim. Litigation funding, such as legal aid, is available only if the civil case involves the infringement of human rights and is granted under specific circumstances. Furthermore, third-party funding and contingency fees are practically unheard of, as they remain unregulated by the Cypriot legislation. Third-party litigation funding has only recently been examined by the national courts albeit in the context of an application for the setting aside of an order enforcing a foreign judgment. Is the Cypriot civil justice system affordable and thus accessible? Does limited access to legal aid and third-party funding result in violation of the right to access to justice? Will the civil justice reform improve accessibility for litigants? A holistic answer will be achieved by drawing comparisons with costs and litigation funding practices in England and Wales, as well as in Germany, both of which are leading jurisdictions in Europe and especially influential owing to their geopolitical history with the island, representing the common law and civil law systems, respectively.


Nicolas Kyriakides
Nicolas Kyriakides, PhD, teaches at the University of Nicosia School of Humanities, Social Sciences and Law in Cyprus.

Iphigeneia Fisentzou
Iphigenia Fisentzou is a Lawyer at Chrysses Demetriades & Co LLC in Cyprus.

Nayia Christodoulou
Nayia Christodoulou is a Researcher at the University of Cyprus: Panepistemio Kyprou.
Article

Access_open Counting the Cost of Enlarging the Role of ADR in Civil Justice

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 4 2021
Keywords access to justice, alternative dispute resolution, mandatory ADR, cost sanctions, proportionality
Authors Dorcas Quek Anderson
AbstractAuthor's information

    Singapore, a common law jurisdiction, recently implemented radical changes to its civil procedure regime in order to ensure affordability of the civil justice process. The reforms include the imposition of a duty on parties to consider alternative dispute resolution (ADR) before commencing and during legal proceedings and the empowerment of courts to order the parties to use ADR. This paper discusses the implications of increasing the justice system’s emphasis on the use of ADR with reference to Singapore’s civil justice reforms and comparable reforms in the United Kingdom. It demonstrates how the historical inclusion of ADR in the justice system has shaped the concept of access to justice, resulting in an emphasis not only on cost-effective justice but also on tailoring the characteristics of each case to the appropriate dispute resolution process. An excessive association of ADR with cost savings will thus neglect other significant dimensions of access to justice. The paper argues that the question of whether ADR is an appropriate process for each dispute assumes greater complexity as both the parties and the court have to engage in detailed cost-benefit analyses to determine whether any refusal to attempt ADR or order to use ADR is justified. Cost concerns also have to be delicately balanced with other factors relevant to determining the appropriate dispute resolution process. The author proposes adopting a more nuanced approach that does not deem mediation as automatically decreasing the overall cost of justice and recognises the importance of encouraging appropriate dispute resolution.


Dorcas Quek Anderson
Dorcas Quek Anderson, LL.M., is an Assistant Professor, Singapore Management University.
Article

Access_open In Data We Trust? Quantifying the Costs of Adjudication in the EU Justice Scoreboard

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 4 2021
Keywords access to justice, costs of justice, EU Justice Scoreboard, empirical legal research
Authors Adriani Dori
AbstractAuthor's information

    Affordable and timely judicial proceedings by independent courts are essential for an effective justice system. They are also a precondition for the protection of the rule of law in the EU and for an integrated internal market. Among the tools the European Commission adopts in this field, the EU Justice Scoreboard is key to understanding the empirical basis of the European judicial policies. Created in 2013, it provides annual data on efficiency, quality and independence of member states’ courts. The Scoreboard considers costly judicial proceedings as an obstacle to access to justice. It accordingly benchmarks member states’ performance with various indicators. In the Commission’s view, different national legal traditions should not prevent comparative assessment of member state judicial systems. However, the idiosyncrasies of national systems and the heterogeneity of national judicial statistics inevitably affect this empirical monitoring exercise. A closer look at the Scoreboard data shows that adjudication costs cannot be evaluated through quantitative metrics without contextualisation. This article focuses on the Scoreboard data on judicial costs, from both the supply and the demand side of judicial services. It critically reviews the fact-finding process that supports the preparation of the Scoreboard as well as the data this document displays. In so doing, it tests whether the Scoreboard conveys reliable and comparable information. This analysis is all the more important as the Scoreboard often supports academic analyses on the performance of justice and policy proposals by regulators and lawmakers.


