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Reading: What Is It All About? An Overview of the Dutch Research and a Plea for Change

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What Is It All About? An Overview of the Dutch Research and a Plea for Change

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Rick J. Verschoof

Utrecht University School of Law
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Abstract

This article describes what has recently been published in Dutch research on the behaviour and actions of judges during civil oral hearings in Dutch courtrooms in relation to experienced procedural justice and with regard to reaching settlements. It tries to distil what we know and to provide an insight into what we do not know as yet and it pays attention to a new way of handling cases during oral hearings: the search for the underlying conflict. What is this exactly? Do we know, or can we predict what this way of handling oral hearings will do in terms of perceived procedural justice and in terms of settling the case?
The author concludes as a legal scientist that we do not know enough to be sure that this approach has a positive effect, although we do have clues pointing in that direction, and that more research is needed. He advocates, based on his professional experience as a judge, that it is better to move forward and to begin to really train the judiciary in communication techniques and in the management of conflict resolution, because there is much to be gained in these fields and the goal of the judiciary should be to remain connected with what the parties need and want from a modern judge.

DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/ulr.289
How to Cite: Verschoof, R.J., (2014). What Is It All About? An Overview of the Dutch Research and a Plea for Change. Utrecht Law Review. 10(4), pp.41–55. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/ulr.289
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Published on 20 Nov 2014.
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