Logo Utrecht University

Montaigne Centre Blog


Emerging Role of Expert Opinions in Chinese Criminal Justice

Cong-rui Qiao On 13 March 2017, I left the Netherlands for Beijing to begin a week of meeting Chinese practicing lawyers about their experiences working within the criminal justice system. My overall observation is that the popular discourse for enhancing China’s criminal procedural fairness is not only a concerted sentiment, but also a concrete effort…

Read more

Local Resident Committee: Promoting access to justice for migrant women domestic helpers in China

Qinxuan Peng China has undergone great transformation in the turbulent years since the establishment of the new government in 1949. New practices have been woven with old traditions into a complicated social background. This has many implications, including for the living status of migrant women working as domestic helpers in China. According to estimates, there…

Read more

The Rainy Season in Java: Researching the Role of Islamic Law and Institutions in Promoting Women’s Right to Family Planning in Indonesia

Julie Fraser Six weeks of melting humidity, spicy food, tropical vegetation, and endless traffic. I was in Indonesia to research how women’s reproductive rights and family planning are protected, with a particular focus on the role of Islamic laws and institutions. This is a complex topic, requiring expertise in matters of women’s rights, public health,…

Read more

International Studies Association Conference in Trump Country: Discussing civil society documentation of serious human rights abuses

Brianne McGonigle Leyh From 22 – 25 February, I travelled to the US to attend the 58th annual International Studies Association (ISA) conference entitled ‘Understanding Change in World Politics’. The theme could not be more relevant as we witness significant changes to the world political scene, most notably under the new Trump administration in the…

Read more


The Urgenda judgement: legislature and government under intensive judicial supervision

Writing something about the Urgenda judgement (Rechtbank Den Haag 24 June 2015, ECLI:NL:RBDHA:2015:7145) might seem abundant at this point. After all, a lot of literature about the judgement has already been published. Is the judgement really so special? That can, with good reason, not be denied. The Urgenda Foundation is the organisation for sustainability and…

Read more

Should the national day be considered as the birthday of the mother country? The conflict between two kinds of outlooks on the concept of “country”

  Sjaak Zhang During the past week, China was celebrating its 67th national day; meanwhile, an intense controversy as to whether the national day should be considered as the birthday of the mother country arose, which has demonstrated Chinese people’s confusion about what constitute a country. This blog seeks to briefly explain where such confusion…

Read more

Duality or Complementarity?The Political and Legal Orientations of the Chinese Petitioning Mandate

Cong-rui Qiao On 14 September 2016, the Chinese State Bureau for Complaint Letters and Visits (“Bureau”) in Beijing saw 24 lawyers providing legal advice for the petitioners. This was the first experiment of the joint-program between the Ministry of Justice and the Bureau, which aims to resolve litigation-related petitions. With much attention given to the ongoing reforms,…

Read more

Honest judges, trustworthy judges

A few weeks ago, a journalist announced on VGNyhetter, a major Norwergian news website, that 19 Norwegian judges have heard cases in which insurance companies were parties, while the judges had shares in these insurance companies. The journalists Frank Haugsbø and Geir Olsenen have skilfully embroidered their story, including stories from the parties who lost…

Read more

Blogposts