Workshop “Challenges to judicial legitimacy”
On April 16th, Radboud University Nijmegen hosted an online workshop on (challenges to) judicial legitimacy. Legitimacy is one of the core concepts within the research theme Institutions for Conflict Resolution (COI). COI is a nation-wide partnership that serves to implement the Dutch Sector Plan for Law (2019-2024). During the workshop, researchers from Radboud University Nijmegen, Utrecht University, and Leiden University presented their research and discussed its relationship to legitimacy.
Issues that were addressed during these presentations included the question what legitimacy entails and how it can be strengthened. Six researchers presented their research in three consecutive sessions, and each session was moderated by another researcher. The first session was moderated by Elaine Mak. Thomas Riesthuis presented his research, which uses empirical insights to contextualize legal theories on what judges do when they decide cases. Next, Sophie Koning discussed the “valve function” of Article 12 procedures in Dutch criminal law, which seem to be increasingly used as a way for the public to voice societal discontent.
During the second session, moderated by Lucas Noyon, Laura van den Berg presented her research. She aims to unravel the concept of legitimacy by looking at its legal, sociological, and ethical dimensions. Elif Erken discussed her research on the role of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and National Human Rights Institutes (NHRIs) in the aftermath of rulings of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).
The third and final session was moderated by Joost Sillen. Eva Grosfeld put forward a social psychological perspective on the legitimacy of the EU and the role of values and identity. Finally, Ella Lerk focused on the possibility of strengthening legitimacy with the help of integrity. At the end of each presentation there was room for feedback, which resulted in lively discussions. Thus, both the presentations and the discussions provided further food for thought.