Access to justice for vulnerable workers and citizens in public/private governance regimes: Lessons from the regulatory welfare state in the Netherlands

Albertjan Tollenaar*, Gijsbert Vonk

*Corresponding author for this work

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Mixed public/private governance regimes in social security are complex, legally intricate, and difficult to manage. This may operate as an obstacle for individual claimants when they want to protect themselves against decisions or actions of private actors or wish to enforce individual entitlements. Hence, individuals rely heavily on the corrective function exercised by the courts. Paradoxically, policies that create a public/private governance structure are not always geared towards strengthening access to justice for the individual. On the contrary, in the Netherlands, legislative changes and administrative practices purposefully raise the barriers to bringing cases to the independent judiciary. In this article, we analyse the relationship between the complex public/private governance regimes in social security and access to justice. It is argued that the policies should consider strengthening access to courts to counterbalance the weakened position of workers and vulnerable citizens.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-334
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Social Policy Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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