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Access_open A changing paradigm of protection of vulnerable adults and its implications for the Netherlands

Journal Family & Law, February 2019
Authors H.N. Stelma-Roorda LLM MSc, dr. C. Blankman and prof. dr. M.V. Antokolskaia
AbstractAuthor's information

    The perception of how the interests of vulnerable adults should be protected has been changing over time. Under the influence of human and patient’s rights a profound shift of protection paradigms has taken place in the last decades. In the framework of this shift, in addition to traditional adult guardianship measures, new instruments have been developed allowing adults to play a greater role in the protection of their (future) interests. This has also been the case in the Netherlands, where adults in the course of the last decade have acquired the possibility to make a so-called living will, internationally better known as a continuing, enduring or lasting power of attorney. This article discusses this instrument, in comparison with the traditional adult guardianship measures currently in force in the Netherlands, from the perspective of the new protection paradigm based on a human rights approach.
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    In de afgelopen decennia is de manier waarop naar de bescherming van kwetsbare meerderjarigen wordt gekeken, veranderd. Van een benadering waarbij de focus voornamelijk lag op bescherming is de nadruk steeds meer komen te liggen op het recht op autonomie en zelfbeschikking van de meerderjarige. De opkomst van mensen- en patiëntenrechten heeft geleid tot het ontstaan van een nieuw beschermingsparadigma. In dat kader zijn nieuwe instrumenten ontwikkeld, die meerderjarigen een grotere rol toekennen in de bescherming van hun (toekomstige) belangen. Dit is eveneens het geval in Nederland, waar meerderjarigen een levenstestament kunnen opstellen om voorzieningen te treffen voor een toekomstige periode van wilsonbekwaamheid. Dit artikel bespreekt het levenstestament, in samenhang met de traditionele rechterlijke beschermingsmaatregelen, vanuit het perspectief van het nieuwe beschermingsparadigma.


H.N. Stelma-Roorda LLM MSc
Rieneke Stelma-Roorda is PhD candidate at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

dr. C. Blankman
Kees Blankman is associate professor at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

prof. dr. M.V. Antokolskaia
Masha Antokolskaia is professor of family law at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

    The comparative discussions held during this seminar show that the different jurisdictions make use of – approximately – the same ingredients for their legislation on adult guardianship measures and continuing powers of attorney. Given the common international framework (for example the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities) and given the common societal context (cfr. the strong increase of the ageing population) this may not come as a surprise. Despite these common ingredients, the different jurisdictions have managed to arrive at different dishes spiced with specific local flavours. Given that each jurisdiction bears its own history and specific policy plans, this may not come as a surprise either. The adage ‘same same but different’ is in this respect a suitable bromide.
    For my own research, the several invitations – that implicitly or explicitly arose from the different discussions – to rethink important concepts or assumptions were of most relevance and importance. A particular example that comes to mind is the suggestion to ‘reverse the jurisprudence’ and to take persons with disabilities instead of healthy adult persons as a point of reference. Also, the invitation to rethink the relationship between the limitation of capacity and the attribution of a guard comes to mind as the juxtaposition of the different jurisdictions showed that these two aspects don’t need to be automatically combined. Also the discussion on the interference between the continuing powers of attorney and the supervision by the court, provoked further reflection on hybrid forms of protection on my part. Finally, the ethical and medical-legal approaches may lead to a reconsideration of the traditional underlying concepts of autonomy and the assessment of capacity.


Veerle Vanderhulst Ph.D.
Veerle Vanderhulst works at the Faculty of Law and Criminology, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Article

Access_open Formerly cohabiting parents and parenting plans: Who makes the effort?

Journal Family & Law, June 2016
Authors Simon de Bruijn Msc, dr. Anne-Rigt Poortman and Prof. dr. ir Tanja van der Lippe
AbstractAuthor's information

    When the Promotion of Continued Parenting and Proper Divorce Act came into force on March 2009 both married and cohabiting Dutch parents of minor children were obliged to draw up a parenting plan when they separate. Parenting plans are not enforceable for cohabiters, however. Using data from the New Families in the Netherlands survey, we examine how many former cohabiters create a parenting plan and how this compares to the number of verbal or no arrangements. We expect that child, parents and relationship characteristics are important for the likelihood that a parenting plan is constructed. Results show that more than half of former cohabiters create a parenting plan. Furthermore, former cohabiters are more likely to draw up a parenting plan if they consult a legal practitioner during their separation process. In addition, the younger the youngest child is, the more likely that former cohabiters will create a parenting plan or make verbal arrangements rather than no arrangements. That is also true for higher educated households and if they opt for residential co-parenting after divorce. Former cohabiters in a high-conflict situation are less likely to develop a parenting plan than make no arrangements.


Simon de Bruijn Msc
Simon de Bruijn is a Ph.D. candidate at the Department of Sociology and Research School (ICS) of Utrecht University. His research interests include divorce and post-divorce arrangements.

dr. Anne-Rigt Poortman
Anne-Rigt Poortman is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Sociology and Research School (ICS) of Utrecht University. She received her Ph.D. at Utrecht University in 2002. Her main research interests are divorce and separation, new relationship types and legal aspects of partner relationships.

Prof. dr. ir Tanja van der Lippe
Tanja van der Lippe is a Professor of Sociology of Households and Employment Relations at the Department of Sociology and Research School (ICS) of Utrecht University. She is the head of the Department of Sociology and research director of ICS Utrecht. Her research interests are in the area of work-family linkages in Dutch and other societies.

