Research team

Law Enforcement

Private International Law in Motion (PAX). 01/11/2020 - 31/10/2022

Abstract

This project creates the institutional framework among seven research institutions to further consolidate the international Moot Court Competition on EU private international law and to further strenghthen judicial training in this area of the law. The project hopes to achieve the following objectives: - Consolidation, further improvement and expansion of a pan-European and international Moot Court Competition on EU private international law; - Increased awareness of EU private international law among students, legal professionals and academics; - Increased knowledge of students and junior legal professionals (judges trainees in particular) in EU private international law; - Opportunities for students and junior legal professionals (judges trainees in particular) to gain practical experience with the application of EU private international law; - Increased knowledge of EU private international law; - More efficiency and consistency in the interpretation and application of EU private international law, both within the EU and beyond; - Coordinated teaching, mutual learning, colloboration and enlarged networks for those concerned with the correct and consistent application of EU private international law instruments.

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Research team(s)

Procedural Justice in Online Dispute Resolution: an Empirical Enquiry. 01/10/2019 - 30/09/2023

Abstract

The project relates to the procedural justice in Online Dispute Resolution (ODR). ODR was heralded as a solution for certain classes of disputes that were not otherwise appropriately addressed, and as a means for introducing efficiency and new qualities into the practice of dispute resolution, such as optimization of win-win solutions. The question is, has ODR actually delivered on those promises? To answer this question, a critical look at the current ODR landscape is needed. A litmus test for the quality of ODR mechanisms of today is their delivery of procedural justice. Relying on the existing practices, this project aims to explore the ways to ensure procedural justice in three most common ODR processes presently, namely online negotiation, mediation and arbitration. The project will follow a multi-method methodology and will combine doctrinal analysis with empirical research. It will start by examining the notion of procedural justice in ODR and how it can be measured. The empirical part of the project will involve mapping the existing and active ODR providers globally (the amount of which is not expected to exceed one hundred) and exploring how they ensure procedural justice in online negotiation, mediation and arbitration. Finally, relying on the collected doctrinal and empirical data, the project will evaluate the key criteria for ensuring procedural justice in online negotiation, mediation and arbitration. By examining the issue of the procedural justice in ODR, the project will partially fill the existing void within the academic research on the implications of technology for procedural justice theory. By mapping active ODR providers globally and identifying ODR processes that they provide, the project will remedy the current absence of any up-to-date information on these issues. Thereby, the project will make a significant and original contribution to the growing body of literature on ODR. In addition, it will help increase awareness of the general public about the ways ODR providers ensure procedural justice in online negotiation, mediation and arbitration. ODR providers can benefit from the project's results by aligning their procedural justice standards with the identified key criteria. In this way, the project will boost the public's confidence in the fairness of the provided ODR processes, a paramount condition for the development of ODR in the future.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Balancing the dichotomy between the normative and supervisory function of the Belgian Supreme Court. 01/01/2019 - 31/12/2022

Abstract

This research project concerns the question of the current role of the Belgian Supreme Court, also in the light of the judicial dialogue with other (European) supreme courts, and what this role should ideally be. In order to answer the main research question, the research starts with an analysis of the legislation and doctrine on the current role and functioning of the Belgian Supreme Court, also in the light of the interaction of other (European) supreme courts, such as the Constitutional Court, the European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights. A similar analysis will be carried out for the French, the Dutch and the German supreme court. From this classical legal and comparative law research, a general theoretical framework can be outlined on the role and functioning of the supreme courts mentioned above. Furthermore, the research project aims to investigate how the judicial dialogue between the supreme courts mentioned above (national versus European) takes place in practice and what the influence of this dialogue is on national case law. On the basis of a case study of judgments from the court of cassation in Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Germany, it will be assessed to what extent the supreme courts deal with the case law of the (European) supreme courts. Three formal instruments of judicial dialogue will be used as a starting point: (1) the preliminary ruling procedure, (2) implicit and explicit reference to case law of other courts and (3) the motivation of judicial decisions. From the theoretical framework, an attempt will further be made to draw up a list of measures, implemented or not, formulated to reform the specific supreme court . The theoretical framework, the analysis of case law and the drawn up list will subsequently form the basis of empirical research, in which the role of the Belgian Supreme Court will be tested against the findings of the magistrates and lawyers from practice. Finally, this multi-methodological study will attempt to formulate recommendations in order to push the current role of the Belgian Supreme Court in the direction of the role it should ideally fulfil in practice, also in order to function as an ideal interlocutor in a layered legal landscape.

