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Article

Access_open Age Limits in Youth Justice

A Comparative and Conceptual Analysis

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 1 2020
Keywords youth justice, age limits, minimum age of criminal responsibility, age of criminal majority, legal comparison
Authors Jantien Leenknecht, Johan Put and Katrijn Veeckmans
AbstractAuthor's information

    In each youth justice system, several age limits exist that indicate what type of reaction can and may be connected to the degree of responsibility that a person can already bear. Civil liability, criminal responsibility and criminal majority are examples of concepts on which age limits are based, but whose definition and impact is not always clear. Especially as far as the minimum age of criminal responsibility (MACR) is concerned, confusion exists in legal doctrine. This is apparent from the fact that international comparison tables often show different MACRs for the same country. Moreover, the international literature often seems to define youth justice systems by means of a lower and upper limit, whereas such a dual distinction is too basic to comprehend the complex multilayer nature of the systems. This contribution therefore maps out and conceptually clarifies the different interpretations and consequences of the several age limits that exist within youth justice systems. To that extent, the age limits of six countries are analysed: Argentina, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Northern Ireland. This legal comparison ultimately leads to a proposal to establish a coherent conceptual framework on age limits in youth justice.


Jantien Leenknecht
Jantien Leenknecht is PhD Fellow of the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) at KU Leuven, Institute of Social Law and Leuven Institute of Criminology.

Johan Put
Johan Put is Full Professor at KU Leuven, Institute of Social Law and Leuven Institute of Criminology.

Katrijn Veeckmans
Katrijn Veeckmans is PhD Fellow at KU Leuven, Institute of Social Law and Leuven Institute of Criminology.
Article

Access_open Characteristics of Young Adults Sentenced with Juvenile Sanctions in the Netherlands

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 1 2020
Keywords young adult offenders, juvenile sanctions for young adults, juvenile criminal law, psychosocial immaturity
Authors Lise J.C. Prop, André M. Van der Laan, Charlotte S. Barendregt e.a.
AbstractAuthor's information

    Since 1 April 2014, young adults aged 18 up to and including 22 years can be sentenced with juvenile sanctions in the Netherlands. This legislation is referred to as ‘adolescent criminal law’ (ACL). An important reason for the special treatment of young adults is their over-representation in crime. The underlying idea of ACL is that some young adult offenders are less mature than others. These young adults may benefit more from pedagogically oriented juvenile sanctions than from the deterrent focus of adult sanctions. Little is known, however, about the characteristics of the young adults sentenced with juvenile sanctions since the implementation of ACL. The aim of this study is to gain insight into the demographic, criminogenic and criminal case characteristics of young adult offenders sentenced with juvenile sanctions in the first year after the implementation of ACL. A cross-sectional study was conducted using a juvenile sanction group and an adult sanction group. Data on 583 criminal cases of young adults, sanctioned from 1 April 2014 up to March 2015, were included. Data were obtained from the Public Prosecution Service, the Dutch Probation Service and Statistics Netherlands. The results showed that characteristics indicating problems across different domains were more prevalent among young adults sentenced with juvenile sanctions. Furthermore, these young adults committed a greater number of serious offences compared with young adults who were sentenced with adult sanctions. The findings of this study provide support for the special treatment of young adult offenders in criminal law as intended by ACL.


Lise J.C. Prop
Research and Documentation Centre (WODC), Ministry of Justice and Security, Den Haag, the Netherlands.

André M. Van der Laan
Research and Documentation Centre (WODC), Ministry of Justice and Security, Den Haag, the Netherlands.

Charlotte S. Barendregt
Health and Youth Care Inspectorate, Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, Utrecht, the Netherlands.

Chijs Van Nieuwenhuizen
GGzE, Centre for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Eindhoven, the Netherlands and Scientific Center for Care & Welfare (Tranzo),Tilburg University, Tilburg, the Netherlands.
Article

Access_open Giving Children a Voice in Court?

