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Empirical Legal Studies en het strafrecht

Het tijdschrift Boom Strafblad heeft als thema voor het vijfde nummer van 2023 'Empirical Legal Studies en het strafrecht' gekozen, met als kartrekkers vanuit de redactie mr. Tamara Trotman (raadsheer Hoge Raad der Nederlanden) en Prof. Dr. Dirk van Daele (KU Leuven). Van alle faculteiten die ELS als speerpunt hebben zijn auteurs gevraagd om een bijdrage te leveren. Vanuit onze faculteit zijn Lucia Mebius (promovenda op een empirisch -juridisch onderzoek naar verminderde toerekeningsvatbaarheid) en Michiel van der Wolf (haar promotor) gevraagd om een bijdrage te leveren. Het themanummer zal eind 2023 verschijnen.


Applying the Right to a Fair Trial to the Dutch Foundation for Consumer Complaints Boards

A. Kamphorst, Applying the Right to a Fair Trial to Alternative Consumer Dispute Resolution: The Case of the Dutch Foundation for Consumer Complaints Boards, (diss: Groningen 2023)

On 17 April 2023, Anne Kamphorst successfully defended her thesis on the proceedings at the Dutch Foundation for Consumer Complaints Boards (CCB, Stichting Geschillencommissies voor Consumentenzaken). The thesis provides a thorough analysis of the CCB’s proceedings in light of the relevant procedural requirements. This mixed method study combines both qualitative and quantitative research methods, including interviews, observations of hearing sessions and both statistical and qualitative case file analyses. The results of the statistical analyses are surprising and provide inspiration for future research. The study shows that the CCB has incorporated most procedural requirements into their proceedings, but that there is still room for improvement.

The article is available here.


Whom are you speaking for?

Swai, I & N. Zeegers (2023) ‘Whom are you speaking for? Obstacles to participation encountered by special-seat councillors in Tanzanian Local Councils’ Gender and Women Studies.’ Vol 5, 1, pp. 3- 20. DOI: 10.31532/GendWomensStud.5.1.003

Idda Lyatonga Swai and Nicolle Zeegers have published this open access article about the experiences and perspectives of female local councillors in Tanzania appointed on special seats (approximately four out of five female local councillors are). Swai (2017) earlier observed that these councillors participate less than the elected local councillors, in the sense of making fewer attempts to influence decisions. This article, in addition to the formal roles and tasks of councillors addresses the different contexts in which the special seats work compared to the councillors elected from the wards. Via a qualitative analysis of the observations of meetings and interviews with both kinds of councillors, the practical consequences of these differences become clear. The authors propose three organizational changes to enable the special-seat councillors to work more explicitly for the represented and to function on par with the elected councillors.

You can find the article here.


Three Microgrid models to solve one regulatory puzzle

Behrendt, J. (2023). Microgrids and EU law: Three Microgrid models to solve one regulatory puzzle. Energy Policy, 177, 113483. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enpol.2023.113483

J. Behrendt recently published an article, which is part of her PhD research within GELR. In the article, Behrendt assesses to what extent the existing EU legal framework of the energy sector allows for the implementation of different ownership and operation models of microgrids. This doctrinal analysis provides (part of) the legal basis for her empirical research.


Safeguarding the quality of forensic assessment in sentencing

M.J.F. van der Wolf (ed.), Safeguarding the quality of forensic assessment in sentencing. A Review across Western nations. Series: International perspectives on forensic mental health, New York: Routledge 2022.

The UG recently introduced an open access book fund aimed at stimulating the publication of open access books by UG/UMCG authors. The first book co-financed by the UG's open access book fund is Safeguarding the quality of forensic assessment in sentencing by M.J.F. van der Wolf.

Safeguarding the quality of forensic assessment in sentencing

The book provides an interdisciplinary and cross-national perspective on safeguarding the quality of forensic assessment in sentencing offenders. Taking an in-dept look at seven different Western countries, each chapter provides an overview of the role of assessment in sentencing offenders, as well as a focus on formal ways in which the respective country's legal system and disciplinary associations protect the quality of forensic assessment. Each chapter explores how to assure better decision making in individual cases based on assessment of psycholegal concepts such as mental disorder/insanity, criminal responsibility and dangerousness. Combining the perspective of lawyers, legal scholars, and clinicians working in the field, this book is essential for those working in and with forensic assessment.