    This contribution provides an introduction to the main theme’s that are discussed in micro-, meso- and macroeconomics relating to family law. The occasion was a closed international expert seminar organized by RETHINKIN. (www.rethinkin.eu), a Scientific Research Network financed by the Research Foundation Flanders. The seminar concerned the compensation of household production between partners on the one hand, and intergenerational care for the elderly on the other. A report on the legal aspects is also available on this forum. This contribution first situates the economics of family in general, before discussing the main functions of practicing the economics of family law: (a) avoiding legislative mistakes, (b) using incentives to encourage altruistic behaviour, (c) using disincentives to discourage opportunistic behaviour and finally, (d) applying family economics as a benchmark for protective measures. It is concluded that employing the economics of family law encounters some difficulties, but that the possibilities it offers for legal development outweigh the difficulties.
    Deze bijdrage biedt een inleiding op de voornaamste thema’s die aan bod komen in de micro-, meso- en macro-familierechtseconomie. Aanleiding was een besloten internationaal expertenseminar dat werd georganiseerd door RETHINKIN. (www.rethinkin.eu), een wetenschappelijke onderzoeksgemeenschap gefinancierd door het Fonds voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek - Vlaanderen. Dat seminar betrof de compensatie van huishoudelijke productie tussen partners enerzijds en intergenerationele zorg voor ouderen anderzijds. Een verslag van het juridische gedeelte is ook op dit forum beschikbaar. Deze bijdrage situeert eerst de familie-economie in het algemeen, vooraleer in te gaan op de belangrijkste functies van de beoefening van defamilierechtseconomie: (a) het voorkomen van verkeerde wetgevende keuzen, (b) het aanmoedigen in de wetgeving van altruïstisch gedrag, (c) het ontmoedigen in de wetgeving van opportunistisch gedrag en ten slotte (d) de onzichtbare hand als opmaat voor een minimale wetgevende bescherming. De conclusie luidt dat de beoefening van de familierechtseconomie op sommige moeilijkheden stuit, maar dat de mogelijkheden ervan voor een goede rechtsontwikkeling meer gewicht in de schaal leggen.


Prof. dr. Frederik Swennen
Frederik Swennen is a senior lecturer at the University of Antwerp and an attorney at the Brussels Bar.

    Legal position of a known donor constitutes an ongoing challenge. Known donors are often willing to play a role in the child’s life. Their wishes range from scarce involvement to aspiring legal parentage. Therefore three persons may wish for parental role. This is not catered for in the current laws allowing only for two legal parents. Several studies show how lesbian mothers and a donor ’devise new definitions of parenthood’ extending ’beyond the existing normative framework’. However, the diversity in the roles of the donors suggests a split of parental rights between three persons rather than three traditional legal parents. In this article I will discuss three jurisdictions (Quebec, Sweden and the Netherlands), allowing co-mother to become legal parent other than by a step-parent adoption. I will examine whether these jurisdictions attempt to accommodate specific needs of lesbian families by splitting up parentage ’package’ between the duo-mothers and the donor.


Prof. mr. Masha Antokolskaia Ph.D.
Masha Antokolskaia is professor of Private Law (in particular, Personal Status and Family Law) at the VU University Amsterdam. She is a member of the Commission on European Family Law (CEFL) and a board member of the International Society of Family Law. She is author of a diverse range of monographs and articles written in Dutch, English and Russian. Her main research areas are: European comparative Family Law and Dutch Family Law, with particular regard to the law relating to relationships, parentage and divorce.

    D'après le Code civil, et ce dè s son origine, la séparation du couple marié peut donner lieu à une obligation légale de payer au conjoint, ou à l'ancien conjoint, une pension censée couvrir ses besoins. En dehors du mariage, point de lien alimentaire prévu par la loi. Depuis 1804, deux évolutions sociales majeures ont cependant changé le visage de la vie de couple. D'un côté, elle ne passe plus nécessairement par le mariage. D'un autre côté, seule sa dimension affective est censée lui donner sens, ce qui la rend éminemment fragile. La question se pose dè s lors de savoir si le lien alimentaire qui existe actuellement en droit belge entre conjoints désunis répond encore de maniè re adéquate et pertinente aux modes de fonctionnement de l'économie conjugale.
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    According to the Civil code, and in view of its development, the separation of a married couple can give rise to a legal obligation to pay maintenance to the other spouse, or ex-spouse, in order to cover his or her needs. In contrast, outside marriage, no statutory maintenance is available. However, since 1804, two major social evolutions have changed the way of life of couples. On the one hand, maintenance no longer flows inevitably from marriage. On the other hand, only the ‘love’ dimension of a relationship supports the provision of maintenance, which makes this claim eminently fragile.
    The question then arises as to whether the maintenance between separated spouses which is presently provided for under Belgian law still adequately and appropriately serves the functioning of the conjugal economy.
    In addition, the absence of maintenance rights for unmarried couples also raises questions. The contribution proposes a reconsideration of the right to maintenance between all couples, married or not, on the basis of other justifications, in particular the solidarity which couples establish during their shared lives.


Dr. Nathalie Dandoy
Nathalie Dandoy is lecturer at the catholic University of Louvain. She is member of the research centre of Family Law (Cefap-UCL). Her main research area concerns the maintenance rights between family members. She is member of editorial committee of Revue trimestrielle de droit familial and Journal des Juges de paix et de police.
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