Age Boundaries for Involvement of Children in Civil Proceedings and the Relevance of Neuropsychological Insights

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 1 2020
Keywords age boundaries, right to be heard, child’s autonomy, civil proceedings, neuropsychology
Authors Mariëlle Bruning and Jiska Peper
AbstractAuthor's information

    In the last decade neuropsychological insights have gained influence with regard to age boundaries in legal procedures, however, in Dutch civil law no such influence can be distinguished. Recently, voices have been raised to improve children’s legal position in civil law: to reflect upon the minimum age limit of twelve years for children to be invited to be heard in court and the need for children to have a stronger procedural position.
    In this article, first the current legal position of children in Dutch law and practice will be analysed. Second, development of psychological constructs relevant for family law will be discussed in relation to underlying brain developmental processes and contextual effects. These constructs encompass cognitive capacity, autonomy, stress responsiveness and (peer) pressure.
    From the first part it becomes clear that in Dutch family law, there is a tortuous jungle of age limits, exceptions and limitations regarding children’s procedural rights. Until recently, the Dutch government has been reluctant to improve the child’s procedural position in family law. Over the last two years, however, there has been an inclination towards further reflecting on improvements to the child’s procedural rights, which, from a children’s rights perspective, is an important step forward. Relevant neuropsychological insights support improvements for a better realisation of the child’s right to be heard, such as hearing children younger than twelve years of age in civil court proceedings.


Mariëlle Bruning
Professor of Child Law at Leiden Law Faculty, Leiden University.

Jiska Peper
Assistant professor in the Developmental and Educational Psychology unit of the Institute of Psychology at Leiden University.
Article

Access_open Safeguarding the Dynamic Legal Position of Children: A Matter of Age Limits?

Reflections on the Fundamental Principles and Practical Application of Age Limits in Light of International Children’s Rights Law

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 1 2020
Keywords age limits, dynamic legal position, children’s rights, maturity, evolving capacities
Authors Stephanie Rap, Eva Schmidt and Ton Liefaard
AbstractAuthor's information

    In this article a critical reflection upon age limits applied in the law is provided, in light of the tension that exists in international children’s rights law between the protection of children and the recognition of their evolving autonomy. The main research question that will be addressed is to what extent the use of (certain) age limits is justified under international children’s rights law. The complexity of applying open norms and theoretically underdeveloped concepts as laid down in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, related to the development and evolving capacities of children as rights holders, will be demonstrated. The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child struggles to provide comprehensive guidance to states regarding the manner in which the dynamic legal position of children should be applied in practice. The inconsistent application of age limits that govern the involvement of children in judicial procedures provides states leeway in granting children autonomy, potentially leading to the establishment of age limits based on inappropriate – practically, politically or ideologically motivated – grounds.


Stephanie Rap
Stephanie Rap is assistant professor in children’s rights at the Department of Child Law, Leiden Law School, the Netherlands.

Eva Schmidt
Eva Schmidt is PhD candidate at the Department of Child Law, Leiden Law School, the Netherlands.

Ton Liefaard
Ton Liefaard is Vice-Dean of Leiden Law School and holds the UNICEF Chair in Children’s Rights at Leiden University, Leiden Law School, the Netherlands.
Article

Interest Representation in Belgium

Mapping the Size and Diversity of an Interest Group Population in a Multi-layered Neo-corporatist Polity

Journal Politics of the Low Countries, Issue Online First 2020
Keywords interest groups, advocacy, access, advisory councils, media attention
Authors Evelien Willems, Jan Beyers and Frederik Heylen
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article assesses the size and diversity of Belgium’s interest group population by triangulating four data sources. Combining various sources allows us to describe which societal interests get mobilised, which interest organisations become politically active and who gains access to the policy process and obtains news media attention. Unique about the project is the systematic data collection, enabling us to compare interest representation at the national, Flemish and Francophone-Walloon government levels. We find that: (1) the national government level remains an important venue for interest groups, despite the continuous transfer of competences to the subnational and European levels, (2) neo-corporatist mobilisation patterns are a persistent feature of interest representation, despite substantial interest group diversity and (3) interest mobilisation substantially varies across government levels and political-administrative arenas.


Evelien Willems
Evelien Willems, Departement Politieke Wetenschappen, Universiteit Antwerpen, Antwerpen, Belgium.

Jan Beyers
Jan Beyers, Departement Politieke Wetenschappen, Universiteit Antwerpen, Antwerpen, Belgium.

Frederik Heylen
Frederik Heylen, Departement Politieke Wetenschappen, Universiteit Antwerpen, Antwerpen, Belgium.
Article

Access_open Is the CJEU discriminating in age discrimination cases?

