Search result: 63 articles

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Article

Access_open The Potential of Public Policy on Open Access Repositories

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 2 2019
Keywords public policy, dissemination, governance, open access, repositories
Authors Nikos Koutras
AbstractAuthor's information

    To address the potential of public policy on the governance of OARs it is necessary to define what is meant by public policy and the importance of public policy in designing an efficient governance framework. Critical components are the subject matter of public policy and its objectives. Hence, it is useful to consider declarations, policies and statements in relation to open access practice and examine the efficiency of these arrangements towards the improvement of stakeholders’ engagement in governance of OARs. Secondly, policies relating to dissemination of scientific information via OARs should be examined. In this regard, it is relevant to consider the public policy basis for Intellectual Property (IP) laws that concerning the utility of OARs. Therefore, economic theories relevant with the role of IP laws should be examined. Such examination depicts to what extend these laws facilitate the utility of OARs. In order to specify justifications for the desirability of OARs the objectives of social theories should be also considered. Thus, there is consternation that without legal protection against copying the incentive to create intellectual property will be undermined. As scholarly communication infrastructure evolves, it is necessary to recognize the efforts of the relationship between Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) and communication technologies in the context of public policy and after engagement with it. After employing such multilevel approach, the paper argues about a socio-economic framework to enhance the governance of OARs through public policy.


Nikos Koutras
Postdoctoral Researcher, Faculty of Law, University of Antwerp.
Article

Access_open The Brussels International Business Court: Initial Overview and Analysis

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 1 2019
Keywords international jurisdiction, English, court language, Belgium, business court
Authors Erik Peetermans and Philippe Lambrecht
AbstractAuthor's information

    In establishing the Brussels International Business Court (BIBC), Belgium is following an international trend to attract international business disputes to English-speaking state courts. The BIBC will be an autonomous business court with the competence to settle, in English, disputes between companies throughout Belgium. This article focuses on the BIBC’s constitutionality, composition, competence, proceedings and funding, providing a brief analysis and critical assessment of each of these points. At the time of writing, the Belgian Federal Parliament has not yet definitively passed the Bill establishing the BIBC, meaning that amendments are still possible.


Erik Peetermans
Erik Peetermans is a legal adviser at the Federation of Enterprises in Belgium (FEB).

Philippe Lambrecht
Philippe Lambrecht is the Director-Secretary General at the Federation of Enterprises in Belgium (FEB).
Article

Looking beneath the iceberg: can shame and pride be handled restoratively in cases of workplace bullying

Journal The International Journal of Restorative Justice, Issue 2 2019
Keywords Bullying, victimisation, shame management, pride management, social connectedness
Authors Valerie Braithwaite and Eliza Ahmed
AbstractAuthor's information

    Central to restorative justice interventions that follow revised reintegrative shaming theory (Ahmed, Harris, Braithwaite & Braithwaite, 2001) is individual capacity to manage shame and pride in safe and supportive spaces. From a random sample of 1,967 Australians who responded to a national crime survey, 1,045 completed a module about bullying experiences at work over the past year, along with measures of shame and pride management (the MOSS-SASD and MOPS scales). Those who identified themselves as having bullied others were pride-focused, not shame-focused. They were more likely to express narcissistic pride over their work success, lauding their feats over others, and were less likely to express humble pride, sharing their success with others. In contrast, victims were defined by acknowledged and displaced shame over work task failures. In addition to these personal impediments to social reintegration, those who bullied and those targeted had low trust in others, particularly professionals. While these findings do not challenge macro interventions for culture change through more respectful and restorative practices, they provide a basis for setting boundaries for the appropriate use of restorative justice meetings to address particular workplace bullying complaints.


Valerie Braithwaite
Valerie Braithwaite is a Professor at the Regulatory Institutions Network, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia.