Adriani Dori
Adriani Dori, LL.M., is an Academic Researcher at the Erasmus School of Law, Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Masood Ahmed
Masood Ahmed is Associate Professor at the University of Leicester, UK.

Xandra Kramer
Xandra Kramer is Professor at the Erasmus University Rotterdam and at Utrecht University, the Netherlands.
Article

Access_open Money, Blackmail and Lawsuits

Revisiting Coventry v. Lawrence and the Principle of (In)equality of Arms

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 4 2021
Keywords right to a fair trial, access to justice, equality of arms, conditional fee agreement, after the event insurance
Authors Eduardo Silva de Freitas
AbstractAuthor's information

    The right to a fair trial under Article 6 ECHR (European Convention on Human Rights) provides one of the procedural guarantees of access to justice. One of the elements on which access to justice under Article 6 ECHR depends is party resources. The concern for equality of arms is that both parties should be able to effectively argue their case before a court, not being impeded by a lack of resources that undermines the tools of their pleading. Such an equality is subject to case-specific analysis. The Lawrence ruling is a ruling on the compatibility of the regime of recoverability of conditional fee agreement (CFA) additional liabilities under the Access to Justice Act 1999 with Article 6 ECHR. The majority in the UK Supreme Court (UKSC) ruled, under a proportionality test, that there was no infringement of Article 6 ECHR because the introduction of the recoverability of CFA additional liabilities was a necessary measure for England to adopt in the pursuit of access to justice under its margin of appreciation. In this article, I will argue that a more holistic view of the procedural guarantees provided for by Article 6 ECHR is called for to properly assess its infringement, considering mainly the principle of equality of arms. The aim of this article is, therefore, to investigate how the principle of equality of arms should have informed the UKSC’s decision in Lawrence.


Eduardo Silva de Freitas
Eduardo Silva de Freitas, LLM, is a PhD candidate at Erasmus University Rotterdam, as part of the NWO-funded Vici project ‘Affordable Access to Justice: Towards Sustainable Cost and Funding Mechanisms for Civil Litigation in Europe’ (No. VI.C.191.082). See www.euciviljustice.eu.
Article

Access_open Victim-Offender Contact in Forensic Mental Health

Resocialisation and Victim Acknowledgement During the Execution of the Dutch TBS Order

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 3 2021
Keywords victim-offender contact, resocialisation, victim acknowledgement, forensic psychiatry, mentally disordered offenders
Authors Lydia Dalhuisen and Alice Kirsten Bosma
AbstractAuthor's information

    Crime victims have gained a stronger position in all phases of the criminal procedure, including the post-sentencing phase. It is in this phase specifically that victims’ needs and interests relating to acknowledgement interplay with the offenders’ needs and interests relating to resocialisation. In the Netherlands, offenders who suffer from a mental disorder at the time of the offence limiting their criminal accountability and pose a significant safety threat, can be given a TBS order. This means that they are placed in a forensic psychiatric hospital to prevent further crimes and receive treatment aimed at resocialisation. As resocialisation requires the offender to return to society, contact with the victim might be a necessary step. This article focuses on victim-offender contact during the execution of this TBS order, and looks at risks and opportunities of victim-offender contact in this context, given the particular offender population. Offenders are divided into three groups: those with primarily psychotic disorders, those suffering from personality disorders and those with comorbidity, especially substance abuse disorders. The TBS population is atypical compared to offenders without a mental disorder. Their disorders can heighten the risks of unsuccessful or even counterproductive victim-offender contact. Yet, carefully executed victim-offender contact which includes thorough preparation, managing expectations and choosing the right type of contact can contribute to both successful resocialisation as well as victim acknowledgement.