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 1 2020
Keywords age discrimination, old people, young people, complete life view, fair innings argument
Authors Beryl ter Haar
AbstractAuthor's information

    Claims have been made that the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) is more lenient in accepting age discriminating measures affecting older people than in those affecting younger people. This claim is scrutinised in this article, first, by making a quantitative analysis of the outcomes of the CJEU’s case law on age discrimination cases, followed by a qualitative analysis of the line of reasoning of the CJEU in these cases and concluding with an evaluation of the Court’s reasoning against three theoretical approaches that set the context for the assessment of the justifications of age discrimination: complete life view, fair innings argument and typical anti-discrimination approach. The analysis shows that the CJEU relies more on the complete life view approach to assess measures discriminating old people and the fair innings argument approach to assess measures discriminating young people. This results in old people often having to accept disadvantageous measures and young workers often being treated more favourably.


Beryl ter Haar
Beryl ter Haar is assistant professor and academic coordinator of the Advanced LL.M. Global and European Labour Law at Leiden University and visiting professor at the University of Warsaw.
Article

From victim blaming to reintegrative shaming

the continuing relevance of Crime, shame and reintegration in the era of #MeToo

Journal The International Journal of Restorative Justice, Issue 1 2020
Authors Shadd Maruna and Brunilda Pali
Author's information

Shadd Maruna
Shadd Maruna is Professor in the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work, Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Brunilda Pali
Brunilda Pali is Senior Researcher in the Leuven Institute of Criminology, Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium.

Kathleen Daly
Kathleen Daly is Professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia.
Article

John Braithwaite

standards, ‘bottom-up’ praxis and ex-combatants in restorative justice

Journal The International Journal of Restorative Justice, Issue 1 2020
Authors Kieran McEvoy and Allely Albert
Author's information

Kieran McEvoy
Kieran McEvoy is Professor of Law and Transitional Justice and Senior Fellow at the Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice, Queens University Belfast, UK.

Allely Albert
Allely Albert is a PhD student with a University Studentship at the Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice, Queens University Belfast, UK.

Lode Walgrave
Lode Walgrave is Professor Emeritus in Criminology at the University Leuven, Belgium, and member of the Editorial team of TIJRJ.
Article

Crime, shame and reintegration

from theory to empirical evidence

Journal The International Journal of Restorative Justice, Issue 1 2020
Authors Heather Strang
Author's information

Heather Strang
Heather Strang is Director of the Lee Centre of Experimental Criminology in the Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

Albert Dzur
Albert Dzur is Distinguished Research Professor, Departments of Political Science and Philosophy, Bowling Green State University, USA.
Article

Deliberation Out of the Laboratory into Democracy

Quasi-Experimental Research on Deliberative Opinions in Antwerp’s Participatory Budgeting

Journal Politics of the Low Countries, Issue 1 2020
Keywords Deliberative democracy, mini-publics, participatory budget, social learning, deliberative opinions
Authors Thibaut Renson
AbstractAuthor's information

    The theoretical assumptions of deliberative democracy are increasingly embraced by policymakers investing in local practices, while the empirical verifications are often not on an equal footing. One such assertion concerns the stimulus of social learning among participants of civic democratic deliberation. Through the use of pre-test/post-test panel data, it is tested whether participation in mini-publics stimulates the cognitive and attitudinal indicators of social learning. The main contribution of this work lies in the choice of matching this quasi-experimental set-up with a natural design. This study explores social learning across deliberation through which local policymakers invite their citizens to participate in actual policymaking. This analysis on the District of Antwerp’s participatory budgeting demonstrates stronger social learning in real-world policymaking. These results inform a richer theory on the impacts of deliberation, as well as better use of limited resources for local (participatory) policymaking.


Thibaut Renson
Thibaut Renson is, inspired by the 2008 Obama campaign, educated as a Political Scientist (Ma EU Studies, Ghent University) and Political Philosopher (Ma Global Ethics and Human Values, King’s College London). Landed back at the Ghentian Centre for Local Politics to do empirical research. Driven by the moral importance of social learning (vs. political consumerism) in democracy, exploring the empirical instrumentality of deliberation.

