NEWS: Stakeholder meeting Institutions for Conflict Resolution


On Thursday November 30, the Institutions for Conflict Resolution (COI) research group organized a stakeholders meeting in Utrecht on (the lack of) effective conflict resolving capacity by the government and the implications for its legitimacy. The purpose of these annual meetings, which each address a different topic within the overarching theme of ‘institutions for conflict resolution’, is to promote exchange between science and practice.


Chairman of the Dutch Council for the Judiciary Henk Naves spoke about the joint task of the different state powers to protect the rule of law and pointed out the risks of the current trend of socially sensitive issues increasingly ending up before the courts. Joost Sneller, member of the House of Representatives for D66, rebuked the accusation of judicial activism that is regularly voiced in the political arena and in society. He argued that when politicians fail to comply with laws and treaties, they force the courts to intervene. And Jelle Klaas, as director and human rights lawyer at PILP, spoke about strategic litigation and the importance of access to justice, even if this may lead to the accusation that a political case ends up before the court. In addition, a number of young researchers affiliated with COI - Eva Grosfeld, Marlou Overheul (also on behalf of Amarins Jansma), Wendy Yan and Laura Davies - talked about their various research projects, each of which is at the heart of the theme that was central to the stakeholders meeting.


It was a fruitful discussion, with plenty of room for offering critical reflections as well as discussing possible solutions - for example in terms of a more accessible judiciary, more cooperation between state powers, governmental communication in understandable language and investing in implementation organizations. All in all, the meeting yielded a lot of inspiration for a continued dialogue between research and practice on these important topics.