Eliza Ahmed
Eliza Ahmed is a visiting fellow at the Regulatory Institutions Network, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia.
Article

Teaching restorative practices through games: an experiential and relational restorative pedagogy

Journal The International Journal of Restorative Justice, Issue 1 2019
Keywords restorative pedagogy, games, teaching, experiential learning
Authors Lindsey Pointer and Kathleen McGoey
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article argues for the use of games as an effective and dynamic way to teach restorative practices. Grounded in an understanding of restorative pedagogy, a paradigm of teaching in alignment with restorative values and principles, as well as experiential learning strategies, this article introduces games as a way for students to experience and more deeply understand restorative practices while building relationships and skills. Personal accounts of the authors about the impact of using games to teach restorative practices in their own communities are also included.


Lindsey Pointer
Lindsey Pointer is a PhD Candidate at Victoria University of Wellington and Creative Director of Aspen Restorative Consulting in Wellington, New Zealand.

Kathleen McGoey
Kathleen McGoey is the Executive Director of Longmont Community Justice Partnership, Longmont, USA.
Article

Consensus Democracy and Bureaucracy in the Low Countries

Journal Politics of the Low Countries, Issue 1 2019
Keywords consensus democracy, bureaucracy, governance system, Lijphart, policymaking
Authors Frits van der Meer, Caspar van den Berg, Charlotte van Dijck e.a.
AbstractAuthor's information

    Taking Lijphart’s work on consensus democracies as our point of departure, we signal a major shortcoming in Lijphart’s focus being almost exclusively on the political hardware of the state structure, leaving little attention for the administrative and bureaucratic characteristics of governance systems. We propose to expand the Lijphart’s model which overviews structural aspects of the executive and the state with seven additional features of the bureaucratic system. We argue that these features are critical for understanding the processes of policymaking and service delivery. Next, in order to better understand the functioning of the Netherlands and Belgium as consensus democracies, we provide a short analysis of the historical context and current characteristics of the political-administrative systems in both countries.


Frits van der Meer
Frits van der Meer, Professor Institute Public Administration, Leiden University.

Caspar van den Berg
Caspar van den Berg, Campus Fryslân, University of Groningen.

Charlotte van Dijck
Charlotte van Dijck, PhD Fellow Research Foundation Flanders (FWO), KU Leuven Public Governance Institute.

Gerrit Dijkstra
Gerrit Dijkstra, Senior Lecturer, Leiden University.

Trui Steen
Trui Steen, Professor, KU Leuven Public Governance Institute.
Article

Transformative Welfare Reform in Consensus Democracies

Journal Politics of the Low Countries, Issue 1 2019
Keywords consensus democracy, welfare state, social investment, transformative reform, Belgium and the Netherlands
Authors Anton Hemerijck and Kees van Kersbergen
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article takes up Lijphart’s claim that consensus democracy is a ‘kinder, gentler’ form of democracy than majoritarian democracy. We zoom in on contemporary welfare state change, particularly the shift towards social investment, and argue that the kinder, gentler hypothesis remains relevant. Consensus democracies stand out in regard to the extent to which their political institutions help to overcome the politically delicate intricacies of governing for the long term. We theorize the features that can help to solve the problem of temporal commitment in democracy through processual mechanisms and illustrate these with short case studies of the contrasting welfare state reform experiences in the Netherlands and Belgium.


Anton Hemerijck
Anton Hemerijck is Professor of Political Science and Sociology at the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence, Italy.

Kees van Kersbergen
Kees van Kersbergen is Professor of Comparative Politics at the Department of Political Science of Aarhus University, Denmark.

Mary E. McNally MSc, DDS, MA
Mary E. McNally, MSc, DDS, MA, is a Professor at Dalhousie University Faculty of Dentistry in Halifax Nova Scotia, Canada. Contact author: mary.mcnally@dal.ca. Acknowledgement: The author wishes to acknowledge and thank members of the Dalhousie University Dentistry Class of 2015 whose experiences are providing a foundation from which others may learn and benefit.

