Monthly Archives: July 2015

Dutch help for the Greek civil justice system?

crisisgrThe statement made during the Euro Summit on Greece on the 12th of July following 17 hours of meetings included one measure which has received less attention than the other (serious) demands made against Greece to qualify for new loans (Euro Summit Statement Brussels, 12 July 2015 (SN 4070/15)). One of the measures that Greece must take is:

the adoption of the Code of Civil Procedure, which is a major overhaul of procedures and arrangements for the civil justice system and can significantly accelerate the judicial process and reduce costs”.

At first sight it seems remarkable that a reform of the procedure in civil courts has been given such a prominent place between the imposed cuts and economic reforms, especially in light of the hectic discussion during that memorable Sunday evening. What is the connection between this measure and the Greek debt problems? Does this not prove the ultimate European interference by also prescribing Greece a civil procedural law? Continue reading

Should we be happy with a pesky hornet? On the querulant and his unintended, unexpected but desirable functions

francisco_de_goya_y_lucientes_-_the_dream_of_reason_brings_forth_monsters_-_google_art_projectWhile researching the challenge procedures (publication, ‘Wraking bottom-up’ in 2012 and the current research into the ‘pilot externe wrakingskamer’) I became interested in the querulant. Querulants, in my opinion, challenge a judge more often than other citizens. They are also partly classified by this characteristic. Erhard Blankenburg has previously said that with querulants a shift occurs from a conflict about the case, to a conflict over procedures. The big complaint of the querulant, which is also exactly the reason for his perseverance, is that his complaints are rejected by ‘corrupt officials and judges’ without giving him a ‘decent chance’ to tell his story. The procedure no longer legitimizes, according to Blankenburg with a reference to Niklas Luhmann (Legitimation durch Verfahren, Neuwied 1969). The procedure relieves us at some point “from the obligation of having to argue about the fairness of standards” (Blankenburg 2004:15), while repeated subjectively perceived injustice – perfection does not exist in the daily reality of the law – leads to a pathological complainer. Continue reading