Professor of Private Law and Academic Director Tilburg University and Hague Institute for Internationalisation of Law
Courts, competition and innovation - inaugural lecture held by Maurits Barendrecht
On 27 September 2011 Professor Maurits Barendrecht held an inaugural lecture, where he concentrated on the topic of courts feeling overburdened. Based on his researches while serving as the 2011 Hague Visiting Professor on the Rule of Law, Prof. Barendrecht set up the key question of how to tackle the competition among the market shares of courts.
In some situations, characterised by dependence and unexpected change, third parties are needed. They solve problems in relationships. Courts fulfil this need for trilateral governance, which is a fascinating but complex process. Third parties offer a miracle product, because they can solve most conflicts just by being there. Providing this miracle is difficult, though. Courts are notoriously difficult to manage.
Courts compete among themselves and with countless other third parties, from informal tribunals to websites and television shows that mobilize the court of public opinion. Courts can learn from both their competitors and throughout the competition process. Because their traditional procedures lose market share and legitimacy, this learning is a requirement.
In order to innovate, courts need a setting that provides stronger incentives and, at the same time, is a safe, open and nurturing environment. The view developed by Montesquieu in the 18th century, positioning courts as independent enforcers of laws enacted by parliaments, is still valuable. But it can also be a barrier to court innovation.
Read more: Inaugural Lecture by Maurits Barendrecht: Courts, Competition and Innovation
Inaugural Lecture by Maurits Barendrecht: Powerpoint presentation
HiiL Visiting Professor Maurits Barendrecht held Inaugural Lecture