Lydia Dalhuisen
Lydia Dalhuisen, PhD, is Assistant Professor at the Utrecht University, the Netherlands.

Alice Kirsten Bosma
Alice Kirsten Bosma is Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Law of Tilburg University, the Netherlands.
Article

Access_open The Common Law Remedy of Habeas Corpus Through the Prism of a Twelve-Point Construct

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 2 2021
Keywords Habeas corpus, common law, detainee, consitution, liberty
Authors Chuks Okpaluba and Anthony Nwafor
AbstractAuthor's information

    Long before the coming of the Bill of Rights in written Constitutions, the common law has had the greatest regard for the personal liberty of the individual. In order to safeguard that liberty, the remedy of habeas corpus was always available to persons deprived of their liberty unlawfully. This ancient writ has been incorporated into the modern Constitution as a fundamental right and enforceable as other rights protected by virtue of their entrenchment in those Constitutions. This article aims to bring together the various understanding of habeas corpus at common law and the principles governing the writ in common law jurisdictions. The discussion is approached through a twelve-point construct thus providing a brief conspectus of the subject matter, such that one could have a better understanding of the subject as applied in most common law jurisdictions.


Chuks Okpaluba
Chuks Okpaluba, LLB LLM (London), PhD (West Indies), is a Research Fellow at the Free State Centre for Human Rights, University of the Free State, South Africa. Email: okpaluba@mweb.co.za.

Anthony Nwafor
Anthony O. Nwafor, LLB, LLM, (Nigeria), PhD (UniJos), BL, is Professor at the School of Law, University of Venda, South Africa. Email: Anthony.Nwafor@univen.ac.za.
Article

Access_open The Role of the Vienna Rules in the Interpretation of the ECHR

A Normative Basis or a Source of Inspiration?

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 2 2021
Keywords European Convention on Human Rights, European Court of Human Rights, techniques of interpretation, the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties
Authors Eszter Polgári
AbstractAuthor's information

    The interpretive techniques applied by the European Court of Human Rights are instrumental in filling the vaguely formulated rights-provisions with progressive content, and their use provoked widespread criticism. The article argues that despite the scarcity of explicit references to the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, all the ECtHR’s methods and doctrines of interpretation have basis in the VCLT, and the ECtHR has not developed a competing framework. The Vienna rules are flexible enough to accommodate the interpretive rules developed in the ECHR jurisprudence, although effectiveness and evolutive interpretation is favoured – due to the unique nature of Convention – over the more traditional means of interpretation, such as textualism. Applying the VCLT as a normative framework offers unique ways of reconceptualising some of the much-contested means of interpretation in order to increase the legitimacy of the ECtHR.


Eszter Polgári
Eszter Polgári, PhD, is assistant professor at the Department of Legal Studies of the Central European University in Austria.
Article

Access_open Big Data Ethics: A Life Cycle Perspective

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 1 2021
Keywords big data, big data analysis, data life cycle, ethics, AI
Authors Simon Vydra, Andrei Poama, Sarah Giest e.a.
AbstractAuthor's information

    The adoption of big data analysis in the legal domain is a recent but growing trend that highlights ethical concerns not just with big data analysis, as such, but also with its deployment in the legal domain. This article systematically analyses five big data use cases from the legal domain utilising a pluralistic and pragmatic mode of ethical reasoning. In each case we analyse what happens with data from its creation to its eventual archival or deletion, for which we utilise the concept of ‘data life cycle’. Despite the exploratory nature of this article and some limitations of our approach, the systematic summary we deliver depicts the five cases in detail, reinforces the idea that ethically significant issues exist across the entire big data life cycle, and facilitates understanding of how various ethical considerations interact with one another throughout the big data life cycle. Furthermore, owing to its pragmatic and pluralist nature, the approach is potentially useful for practitioners aiming to interrogate big data use cases.