Marie Keenan
Marie Keenan is a lecturer and researcher at the School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice, University College Dublin, a forensic and systemic psychologist and a restorative justice practitioner, Dublin, Ireland. Contact author: marie.keenan@ucd.ie.
Article

Access_open Peer mentoring justice-involved youth: a training model to promote secondary desistance and restorative justice among mentors

Journal The International Journal of Restorative Justice, Issue 2 2018
Keywords Peer mentoring, justice-involved youth, formerly incarcerated, secondary desistance, training programmes
Authors Mayra Lopez-Humphreys and Barbra Teater
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article introduces a mentoring programme for justice-involved youth that utilises the unique and often overlooked resources offered by adults with a history of incarceration, and the innovative training model that aims to promote secondary desistance and restorative justice among the mentors. An examination of the generative role of peer mentoring and its overlap with restorative justice as a healing process that provides opportunities for offenders to make indirect amends that contribute to the social rehabilitation of their communities is presented. An overview of the history and anticipated aims of mentoring programmes for justice-involved youth is provided, followed by a discussion of the importance of secondary desistance in peer mentoring programmes and a review of the elements, conceptual underpinnings and anticipated benefits of the training programme for the mentors. The training programme is argued to offer approaches that support the primary and secondary desistance-orientated changes and the reparative work needed within the mentor.


Mayra Lopez-Humphreys
Mayra Lopez-Humphreys is Associate Professor, Department of Social Work, City University of New York College of Staten Island, New York, United States of America.

Barbra Teater
Barbra Teater is Professor, Department of Social Work, City University of New York College of Staten Island, New York, United States of America. Contact author: mayra.humphreys@csi.cuny.edu.

Helena Correia Mendonça
Vieira de Almeida & Associados.

Magda Cocco
Vieira de Almeida & Associados.

Cristina Melo Miranda
Vieira de Almeida & Associados.

    Despite enjoying distinct and privileged constitutional statuses, the Indigenous minorities of Malaysia, namely, the natives of Sabah, natives of Sarawak and the Peninsular Malaysia Orang Asli continue to endure dispossession from their customary lands, territories and resources. In response, these groups have resorted to seeking justice in the domestic courts to some degree of success. Over the last two decades, the Malaysian judiciary has applied the constitutional provisions and developed the common law to recognise and protect Indigenous land and resource rights beyond the literal confines of the written law. This article focuses on the effectiveness of the Malaysian courts in delivering the preferred remedy of Indigenous communities for land and resource issues, specifically, the restitution or return of traditional areas to these communities. Despite the Courts’ recognition and to a limited extent, return of Indigenous lands and resources beyond that conferred upon by the executive and legislative arms of government, it is contended that the utilisation of the judicial process is a potentially slow, costly, incongruous and unpredictable process that may also not necessarily be free from the influence of the domestic political and policy debates surrounding the return of Indigenous lands, territories and resources.


Yogeswaran Subramaniam Ph.D.
Yogeswaran Subramaniam is an Advocate and Solicitor in Malaysia and holds a PhD from the University of New South Wales for his research on Orang Asli land rights. In addition to publishing extensively on Orang Asli land and resource rights, he has acted as legal counsel in a number of landmark indigenous land rights decisions in Malaysia.

Colin Nicholas
Colin Nicholas is the founder and coordinator of the Centre for Orang Asli Concerns (COAC). He received a PhD from the University of Malaya on the topic of Orang Asli: Politics, Development and Identity, and has authored several academic articles and books on Orang Asli issues. He has provided expert evidence in a number of leading Orang Asli cases. The law stated in this article is current as on 1 October 2017.
Article

Adult reparation panels and offender-centric meso-communities: an answer to the conundrum

Journal The International Journal of Restorative Justice, Issue 1 2018
Keywords Adult reparation panels, meso-community of care, concern and accountability, reintegration, restoration, surrogate familial bonds
Authors Darren J. McStravick
AbstractAuthor's information

