Upperdogs Versus Underdogs: Judicial Review of Administrative Drug-Related Closures in the Netherlands

Bruijn, L. M. & Vols, M., 2017.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterAcademic

In the Netherlands, mayors are entitled to close both public and non-public premises due to drug-related criminal activities. In this paper, we argue that although rights and freedoms of individuals are endangered by these closures, mayors come out ahead in litigation. We build on Galanter’s framework on repeat players and one-shotters, and studies that attribute advantages to governmental parties to argue that mayors are the stronger party in drug-related closure cases and are therefore more likely to prevail over the opposing party in litigation. We categorized mayors as upperdogs and the opposing litigants as underdogs. Moreover, we distinguished the stronger from the weaker party among the mayors based on population size and case-specific experience. Similarly, we distinguished the stronger from the weaker party among underdogs. We classified businesses and organizations as the stronger party, relative to the individuals, which we classified as the weaker party. We find that mayors not only win more often, but also do so in the vast majority of cases. Moreover, contrary to our presumptions, we find that strong underdogs significantly boost the chance that the mayor will win the case in comparison to weak underdogs. The latter finding casts doubt on the assumption of Galanter that the stronger party comes out ahead in litigation. When controlling for particular case characteristics, such as the type of drugs and invoked defenses, our findings offer evidence that case characteristics are consequential for the resolution of drug-related closure cases in the Netherlands. The findings of our study reveal the importance of party capability and particular case characteristics. Moreover, our study adds a new dimension to our understanding of drug-related closure cases in the Netherlands.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventAnnual Conference on Empirical Legal Studies - Cornell Law School, Ithaca, United States
Duration: 13-Oct-201714-Oct-2017
Conference number: 12


ConferenceAnnual Conference on Empirical Legal Studies
Abbreviated titleCELS
CountryUnited States
Internet address


Annual Conference on Empirical Legal Studies


Ithaca, United States

Event: Conference

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