Simon Vydra
Simon Vydra is a Researcher at the Institute for Public Administration, Leiden University, the Netherlands.

Andrei Poama
Andrei Poama is Assistant Professor at the Institute for Public Administration, Leiden University, the Netherlands.

Sarah Giest
Sarah Giest is Assistant Professor at the Institute for Public Administration, Leiden University, the Netherlands.

Alex Ingrams
Alex Ingrams is Assistant Professor at the Institute for Public Administration, Leiden University, the Netherlands.

Bram Klievink
Bram Klievink is Professor of Digitization and Public Policy at the Institute for Public Administration, Leiden University, the Netherlands.
Article

Access_open The Challenges for England’s Post-Conviction Review Body

Deference to Juries, the Principle of Finality and the Court of Appeal

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 4 2020
Keywords wrongful conviction, criminal justice, Criminal Cases Review Commission, Court of Appeal, discretion
Authors Carolyn Hoyle
AbstractAuthor's information

    Since 1997, the Criminal Cases Review Commission of England, Wales and Northern Ireland has served as a state-funded post-conviction body to consider claims of wrongful conviction for those who have exhausted their rights to appeal. A meticulous organisation that has over its lifetime referred over 700 cases back to the Court of Appeal, resulting in over 60% of those applicants having their convictions quashed, it is nonetheless restricted in its response to cases by its own legislation. This shapes its decision-making in reviewing cases, causing it to be somewhat deferential to the original jury, to the principle of finality and, most importantly, to the Court of Appeal, the only institution that can overturn a wrongful conviction. In mandating such deference, the legislation causes the Commission to have one eye on the Court’s evolving jurisprudence but leaves room for institutional and individual discretion, evidenced in some variability in responses across the Commission. While considerable variability would be difficult to defend, some inconsistency raises the prospects for a shift towards a less deferential referral culture. This article draws on original research by the author to consider the impact of institutional deference on the work of the Criminal Cases Review Commission and argues for a slightly bolder approach in its work


Carolyn Hoyle
Carolyn Hoyle is Professor of Criminology at the Faculty of Law, University of Oxford, UK.
Article

Access_open Can Non-discrimination Law Change Hearts and Minds?

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 3 2020
Keywords law and society, social change, discrimination, non-discrimination law, positive action
Authors Anita Böcker
AbstractAuthor's information

    A question that has preoccupied sociolegal scholars for ages is whether law can change ‘hearts and minds’. This article explores whether non-discrimination law can create social change, and, more particularly, whether it can change attitudes and beliefs as well as external behaviour. The first part examines how sociolegal scholars have theorised about the possibility and desirability of using law as an instrument of social change. The second part discusses the findings of empirical research on the social working of various types of non-discrimination law. What conclusions can be drawn about the ability of non-discrimination law to create social change? What factors influence this ability? And can non-discrimination law change people’s hearts and minds as well as their behaviour? The research literature does not provide an unequivocal answer to the latter question. However, the overall picture emerging from the sociolegal literature is that law is generally more likely to bring about changes in external behaviour and that it can influence attitudes and beliefs only indirectly, by altering the situations in which attitudes and opinions are formed.


Anita Böcker
Anita Böcker is associate professor of Sociology of Law at Radboud University, Nijmegen.
Article

Access_open A Positive State Obligation to Counter Dehumanisation under International Human Rights Law

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 3 2020
Keywords Dehumanisation, International Human Rights Law, Positive State obligations, Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, International Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination
Authors Stephanie Eleanor Berry
AbstractAuthor's information