Click here for the webpage with the interview.


Unused potential

T. Martinelli, S. Struijk, E. Wits, C. Barendregt, M.J.F. van der Wolf en G. Nagelhout, Onbenut potentieel. Kwalitatief onderzoek naar werkzame factoren in de opzet en uitvoering van de maatregel plaatsing in een Inrichting voor Stelselmatige Daders (ISD), Den Haag: WODC, IVO 2022.

Commissioned by the WODC, a qualitative study was conducted on the effective factors of placement in an Institution for Habitual Offenders (ISD). The ISD measure has a modest effect on the recidivism reduction of repeat offenders. That effect is greater if forensic care is also provided as part of the ISD. However, the figures have deteriorated again since a number of 'improvement measures' were taken a few years back. This study tries to explain the above and examines what are effective elements. To this end, it not only conducts plan evaluation and looks into literature. It also involves interviews with staff and repeat offenders themselves at five ISD departments around the country.

You can read the full report here.


Court fees for complaints in detention

J. Cazemier, E. van Bergen, N. Woestenburg, M.J.F. van der Wolf en H. Winter, Griffierecht bij beklag in detentie, Groningen: WODC, Pro Facto 2022.

Commissioned by the WODC, a study was conducted on court fees for complaints in detention. It examines whether levying court fees for complaint procedures for detainees could contribute to solving the perceived problem of an abundance of futile complaints in the prison system. To this end, it first examines whether an introduction of court fees in this case has also occurred in other countries and what the effects of this have been. It also examines what effects the introduction of court fees has had in other areas of law, such as medical disciplinary law. Finally, the practical feasibility of introducing a court fee in Dutch detention law is examined. Besides literature research, interviews are conducted with experts, decision-makers and legal practitioners from different areas of law (detention law, disciplinary law) and possibly other countries.

You can read the full report here.


Precaution as aftercare

L. Gunnink, M. Althoff en M.J.F. van der Wolf, Voorzorg als nazorg. Evaluatie van het Koers & Kansen project 3Noord 'sanctie-uitvoering op regionale maat', Den Haag: Textcetera 2022.

A case study research on the prevention of detention harm was commissioned by the Municipality of Groningen. This research is to evaluate the project Koers en Kansen, Aanpak 3Noord in the Northern three provinces. In the project, people who are not in pre-trial detention, but may self-report for their prison sentence (self-reporters), are approached to make a plan prior to detention to prevent detention damage such as loss of a rented house or loss of a job. Cases are constructed using interviews with self-reporters and project staff. In addition, it also uses questionnaires completed by self-reporters during imprisonment. Strong evidence is found that the project reduces detention harm, although there are areas for improvement in addition to effective elements.

More information on this study can be found here.


The Supervision Handbook

The Supervision Handbook

Paulien de Winter has co-edited a book on Supervision. This book is co-edited by Heinrich Winter. The book is new in the Safety Handbook series: the Supervision Handbook. This handbook provides a complete overview of the most important aspects surrounding supervision. This 2nd updated edition focuses on crucial themes involved in supervision. Thanks to the many examples, you will quickly gain insight into the subject matter and learn the most important analytical aspects of supervision.


Opposing Out Loud versus Supporting in Silence

Lu Liu, Goda Perlaviciute and Lorenzo Squintani, Environmental Research Letters, volume 17, number 11. DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/ac9f24

In a recent publication, researchers from the Like!Me Living Lab provided new insights about the linkage between public participation and acceptability of energy projects. In opinion surveys about two planned wind parks in the Netherlands, the researchers found that opponents were more willing to participate than supporters. Those who would not accept the project under any conditions were more motivated to participate than those who may accept the project if certain conditions were met.

Furthermore, motivation to participate was associated with stronger negative emotions towards the project and weaker positive emotions. Taken together, public preference to participate in decision-making can affect the desired functions of public participation, as not everyone will equally participate. The findings have important implications for energy policies primarily focusing on demographic representativeness in participation: it is also important to consider the representation of different perspectives in decision-making. Also, incorporating people's different emotions towards energy projects can be valuable route to effective public participation, in addition to the dominating rationalistic approach.


Last modified:28 June 2023 7.22 p.m.