Problem-Solving Justice: European Approaches
6 Pages Posted: 12 Feb 2019
Date Written: 2018
Two years ago, the Montaigne Centre of Utrecht University organised a seminar on the theme of problem-solving justice, following an initiative of Alexander de Savornin Lohman under the flag of ‘sustainable justice’.1 Starting from the observation that most literature on problem-solving justice2 comes from outside Europe, the seminar’s aim was to explore the application and further possibilities of this approach in Europe. We searched intensively for scholars who had been publishing on this topic in Europe and, based on this search, we invited colleagues from Denmark, England & Wales, Finland, France, Hungary, Italy, Poland and Portugal. With the term problem-solving justice, we also imply the possibilities of problem-solving approaches in the justice domain but out of court. The underlying idea of this approach was that even if problem-solving courts did not exist in many European countries, the legal systems were undoubtedly confronted with similar issues that caused the origin of problem-solving courts in, for example, the United States and Australia. Our main curiosity was therefore: how did these systems respond to these problems, if not with problem-solving courts? We asked the participants of the seminar to make an inventory of the different variants of problem-solving justice that occurred in their country, to examine to what extent this topic has been researched and to identify issues for further research.
This special issue of the Utrecht Law Review is the outcome of that exploration.
Keywords: problem-solving justice
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