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Research team(s)

Regulation BIa: a standard for free circulation of judgments and mutual trust in the European Union (JUDGTRUST). 01/11/2018 - 30/04/2021

Abstract

The Project analyses the application of the Brussels I Recast Regulation and is set to provide recommendations on how to achieve a greater consistency in the international civil procedure instruments of the EU to enhance legal certainty, predictability and access to justice in cross border legal transactions. Global legislative developments will also be considered.

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Research team(s)

Project website

Supreme courts as guarantee for effectiveness of judicial systems in European Union. 01/04/2016 - 28/02/2017

Abstract

Effective justice systems play a crucial role for upholding the rule of law and the European Union's fundamental values. Quality, independence and efficiency are some of the essential parameters of an 'effective justice system' and are used in the EU Justice Scoreboard to analyze the functioning of all EU Member States' judicial systems. Being the cassation court, the Supreme Courts' essential task is to safeguard legal certainty and legal uniformity and to contribute to the development of law. Supreme Courts are thus a key factor in an effective justice system. Since the Supreme Courts act as Union courts when applying EU law, they also play an important role in the process of coherent application of EU law. Together with the Supreme Court of Latvia, Hungary, Lithuania and Spain, as well as with the University of Ljubljana, the University of Antwerp analyzes the performance of the Supreme Courts in the European Union. The research project focuses on the following questions, all related to the management of the Supreme Courts: 1. How can (Supreme) Courts contribute to legal certainty , consistency and transparency of the law? Embedded within this first research question is the sub-question how to enhance the institutional capacity of Supreme Courts' research and documentation units, which are generally charged with the twofold task of analytical overview of the Supreme Courts case law, as well as in assisting the judges with research. Particular attention will be paid to the research and documentation units' contribution to the correct implementation of EU law. 2. How can the (Supreme) Courts' management be improved and backlogs be reduced in order to guarantee an effective and timely protection of rights? The research will concentrate on best practices in Member States to improve the functioning of the management systems of (Supreme) Courts, with particular attention being paid to streamlined case handling and in-house coordination. 3. How can the (Supreme) Courts' communication strategies with the public be improved? This priority is aimed both at communication with the parties (access of the parties to the case file) and with the general public (information and education of the public). 4. What is the role of the Supreme Courts in the work of the national Councils of Judiciary? More broadly the research project will make a SWOT analysis of the Councils for the Judiciaries' as a crucial actor for enhancing and sustaining the quality of the judicial system. In order to gather and collect the best practices for managing Supreme Courts, the state of the art of the existing research will be established. This desk research will be supplemented by empirical research. A survey has been sent to all Supreme Courts of the European Union. Together with the information collected during study visits, case studies and the desk research, the information of the surveys will be analyzed and used to prepare this best practice guide for managing Supreme Courts. Better court management and the improvement of the transparency of the Supreme Courts' work will not only lead to more efficient case handling, but will also raise trust of civil society and improve the image of Supreme Courts as reliable and user-friendly institutions. The smooth assignment and quicker examination of cases will also lead to better implementation of EU law. By drafting a best practice guide for managing Supreme Courts this research project aims to increase the administrative and judicial capacity of the Supreme Courts and thus increasing the effectiveness of judicial systems. This best practice guide will be presented and distributed to all Supreme Courts of the European Union in April 2017 and will be a useful tool for Supreme Courts to improve their management.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)