#7 Access to Justice

It might seem so obvious: If someone misbehaves, e.g. by damaging your property, you may start proceedings or seek any other remedy available. You may also want to mediate to find a solution. This, in a broad sense, is access to justice. Who is able to achieve justice? Listen to this 7th episode of Maastricht Law Talk to find out!

This month’s guest is Maurits Barendrecht. He is research director at HiiL and a Professor of Private Law at Tilburg University. After finishing his law degree at Leiden University he started working at De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, one of the biggest law firms in the Netherlands. Some years later, he even became partner. But: This wasn’t his. After finishing his PhD he started teaching at Tilburg and joined HiiL later on. To fight for justice!

We refer to three other Maastricht Law Talk episodes within the show. If you haven’t listened to them yet, consider doing so:  What is Law, why can the State cause harm, and what exactly is tort?

Maurits and I discuss

  • what access to justice contains,
  • the importance of the rule of law,
  • States not trying to solve anything,
  • what the UN and EU are doing in that area,
  • why law isn’t always the right answer,
  • how powerless States are,
  • what must change in legal education to guarantee access to justice,
  • that legal positivism might not be the best way to go (debatable ;-)), and
  • much more.

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avatar Benedikt Schmitz
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avatar Mauritz Barendrecht
Research Coordinator at HiiL

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#6 Tort Law

There are 7.35 billion people on this planet. We all have to live together and arrange our lives in a way that others can live theirs. But what if something goes wrong? Your friend borrows your phone and it happens: It falls to the ground. Who must compensate your damage?

In our sixth episode we dig deeper into the private law. Tort law jumps in where contract law can not help: When you suffer a wrong but the wrongdoer is someone you do not have any legal relationship with.

Gijs van Dijck is Full Professor of Private Law at Maastricht University and joined its faculty of Law in September 2016. His work evolves around empirical legal research in fields such as tort law and insolvency law. He was a visiting scholar at Standford Law School and KU Leuven. Next to his professorship Gijs is co-director of the Maastricht European Private Law Institute.

We have tried our best to not use too many technical terms. If you have trouble understanding certain concepts, you may consider listening to our “What is Law?” and “State-Caused Harm” episodes first.

Gijs and I discuss

  • where tort law originates from,
  • what differentiates it from contract and criminal law,
  • why receiving compensation for damages is an important aspect of society,
  • what grounds there are to be hold liable,
  • climate change and government responsibilities,
  • what counts as a tort in the first place,
  • why the United States seems to be the odd one out,
  • what the difference is between punitive and compensatory damages,
  • that you can sue your doctor for malpractise, and
  • much more.

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avatar Benedikt Schmitz
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avatar Gijs van Dijck
Full Professor

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#5 United States Law

European lawyers tend to have a hard time with United States Law at first. Too different are “both” systems, it seems. But is the Anglo-American legal order really that different?

The fifth main episode of Maastricht Law Talk leaves the European continent for a while: It covers the United States legal system. From a federal judge being able to block the president’s executive orders to the harmonisation process of law.

Larry Catá Backer is Professor of Law and International Affairs at Penn State University. He is an expert on corporate, enterprise, and constitutional law and is currently working on his new book on an “Introduction to U.S. Law”. You can find his work and latest research on his website Backer in Law or on his blog Law at the End of the Day.

If you haven’t yet listened to our episode on constitutions, you might want to do that first. Click here to listen to the episode.

Larry and I talk about

  • the federal structure,
  • common law as a concept,
  • “codification”,
  • harmonisation of law,
  • the appointment and election of judges,
  • popular democracy and democratic deficits,
  • the U.S. Supreme Court,
  • federal and state powers,
  • the presidential election,
  • gerrymandering,
  • executive orders,
  • judicial review, and
  • much more.

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avatar Benedikt Schmitz
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avatar Larry Catá Backer
Professor of Law

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#FACT Scots despise English Law

Hi, it’s Benedikt again and we are working hard to bring you a new full-feature episode soon. In the meantime however, Bram Akkermans has a fun fact for you: Why English and Scottish lawyers aren’t the best colleagues.

Bram Akkermans is Associate Professor at the Maastricht University Faculty of Law and was my first guest on the show. Click here to listen to the full episode on “What is Law”?

If you liked this episode, subscribe here to the podcast.

avatar Benedikt Schmitz
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avatar Bram Akkermans
Associate Professor

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#XMS The Law to Gift

It’s holiday season! Whatever you celebrate, very often this includes giving presents. For most, gifting is as normal as buying tomatoes in the grocery store. The law however has quite a hard time dealing with it.

My guest for this special Christmas episode is William Bull, Lecturer at Maastricht University. William wrote his PhD on “Optional instruments of the European Union; A Definitional, Normative and Explanatory Study” and studied English and Italian law at the University College London. Currently he is teaching Comparative Contract Law and a Legal Research course.

William and I briefly discuss

  • what an immediate donation is,
  • the Common Law concept of consideration,
  • why you might want to look for a notary, and
  • why gifting isn’t as easy as it seems.

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avatar Benedikt Schmitz
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avatar William Bull
Lecturer

Click here for legal information. This episode also contains the following intellectual property:

Oh, Christmas Tree by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

#2 State-Caused Harm

Punishing people for breaking the law seems self-evident to most. But why do we punish? Why is the state allowed to inflict harm on others?

This month’s episode of Maastricht Law Talk deals with the theories and philosophies behind criminal law. It features everything from the emergence of criminal law through tribal law, to the development of common modern ideas during the Enlightenment, and the current state of criminal law and criminal procedure as influenced by recent events creating new policing policies.

Jeroen ten Voorde is Associate Professor of Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure at Leiden University and Professor of Philosophy of Criminal Law at the University College Groningen. He is also a judge substitute at the North-Holland court and an advisor to the Dutch Ministry of Justice on honour-related crimes.

Jeroen and I discuss

  • what State-Caused Harm is,
  • how criminal law came along,
  • the influence of the Enlightenment,
  • what makes certain behaviour a criminal offence,
  • why we punish others,
  • the very important principle of legality, and
  • different theories of criminal procedure.

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avatar Benedikt Schmitz
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avatar Jeroen ten Voorde
Associate Professor

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#1 What is Law?

Here we are! Maastricht Law Talk’s first episode asks the question “What is Law”? Prof. Dr. Bram Akkermans, Associate Professor for European Private Law at Maastricht University, joins me to talk about the very basic foundations of law.

We discuss

  • why we need legal rules,
  • the influence of morality,
  • who can be a legal subject,
  • which laws are applicable and who creates them,
  • why animals are property,
  • the difference between private and public law,
  • what differentiates English law from the dominant law on the continent,
  • the principle of separation of power, and
  • much more.

If you liked this episode, subscribe here to the podcast.

avatar Benedikt Schmitz
Host
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avatar Bram Akkermans
Associate Professor

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