    International human rights law (IHRL) was established in the aftermath of the Second World War to prevent a reoccurrence of the atrocities committed in the name of fascism. Central to this aim was the recognition that out-groups are particularly vulnerable to rights violations committed by the in-group. Yet, it is increasingly apparent that out-groups are still subject to a wide range of rights violations, including those associated with mass atrocities. These rights violations are facilitated by the dehumanisation of the out-group by the in-group. Consequently, this article argues that the creation of IHRL treaties and corresponding monitoring mechanisms should be viewed as the first step towards protecting out-groups from human rights violations. By adopting the lens of dehumanisation, this article demonstrates that if IHRL is to achieve its purpose, IHRL monitoring mechanisms must recognise the connection between dehumanisation and rights violations and develop a positive State obligation to counter dehumanisation. The four treaties explored in this article, the European Convention on Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities and the International Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination, all establish positive State obligations to prevent hate speech and to foster tolerant societies. These obligations should, in theory, allow IHRL monitoring mechanisms to address dehumanisation. However, their interpretation of the positive State obligation to foster tolerant societies does not go far enough to counter unconscious dehumanisation and requires more detailed elaboration.


Stephanie Eleanor Berry
Stephanie Eleanor Berry is Senior Lecturer in International Human Rights Law, University of Sussex.
Article

Access_open State Obligations to Counter Islamophobia: Comparing Fault Lines in the International Supervisory Practice of the HRC/ICCPR, the ECtHR and the AC/FCNM

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 3 2020
Keywords Human rights, positive state obligations, islamophobia, international supervisory mechanisms
Authors Kristin Henrard
AbstractAuthor's information

    Islamophobia, like xenophobia, points to deep-seated, ingrained discrimination against a particular group, whose effective enjoyment of fundamental rights is impaired. This in turn triggers the human rights obligations of liberal democratic states, more particularly states’ positive obligations (informed by reasonability considerations) to ensure that fundamental rights are effectively enjoyed, and thus also respected in interpersonal relationships. This article identifies and compares the fault lines in the practice of three international human rights supervisory mechanisms in relation to Islamophobia, namely the Human Rights Committee (International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights), the European Court of Human Rights (European Convention on Human Rights) and the Advisory Committee of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. The supervisory practice is analysed in two steps: The analysis of each international supervisory mechanism’s jurisprudence, in itself, is followed by the comparison of the fault lines. The latter comparison is structured around the two main strands of strategies that states could adopt in order to counter intolerance: On the one hand, the active promotion of tolerance, inter alia through education, awareness-raising campaigns and the stimulation of intercultural dialogue; on the other, countering acts informed by intolerance, in terms of the prohibition of discrimination (and/or the effective enjoyment of substantive fundamental rights). Having regard to the respective strengths and weaknesses of the supervisory practice of these three international supervisory mechanisms, the article concludes with some overarching recommendations.


Kristin Henrard
Kristin Henrard is Professor International Human Rights and Minorities, Erasmus School of Law, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
Article

Access_open The Relationship between Empirical Legal Studies and Doctrinal Legal Research

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 2 2020
Keywords empirical legal studies, legal research methods, doctrinal legal research, new legal realism, critical legal studies, law and policy
Authors Gareth Davies
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article considers how empirical legal studies (ELS) and doctrinal legal research (DLR) interact. Rather than seeing them as competitors that are methodologically independent and static, it suggests that they are interdependent activities, which may each be changed by interaction with the other, and that this change brings both opportunities and threats. For ELS, the article argues that DLR should properly be understood as part of its theoretical framework, yet in practice little attention is given to doctrine in empirical work. Paying more attention to DLR and legal frames generally would help ELS meet the common criticism that it is under-theorised and excessively policy oriented. On the other hand, an embrace of legal thinking, particularly of critical legal thinking, might lead to loss of status for ELS in policy circles and mainstream social science. For DLR, ELS offers a chance for it to escape the threat of insular sterility and irrelevance and to participate in a founded commentary on the world. The risk, however, is that in tailoring legal analysis to what can be empirically researched legal scholars become less analytically ambitious and more safe, and their traditionally important role as a source of socially relevant critique is weakened. Inevitably, in offering different ways of moving to normative conclusions about the law, ELS and DLR pose challenges to each other, and meeting those challenges will require sometimes uncomfortable self-reflection.


Gareth Davies
Gareth Davies is Professor of European Law at the Faculty of Law of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
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