    The community paradigm is continually cited as an important influence within restorative practices. However, this influence has not been sufficiently clarified. This article seeks to answer this conundrum by identifying a novel meso-community of care, concern and accountability that has been emerging as part of adult reparation panel procedures. This offender-centric community consists of traditionally secondary justice stakeholders led by criminal justice representative professionals including police officers and probation officials. It also includes lay volunteers and reparation programme officials dependent on state funding and cooperation. Professionalised panellists have led the development of surrogate familial bonds with offenders through the incorporation of a welfare ethos as part of case discourses. This care and concern approach has increased opportunities within case agreements for successful reintegration and rehabilitation. However, this article also acknowledges some concerns within panel processes in that, by attempting to increase accountability for harms caused, there is a danger that panellists are blurring the restorative lines between rehabilitation and genuine restoration and reparation.


Darren J. McStravick
Darren J. McStravick is a lecturer in Law, School of Law, Kingston University, Kingston upon Thames, UK. Contact author: D.mcstravick@kingston.ac.uk.
Article

Access_open The challenges for good practice in police-facilitated restorative justice for female offenders

Journal The International Journal of Restorative Justice, Issue 1 2018
Keywords Restorative justice, police, female offenders
Authors Birgit Larsson, Gillian Schofield and Laura Biggart
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article reports on the uses of police-led restorative justice (RJ) for female offenders by one constabulary in England from 2007 to 2012. The study consisted of (1) quantitative analysis of administrative police data on 17,486 participants, including 2,586 female offenders, and (2) qualitative analysis of twelve narrative interviews with female offenders sampled from the database. Quantitative data demonstrated that the majority of female offenders committed low-level offences and that the majority of participants experienced street RJ. Female offenders reported mixed experiences with RJ in qualitative interviews. On the whole, women did not understand what RJ was, leading to complications as many felt their victims were mutually culpable. Some felt that the police forced them to apologise and treated them like criminals while others felt the police gave them a second chance. The study raises questions about what the police can bring to RJ in relation to vulnerable women.


Birgit Larsson
Birgit Larsson is a lecturer at the School of Social Work, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK. Contact author: b.larsson@uea.ac.uk.

Gillian Schofield
Gillian Schofield is a Professor at the School of Social Work, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK.

Laura Biggart
Laura Biggart is lecturer at the School of Psychology, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK.
Article

Restorative justice: a framework for examining issues of discipline in schools serving diverse populations

Journal The International Journal of Restorative Justice, Issue 1 2018
Keywords Restorative justice in U.S. schools, school-based discipline, discipline gap, social justice
Authors Carrie Ann Woods and Martha Lue Stewart
AbstractAuthor's information

    The purpose of this article is to explore the literature on restorative justice (RJ) as employed in educational settings and its relationship to student achievement and to present it as a model for working with high-needs populations. While there is no single measure to determine ‘need’ amongst students, the reference in this article is to particularly vulnerable populations of students, due to racial, linguistic, academic or other differences. Information sources utilised in this study were chosen based on their relevance to the application and assessment of RJ programmes implemented with youth in school systems, with a particular focus on its relevance in the context of the United States. This article points at the history of RJ and how particularly impactful such programmes can be with this target group, given the aims and desired outcomes of this philosophy.


Carrie Ann Woods
Carrie Ann Woods is a Doctoral Student, National Urban Special Education Leadership Initiative, University of Central Florida, Orlando, USA. Contact author: carrie.woods@ucf.edu.

Martha Lue Stewart
Martha Lue Stewart is a Professor at the Department of Child, Family and Community Sciences, University of Central Florida, Orlando, USA.

