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Professor by special appointment Rogier Hartendorp on collaboration with The Hague District Court

Rogier Hartendorp is professor by special appointment of social effectiveness of justice at Leiden University and a judge at The Hague District Court. So, the perfect person to liaise between our faculty and the Court. We asked him some questions about this role.

How did this collaboration, now confirmed in an official agreement, come about?
‘Our alliance has existed since 2005. The Court and the faculty were aware that both organisations were dealing with similar issues, especially on how to better connect with society. By strengthening our mutual cooperation, both organisations can fulfil their mission better.’

What is the purpose of the collaboration and the added value for the faculty?
'The aim is to promote the exchange of students and staff from both organisations in several areas, for example through internships, guest lectures, or training courses. The added value for the faculty lies mainly in giving students and researchers a better idea of the day-to-day work of the judiciary. It also provides researchers with a contact point for conducting research or sharing and discussing research results.' 

What has been achieved so far?:
•    Biennial symposium – last year, dedicated to the significance of artificial intelligence for the judiciary.
•    A masterclass for students from our faculty – the opportunity to work with various teams at the Court.
•    The chair by special appointment – this spring, Hartendorp will teach a course together with Danielle Chevalier (Assistant Professor of Law & Society) focusing on faith in the judiciary and other institutions.

What next?

Finally, we have to look at what could be improved. Recently, when dealing with the Covid pandemic, court visits and other activities were hardly possible. But these activities are what gives our alliance its added value. Hartendorp feels it is important to ensure that these kinds of visits and activities are promoted in the coming period.  That said, he is very proud of the alliance: 'that it has existed now for almost 20 years and still provides a great platform for the exchange of knowledge'.

Inspired by this alliance, the collaboration agreement between The Hague District Court and Leiden Law School was also officially signed by the chairperson of the Court's board Marieke Koek and Vice-Dean Stefaan Van den Bogaert on 8 March. The agreement offers a unique opportunity to share knowledge between the two organisations and both organisations hope to come to new insights for similar issues. The collaboration has been going on for many years and Vice-Dean Stefaan Van den Bogaert calls the signing a ‘formalisation and intensification of this alliance’.

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