    De grote toestroom van migranten en asielzoekers in de EU houdt vandaag nog steeds verschillende regelgevers wakker. Niet alleen de nationale overheden, maar ook de EU-regelgevers zoeken naarstig naar oplossingen voor de problematiek. Daartoe trachten de EU-regelgevers het Gemeenschappelijk Europees Asielstelsel (GEAS) bij te werken.
    Binnen de groep migranten en asielzoekers bestaat een specifiek kwetsbaar individu: de niet-begeleide minderjarige vreemdeling (NBMV). Hij is zowel vreemdeling als kind en kreeg reeds ruime aandacht binnen de rechtsleer. Nochtans werd deze aandacht niet altijd weerspiegeld in de EU-wetgeving. Het lijkt alsof hij door de regelgevers af en toe uit het oog verloren werd.
    Uit het onderzoek blijkt dat de EU-regelgevers nog een zekere weg te gaan hebben. In de eerste plaats bestaat er wat betreft het geheel aan regels met betrekking tot de NBMV weinig coherentie. De EU-regelgevers zouden bijvoorbeeld meer duidelijkheid kunnen scheppen door een uniforme methode vast te leggen voor de bepaling van de leeftijd van de NBMV. Hetzelfde geldt voor een verduidelijking van de notie ‘het belang van het kind’ binnen asiel en migratie. Verder blijken de Dublinoverdrachten en de vrijheidsontneming van de NBMV nog steeds gevoelige pijnpunten. Hier en daar moet aan de hervorming van het asielstelsel nog wat gesleuteld worden, zodat de rechten van de NBMV optimaal beschermd kunnen worden.
    ---
    Today, the large influx of migrants and asylum seekers into the European Union (EU) keeps several regulators awake. Not only national authorities, but EU regulators too are diligently searching for solutions to the problems. To this end, EU regulators are seeking to update the Common European Asylum System (CEAS).
    There is however a particularly vulnerable individual within the group of migrants and asylum seekers: the unaccompanied alien minor (UAM). These minors already received a great deal of attention within legal doctrine. However, this attention was not always reflected in EU legislation. It seems as if UAM are occasionally lost from sight by the regulators.
    This article shows that the EU regulators still have a certain way to go. First, there is little coherence in the set of rules relating to the UAM. The EU regulators could, for example, create more clarity by laying down a uniform method for determining the age of the UAM. The same applies to a clarification of the notion of 'best interests of the child' within the context of asylum and migration. Second, the proposal for a new Dublin Regulation and the proposal for a new Reception Conditions Directive still appear to be sensitive. Here and there, the reform of the asylum system still needs adjustments, so that the rights of UAM can be optimally protected."


Caranina Colpaert LLM
Caranina Colpaert is PhD researcher
Article

On being ‘good sad’ and other conundrums: mapping emotion in post sentencing restorative justice

Journal The International Journal of Restorative Justice, Issue 3 2019
Keywords Post-sentencing restorative justice, emotion, victim-offender conferencing, violent crime, victims
Authors Jasmine Bruce and Jane Bolitho
AbstractAuthor's information

    Advocates of restorative justice argue the process offers significant benefits for participants after crime including emotional restoration. Critics point to concerns including the potential for victims to be re-victimised and offenders to be verbally abused by victims. Whether or not restorative justice should be made more widely available in cases of severe violence remains controversial. Drawing from 40 in-depth interviews with victims and offenders, across 23 completed cases concerning post-sentencing matters for adults following severe crime, we map the sequence of emotion felt by victims and offenders at four points in time: before, during and after the conference (both immediately and five years later). The findings provide insight into what emotions are felt and how they are perceived across time. We discuss the role of emotion in cases of violent crime and offer a fresh perspective on what emotional restoration actually means within effective conference processes at the post-sentencing stage.


Jasmine Bruce
Jasmine Bruce is Adjunct Senior Lecturer at the School of Law, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.

