Research Group Access to Justice
How do you make ‘the law’ accessible to everyone? The Research group Access to Justice studies the bottlenecks in legal assistance and legal services. In doing so, we mainly look at new forms of low-level access, such as digital complaints procedures. We also study the legal skills of local professionals, the quality of alternative forms of conflict resolution and legal self-reliance.
Lines of research within the research group
To make people legally self-reliant, there must exist a basis of legal certainty and equality. People need to have the confidence that their rights are respected and that everyone is treated equally before the law.
This line of research focuses on the factors that contribute to legal self-reliance. What are the consequences at the local level of the globalisation of legal access? We study, among other things, the innovation of procedures and quality in (primary) legal aid and (alternative) conflict resolution.
Social neighbourhood teams and social forensic professionals work at the intersection of assistance and law. Now that many responsibilities have been transferred to municipalities, it is even more important that they have sufficient knowledge of the law.
In this line of research, for example, we investigate the legal skills of local professionals within the special role that they have as ‘gatekeepers of the law’.
Digital skills are important for the ability to access digital government services. If these skills are underdeveloped among certain groups of citizens, this can hamper their access to justice.
The focus of this research group is on the use of digital platforms that are not equally accessible to all groups of citizens. What creates the so-called 'digital divide'? And what consequences does this have for attaining and maintaining (human) rights?
- Access to Justice for Communications Surveillance and Interception Scrutinising Intelligence Gathering Reform Legislation
- Dutch National Security Reform Under Review Sufficient Checks and Balances in the Intelligence and Security Services Act 2017?
- Translators, Advocates or Practitioners? Social Workers and Human Rights Localization
Our research results are incorporated into practical education and training modules. In this way, we strive to improve the quality of our social professionals and of legal services in general. This also serves to increase the accessibility of the legal system for all citizens.
“The research group helps us to view our daily practice from a different and more scientific perspective. This helps us achieve better results, for example in the development of effective ways of dealing with clients that are trying to cope with a multitude of problems.”Jan Albert Waal General Director of the Juridisch Loket (Legal Help Desk in the Netherlands) and collaboration partner in this project
We work together with: Juridisch Loket, Vereniging van Mediators in Strafzaken, U Centraal, Stichting Rijnstad, Sociale Dienst Drechtsteden, Vivenz Maatschappelijke Dienstverlening, Privacy First en The Netherlands Institute for Human Rights.