Second overarching COI PhD Lab
On 22 June 2022, the research group on Institutions for Conflict Resolution organised its second annual overarching PhD lab. During this meeting, the PhD researchers connected to COI presented the current status of their research projects.
Institutions for Conflict Resolution (COI) is a research collaboration between Leiden University, Utrecht University, and Radboud University Nijmegen within the Dutch national sector plan for law. At Leiden, COI focuses on two research pillars: (1) sustainable justice and (2) the courtroom as a social arena.
The meeting on 22 June was the final one in a series of PhD labs during this academic year in which COI PhDs presented their projects to each other, giving a general overview of their projects as well as asking for feedback on specific issues. During the lab on 22 June, they presented their research to all researchers involved with COI in Leiden, and received feedback from these other participants.
In their presentations, the PhDs focused not only on the current status of their projects, but also reflected on the societal relevance and valorisation aspects of their research. They all received feedback on these valorisation aspects from Rogier Hartendorp, professor by special appointment within the field of societal effects of legal decision-making and judge at the Court of The Hague. In addition, the PhDs related their projects to the overarching COI research questions, which are the following:
Theme 1: Sustainable Justice
- How can the judiciary optimally deal with the expectations regarding its problem-solving capacities, and what are the consequences of this for access to justice and legal protection for the parties involved?
- What other forms of legal and extralegal dispute resolution are being employed, how do these differ from classical procedures, and to what extent are solutions being realised for the problems underlying these disputes?
Theme 2: Courts as a Social Arena
- What processes lead to socially charged issues that are still a topic of political and societal debate coming before the courts?
- How do judges contribute to solving societal problems and how does this impact judges’ legitimacy?
- How does the way procedures are set up affect citizens’ possibilities for litigation, and should these procedures be adjusted to strengthen the courts’ function as an arena for societal change?
Miranda Boone opened the meeting, reflecting on COI events during the past academic year. Within the first COI research theme, Eva Grosfeld was the first to present her research on perceived legitimacy of the EU, all the way from Stockholm because of a research stay. Next, Marijke Veerman told the participants about her project on multinational banks and the extent to which these are elusive when it comes to enforcement by regular courts. Then, Vera Oosterhuis presented her research on criminal courts as a border guard between the regular mental health system and the criminal justice system, and Nikki Vosters gave a presentation on her study of digitalisation and access to justice.
After the break, we continued with projects within COI’s second overarching research theme. Joyce Esser presented her research on procedural administrative law in a constitutional law perspective. Then, Elise Filius told us about her project on judicial interference in politically charged issues in European asylum law and criminal law cases. Finally, Sophie Koning presented her research on complaints against decisions not to prosecute in socially sensitive cases and democratic legitimacy.
After all this food for thought it was time for some actual food and drinks, first at Leiden University’s Global Lounge, and then at restaurant Koetshuis de Burcht. The lab and the social events afterwards were a great closing to the series of PhD labs this academic year. We look forward to hearing more about these PhDs' exciting projects next year!