Picking up the pace – legal slowness and the authority of the judiciary in the acceleration society (a Dutch case study): A Dutch case study

Lyana Francot, Sophie Mommers*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

This paper inquires into the nature of the crisis haunting the judiciary in our contemporary society. Drawing upon the work of Hartmut Rosa, it is stated that our society is an acceleration society and that this puts the judiciary under great pressure. The resulting crisis is twofold since it is both of an organizational and fundamental nature. The focus of this paper is on the – in our view – underexposed latter crisis because of its effect on the very core of the judiciary, namely the legitimacy and authority. The judiciary is confronted with the demand to speed up, whereas the nature of the legal system seems to reject an accelerated tempo and even needs a certain degree of slowness to communicate its accuracy. It is not just the process of acceleration that erodes or at least changes the authority of the judiciary but it concerns a complex interplay of expectations induced by acceleration, both externally by justice seeking citizens and internally by the judiciary’s own management and politics, and how these expectations are met, or not. This is illustrated by a case study on the position of the Dutch judiciary, but holds true for other national and international adjudication as well.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of the Legal Profession
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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