Jane Bolitho
Jane Bolitho is Senior Lecturer in Criminology at the School of Social Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.
Article

Complying with display rules: the ‘managed heart’ in restorative justice

complementing ritual theories of emotional bonding

Journal The International Journal of Restorative Justice, Issue 3 2019
Keywords Emotional bonding, emotion management, display rules, offstage performance, re-storying
Authors Bas van Stokkom
AbstractAuthor's information

    In this theoretical study it is argued, first, that ritual theories – at least those which are dominant in restorative justice literature – place too much emphasis on the potential positive impacts of emotional bonding. The author discusses some critical issues with respect to emotional bonding and points out that mutual understanding is rather the result of narrative re-appraising and re-assessing. Secondly, to explain the rather low emotional temperature of many (youth) conferences, emphasis is placed on emotion management theory, thereby suggesting that participants’ reservations and discomfort are related to rather demanding display rules (enact a sincere and authentic role; enact cooperativeness; etc.). The author identifies reasons why (young) participants cannot get grips on these rules and resort to a resigned ‘offstage’ performance. It is argued that display rules form an integral part of a relatively compelling ‘emotional regime’, a specific set of affective behavioural norms which define the ‘manners’ during the meeting. In this regime there is considerable social pressure to conform to norms and standards how to express emotions, which contradicts the restorative justice rhetoric of voluntary and spontaneous dialogue.


Bas van Stokkom
Bas van Stokkom is criminologist and research fellow at the Faculty of Law, Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands.
Article

Restorative justice, anger, and the transformative energy of forgiveness

Journal The International Journal of Restorative Justice, Issue 3 2019
Keywords Restorative justice, ritual, anger, apology, forgiveness
Authors Meredith Rossner
AbstractAuthor's information

    Restorative justice has long been positioned as a justice mechanism that prioritises emotion and its expression. It is also unique in its ritual elements, such as the ritualized expression of anger and the symbolic exchange of apology and forgiveness. This paper draws on insights from research and practice in restorative justice and recent developments in criminology/legal theory and the philosophy of justice to suggest some ways that the broader criminal justice landscape can incorporate elements of successful restorative justice rituals into its practice. I argue that the unique elements of restorative justice- its ability to harness anger into a deliberative ritual for victims and offenders, its focus on symbolic reparations, and its ability to engender a form of forward-looking forgiveness that promotes civility- can provide a framework for rethinking how criminal justice institutions operate.


Meredith Rossner
Meredith Rossner will from 2020 be a Professor of Criminology, Centre for Social Research and Methods, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia. In 2019 she was an Associate Professor of Criminology at the London School of Economics and a visitor at the Center for Law and Public Affairs, Princeton University.

Virginia Domingo de la Fuente
Virginia Domingo de la Fuente is the President of the Scientific Society of Restorative Justice, tutor at the University of Geneva and coordinator of the Restorative Justice Service in Castilla and Leon, Burgos, Spain.
Article

Offenders’ understandings of forgiveness

Journal The International Journal of Restorative Justice, Issue 3 2019
Keywords Offenders, forgiveness, victim lens, offender lens
Authors Tamera Jenkins
AbstractAuthor's information

    Despite extensive research on victim perceptions of forgiveness comparatively little is known about the meaning offenders attach to forgiveness. Through in-depth interviews with 19 criminal offenders this study sought to lay foundational groundwork regarding offenders’ understandings of forgiveness. Offenders viewed forgiveness through both a ‘victim’ and ‘offender’ lens. From a victim perspective offenders described giving forgiveness as a response that enabled them to ‘let go’ or ‘get over’ personal harms. From an offender perspective receiving forgiveness was defined as being either conditional or unconditional. Conditional forgiveness was related to evidence of positive change in offenders that must occur prior to forgiveness while the essential characteristic of unconditional forgiveness was found to be love. A better understanding of the significance of forgiveness in the lives of criminal offenders has practical implications for clinicians, service providers, and criminal justice professionals involved in the treatment or custodial care of this population.


Tamera Jenkins
Tamera Jenkins, Ph.D., is an Adjunct Research Fellow at the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice of the Griffith University – Mount Gravatt Campus, Brisbane, Australia.

    The European Commission recently conducted a public consultation on the measures that may be taken to ensure the full application of the principle of equal pay between women and men. Its evaluation report is expected before the end of this year. The new Swiss legislation on monitoring and disclosure of the gender pay gap may be inspiration for future EU initiatives in this area.


Sara Rousselle-Ruffieux
Sara Rousselle-Ruffieux is an attorney-at-law at Lenz & Staehelin, Geneva, Switzerland.
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