Monthly Archives: April 2015

Conference on Procedural Justice and Legal Practice

meeting-311355_960_720On the 10th of April 2015 the international conference on procedural justice and legal practice organized by the Montaigne Centre took place. Guests and speakers, from Utrecht and from far, gathered at 10 am at a very suitable location: one of the courtrooms of the District Court Midden-Nederland, location Utrecht. After a short welcome by Miranda Boone the conference was officially opened by Ton Hol. He placed the theme procedural justice in the context of the transition from the Enlightenment, when decisions could derive legitimacy through referring to general rules, to the Romantic period, when society requested a more individual approach. Continue reading

Democracy and Judicial Selection

demokratie-1536654_960_720The provincial elections were considered a test case for the current cabinet, since the provincial councils also elect the Senate of the Dutch Parliament. The elections were accompanied by a debate on whether we should get rid of the Dutch Senate. Politicians from one of the coalition parties pleaded for the abolition of the Senate, because the Senate can block legislative bills from becoming law. Seeing as the indirect election of this body does not run simultaneously with the election of the House of Representatives, coalition governments with a majority in the House of Representatives, may have to deal with minority support in the Senate. This can be inconvenient for the parties supporting the government in the House of Representatives. The entire idea of checks and balances between different state bodies in order to counterbalance the exercise of government power, however, seems to be an alien concept to those debaters. They also do not seem to care much about the quality of representative democracy, as they only want to have a more efficient decision making process for the majority. Instead of discussing more efficient decision making at the detriment of effective voting rights of citizens, we should focus on how we can reinforce the democratic position of citizens. Continue reading