Introduction: The Future of Access to Justice – Beyond Science Fiction

APGCF (Alexandre) Biard, J (Jos) Hoevenaars, XE (Xandra) Kramer, E (Erlis) Themeli

Research output: Chapter/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic

3 Citations (Scopus)
32 Downloads (Pure)


Access to civil justice has been on the research and policy agenda for a number of decades. Nevertheless, old hurdles—including costs and delays—continue to challenge access to justice, while changes in the justice system and society—the rapid technological advancement at the forefront—create both new challenges and opportunities. At the national, European and international level developments are taking place that merit comprehensive study and discussion. These evolve around four key issues that are central in this book: digitisation and in particular the use of AI in courts; privatisation of civil justice by means of ADR; increased self-representation and its repercussion on the civil justice system and legal professions; and increased specialisation of courts and procedures. This introductory chapter discusses these four topics within the framework of European civil procedure and access to justice. It addresses the papers included in this book and draws some conclusions on future pathways and new frontiers in civil justice.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNew Pathways to Civil Justice in Europe
Subtitle of host publicationChallenges of Access to Justice
EditorsX.E. Kramer, A.P.G.C.F. Biard, J. Hoevenaars, E. Themeli
PublisherSpringer Nature Switzerland AG
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-66637-8
ISBN (Print)9783030666361
Publication statusPublished - 18 Sept 2021

Bibliographical note

This research has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 726032), ERC consolidator project ‘Building EU Civil Justice: challenges of procedural innovations – bridging access to justice’

Research programs

  • SAI 2008-06 BACT


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