    International cooperation is the key to the strongest peace in the world, to really constructive relations and the political, economic, cultural and humanistic development among all countries, all peoples and all mankind. There is an “extraordinary danger of the current moment,” the Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists said on January 25, 2018, when it decided to move the hand of the iconic Doomsday Clock to 2 minutes to midnight. The last time the symbolic Clock was this closing to midnight was in 1953, at the height of the First Cold War. (2) Now, 65 years later, we are in a Second Cold War, which propels a new and millionaire arms race into space, preparing a space war of inestimable consequences. The world community is “seriously concerned” about this concrete possibility, that can result in a limitless global collapse.
    The UN General Assembly Resolution 72-77, of December 7, 2017, makes an appeal “to all States Members, in particular those with major space capabilities, to contribute actively to preventing an arms race in outer space with a view to promoting and strengthening international cooperation in the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes”. This resolution also “requests the Committee [The United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space – UNCOPUOS] to continue to consider, as a matter of priority, ways and means of maintaining outer space for peaceful purposes.” In its point of view, “the Committee should continue to consider the broader perspective of space security and associated matters that would be instrumental in ensuring the safe and responsible conduct of space activities, including ways to promote international, regional and inter regional cooperation to that end.” (3) As if that were not enough, we are facing an unprecedented climate crisis today. The mainstream media seek to conceal or minimize the fact. But this is part of the problem of the need to maximize international cooperation. Without it, the crisis will continue to spread and threaten the lives of millions of people around the world. In this way, can international space cooperation be carried out effectively “on an equitable and mutually acceptable basis,” as proposed the Declaration on International Cooperation (General Assembly Resolution 51/122, of December 13, 1996)? (4)
    Is it possible to ensure today “an equitable situation” on “a mutually acceptable basis” between developed and developing nations, whose distance increases more and more, mainly in military affairs? The present paper aims to discuss this and other similar issues.


José Monserrat Filho
Brazilian Association of Air and Space Law (SBDA); Brazilian Society for the Progress of Science (SBPC); International Institute of Space Law (IISL).
Article

Promoting Legislative Objectives Throughout Diverse Sub-National Jurisdictions

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1 2018
Keywords devolution, informal jurisdiction, rule of law, disparate impacts, participatory problem-solving, intransitive law, legislative standardization
Authors Lorna Seitz
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article outlines an approach, derived from Ann and Robert Seidman’s Institutionalist Legislative Drafting Theory and Methodology (ILTAM), for drafting laws and developing implementing policies and programmes to realize legislative objectives and promote necessary behavioural change throughout a jurisdiction despite significant sub-jurisdictional socio-economic differences. ILTAM can serve as a powerful tool for catalysing the development of situationally appropriate programmes to initiate and sustain behavioural change in furtherance of legislative objectives. The article begins by discussing the movement towards legislative standardization, and its benefits and failings. It then introduces the concept of informal jurisdictions, and highlights modifications to ILTAM that improve the methodology’s efficacy in devising solutions that work in those jurisdictions. The article then describes the power of intransitive law as a mechanism for catalysing progress towards shared objectives in a manner that allows for localized approaches, promotes governmental responsiveness, brings innovation, and maximizes participatory governance. Lastly, it describes the importance that Ann and Robert Seidman placed on institutionalizing on-going monitoring, evaluation and learning processes; and describes how intransitive drafting techniques can focus implementation on motivating behavioural change while systematically identifying needed policy and law reforms in response to suboptimal legislative outcomes.


Lorna Seitz
The Legis Institute. Seitz earned her JD from Boston University (BU), where she served as Editor-in-Chief of Professor Seidman’s Legislative Clinics. After graduating, Seitz served as the Director of the BU/ICLAD Legislative Distance Drafting Program for several years, taught in the BU Legislative Clinics (and overseas) alongside Professor Seidman, and served as principal for the International Consortium for Law and Development (a non-profit co-founded by the Seidmans) from 2004-2014. Seitz co-founded The Legis Institute to realize the combined potential of ILTAM and 21st Century technology to overcome barriers to inclusive, responsive, evidence-based policy and law development and governance.
Article

Intersecting Professions

A Public Health Perspective on Law to Address Health Care Conflicts

Journal International Journal of Conflict Engagement and Resolution, Issue 1 2017
Keywords public health, Alternative Dispute Resolution, public law, health promotion
Authors Michal Alberstein and Nadav Davidovitch PhD
AbstractAuthor's information

    This paper examines the intersection between the two professions – law and medicine – with reference to systematic transformations that have characterized their development in the past century. In particular, the paper examines the co-emergence of the new public health and health promotion scholarship along with the development of the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) movement in the second half of the 20th century. The two movements, with their later developments, have aspired to change the focus of professionals in the field, and both have been tremendously successful on the one hand, and on the other have remained marginal to mainstream training and identity building of contemporary lawyers and doctors.


