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Bemiddelend bestuur. Juridische aspecten van bemiddeling bij de bestuurlijke besluitvorming

09 October 2008

PhD ceremony: mw. H.D. Tolsma, 16.15 uur, Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen

Thesis: Bemiddelend bestuur. Juridische aspecten van bemiddeling bij de bestuurlijke besluitvorming

Promotor(s): prof. H.E. Bröring

Faculty: Law


Administrative decision-making frequently leads to disputes with citizens. Since
in many cases conflicting interests are involved in the decisions to be made,
disputes are inevitable. In the Netherlands, as in other countries such as England,
France and Germany, administrative authorities are to an increasing extent
turning to mediation to avoid or resolve disputes. The reasoning is that if a dispute
can be solved at the decision-making stage, court proceedings can be avoided
and decisions can be implemented more quickly. Then the administrative
authority and the citizen in question can both be spared the costs of bringing a
court action and the time it takes. The restoration of citizens’ trust in the government
is seen as an additional benefit of mediation.

Mediation by administrative authorities is the topic of this study. In this context
mediation means that during the decision-making process the administrative
authority in question takes a conflict resolution approach. For example, a public
servant handling a case or an administrator involved in the case may attempt to
find a satisfactory solution. Another possibility is for a mediator to assist the
administrative authority and the citizens involved in negotiating a solution.

This study focuses on a few legal aspects of mediation in the context of administrative
decision-making. As well as discussing theoretical issues, the study also
examines mediation in practice. This is not a quantitative empirical study but an
exploration of practice in order to supplement theory. The information about
mediation in practice is derived from evaluation reports of mediation projects at
the Employees’ Insurance and Benefits Office (UWV), the provincial administrations
of Overijssel and Groningen, and the municipal administration of
Zwolle. In addition, practical examples of successful mediation have been found
by examining case files.

Last modified:15 September 2017 3.38 p.m.
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