Michal Alberstein
Michal Alberstein is a Full Professor at The Faculty of Law, Bar-Ilan University, Israel. She is also the Primary Investigator on an ERC consolidator grant to study Judicial Conflict Resolution (JCR).

Nadav Davidovitch PhD
Nadav Davidovitch, MD, MPH, PhD is an epidemiologist and public health physician. He is a Full Professor and Director, School of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences and the Guilford-Glaser Faculty of Business and Management at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel.
Article

Fixed Book Price Regimes

Beyond the Rift between Social and Economic Regulation

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 3 2017
Keywords fixed book price policies (FBP), Brazil, Resale Price Maintenance (RPM), social regulation, antitrust law
Authors Carlos Ragazzo and João Marcelo da Costa e Silva Lima
AbstractAuthor's information

    Brazil is currently discussing the introduction of a nation-wide Fixed Book Price (“FBP”) policy, thus providing context for a discussion of its welfare benefits. There is a rift between the reasons for implementing FBP regimes, and those used to scrutinize them. In order for the debate surrounding the pros and cons of implementing FBP regimes to become more productive, one must investigate the links between the reasons for designing and enforcing such policies, on one side, and standard antitrust analysis, on the other. There are many interesting arguments at the table that both corroborate and compromise the case for an FPB policy. However, throughout history, these policies have experimented cognizable trends. The objective FBP regimes pursue and their design have changed subtly, yet relevantly throughout history. In our view, the current academic and public policy debate surrounding FBP regimes, in both countries considering adopting or revoking them, would benefit from an enhanced awareness of these trends and their policy implications. Ultimately, so would the antitrust analysis of these policies. We argue that a better grasp of these trends could potentially result in a more sober examination of the welfare risks associated with FBP policies.


Carlos Ragazzo
Carlos Ragazzo is Professor of Law at Fundação Getulio Vargas in Rio de Janeiro; he has a doctorate degree from Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (UERJ) and an LL.M from New York University School of Law.

João Marcelo da Costa e Silva Lima
João Marcelo da Costa e Silva Lima has an M.A. in Regulatory Law from Fundação Getulio Vargas in Rio de Janeiro.
Article

Consultations, Citizen Narratives and Evidence-Based Regulation

The Strange Case of the Consultation on the Collaborative Economy

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1-2 2017
Keywords Better Regulation, consultations, evidence-based lawmaking, sharing economy, narratives
Authors Sofia Ranchordás
AbstractAuthor's information

    The 2015 Better Regulation Communication advocates an evidence-based approach to regulation, which includes better consultations and broader civic engagement. In this article, I consider the recent EU public consultation on the regulatory environment of online platforms and the collaborative economy. I enquire in this context whether citizens were seriously regarded as evidence providers and how their knowledge that materialized in individual narratives could contribute to more legitimate and thus better regulation. I argue that an evidence-based approach to regulation should also include citizen narratives as they can provide first-hand and diverse perspectives, which might not be considered in standard consultation questions. I contend that citizen narratives can be particularly useful in complex and rapidly evolving fields where there is still little empirical evidence and where participants are likely to have diverse personal experiences. Drawing on the literature on narratives, I contend that this method of collecting information can help regulators identify new problems and structure solutions in rapidly changing and diverse regulatory fields such as the collaborative economy.


Sofia Ranchordás
Sofia Ranchordás is an Assistant Professor of Administrative and Constitutional Law at Leiden Law School, the Netherlands, and Affiliated Fellow of the Information Society Project at Yale Law School.

    Ongeveer 20% van de echtscheidingen loopt uit op een zogenaamde conflict- of vechtscheiding. Om deze complexe echtscheidingszaken effectief aan te pakken, dienen professionals in het veld te beschikken over wetenschappelijk onderbouwde kennis over werkzame interventies. Mediation wordt vaak beschouwd als dé oplossing voor conflictscheidingen. Wetenschappelijk onderzoek laat echter een beperkte effectiviteit zien van mediation bij conflictscheidingen. Dit heeft onder andere te maken met de hoge prevalentie (rond 40%) van huiselijk geweld in conflictscheidingsgezinnen.
    In dit onderzoek is de visie van Nederlandse professionals over conflictscheidingen onderzocht en vergeleken met de kennis uit de wetenschappelijke literatuur. Met behulp van een online vragenlijst testten we het kennisniveau van 863 professionals die werken met conflictscheidingsgezinnen. Dit waren advocaten, professionals uit de jeugdzorg/-bescherming, mediators en professionals uit de GGZ.
    Professionals behaalden een gemiddelde score van 6,5 correcte antwoorden op een totaal van 11, waarbij juridische professionals significant beter scoorden dan sociale professionals. Slechts 17% van de professionals wist dat in bijna de helft van de conflictscheidingen huiselijk geweld een rol speelt. 55% van de professionals adviseerde in een geval van een al 7 jaar durende conflictscheiding mediation als effectieve interventie. 46% van de respondenten overschatte de prevalentie van valse beschuldigingen van huiselijk geweld en kindermishandeling bij conflictscheidingen.
    In opleidingen voor Nederlandse juridische en sociale professionals die werken met conflictscheidingsgezinnen dient meer aandacht besteed te worden aan wetenschappelijke kennis, zodat professionals handelen op basis van kennis in plaats van persoonlijke opvattingen en mythen.
    ---
    High conflict divorces are among the 20% of divorce cases that continue to escalate over time. In order to help solve these complex divorce cases, it is important that professionals in the field possess evidence-based knowledge to provide effective interventions. One of these possible interventions is mediation, which is often seen as a panacea for high-conflict divorce (HCD) cases. However, scientific research has shown limited effectiveness of mediation in HCD cases. This is partially associated with the high prevalence (around 40%) of domestic violence in HCD.
    The present study examined professionals’ perspectives on high conflict-divorce cases and compared their views with the available scientific evidence. By means of a web-survey, we tested the knowledge of different professional groups (N = 863) who work with HCD families. The sample consisted of lawyers, child welfare/child protection professionals, mediators and mental health professionals.
    The results showed that professionals on average gave 6.5 correct responses out of 11 questions in total and that legal professionals scored significantly better than social professionals. Only 17% of the professionals were aware that in almost half of all high-conflict divorce cases domestic violence is a problem. For a high-conflict divorce case spanning 7 years, mediation was advised as an effective intervention by 55% of professionals. 46% of respondents overestimated the prevalence of false allegations of child abuse in HCD cases.
    More attention to scientific knowledge on HCD in the educational curricula for Dutch legal and social professionals is needed, in order to assure that their professional activities and decision making are based on scientific evidence instead of personal biases and myths.


Prof. dr. Corine de Ruiter
Prof. dr. Corine de Ruiter is a licensed clinical psychologist (BIG) in The Netherlands. She serves as professor of Forensic Psychology at Maastricht University. She also has a private practice. Her research focuses on the interface between psychopathology and crime. She has a special interest in the prevention of child abuse and intimate partner violence because they are both very common and often overlooked in practice.

Brigitte van Pol Msc
Brigitte van Pol studied Psychology and Law at Maastricht University. Her involvement in this research dates from her Master’s thesis on the role of mediation in high conflict divorce. The authors would like to thank the participants for their time and effort in completing our websurvey.
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