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In cooperation with Spui25. Program: Book presentation "Judges as Team Players: The Economics of Judicial Reputation" (Nuno Garoupa and Tom Ginsburg), University of Chicago Press, and mini workshop with a discussion panel of three judges. Venue: Spui25.

Event details of ACLE/Spui25 Event with Nuno Garoupa (Texas A&M University School of Law)
Date 21 May 2015
Time 20:00 -22:00
Spui 25
Room Spui25


Why do judicial systems vary around the world? Traditionally, theories trying to explain this draw heavily on history, tradition and culture. American professor of Law Nuno Garoupa puts forth a new approach, drawing from the economics of information. He claims that the relationship between society and the judiciary and its features are determined by reputation. What does this mean for our view of different systems around the world, and for the judicial system in the Netherlands? With Nuno Garoupa, Leonard Besselink, Heico Kerkmeester and Dory Reiling.

Judges, as Alexander Hamilton famously noted, lack the purse or the sword, and so must rely on their reputation to secure compliance with their decisions. As Nuno Garoupa will explain, reputation can be seen as a key element in explaining a good deal of the variation in judicial systems that we observe around the world. Reputation is a quality of both the judiciary as a whole, but also of individual judges, and different systems of organization encourage investment in different parts of reputation. Seen this way, we are able to account for change over time in response to broader changes in society. It enables us to speculate on how judicial reputation has been affected by globalization, but can prove helpful in analyzing the Dutch system as well.

In their new book Judges as Team Players: The Economics of Judicial Reputation Garoupa and Ginsburg use the economics of information to understand the organization of judicial systems around the world. What are the benefits of this model? Why and how is reputation a key part of this analysis? Audiences are vital when it comes to reputation. They can be internal (judiciary) or external (political branches, legal experts, public opinion) thus inducing individual and collective reputation which in many cases conflict. What do these conflicts entail, and how do they influence judicial organization? And what does this mean for the situation in the Netherlands, with its absence of a constitutional court, the influence of international and European courts and legal reforms to improve court performance? Nuno Garoupa will discuss this with judge and professor of law Heico Kerkmeester and judge and judicial reform specialist Dory Reiling. Moderator: Leonard Besselink.



Opening by Giuseppe Dari-Mattiacci (Amsterdam Center for Law & Economics, University of Amsterdam)


Nuno Garoupa (University of Illinois College of Law) on

Judges as Team Players: The Economics of Judicial Reputation


Discussion Panel

Moderator: Leonard Besselink (Amsterdam Center for European Law and Governance, University of Amsterdam)

Panelists: Heiko Kerkmeester (University of Antwerp) and Dory Reiling (Judge, Court of Amsterdam District)


Public Discussion




About the speakers:

Nuno Garoupa is professor of Law at Texas A&M University and holds the Chair in Research Innovation at the Católica Global School of Law, Universidade Católica de Portugal in Lisbon, Portugal. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of York (UK), holds an LLM from the University of London. He has a long established research interest in the economics of law and legal institutions. Nuno has also served as Vice-President of the European Association of Law and Economics and Member of the Boards of the International Society for New Institutional Economics. He has been awarded the Spanish Julian Marias Research Prize 2010.

Heico Kerkmeester (1963) obtained degrees in both Law and Economics and wrote a Ph.D.-dissertation on Game Theory and the Law (1989). Since 2005 his main occupation if that of a judge in the Court of Appeal on Trade and Industry in the Hague, specialized in economic administrative law. He is also in a deputy judge in the Court of Appeal in Amsterdam and the Central Council in Utrecht, as well as part-time professor of Law and Economics in Antwerp, Belgium. 

Dory Reiling is a senior judge at the Amsterdam District Court. Apart from her court work, she is involved in the program to digitalize court procedures in the courts in the Netherlands. She was a senior judicial reform specialist at the World Bank and IT program manager for the Netherlands judiciary. She regularly lectures on court IT at universities, judicial academies and postgraduate schools and works as an IT adviser to judiciaries around the world. She was the acting expert for the Consultative Council of European Judges (Council of Europe) Opinion 14 on information technologies and the courts. In 2009 her book Technology for justice. How information technology can support judicial reform was published.

Leonard Besselink (moderator) holds the chair of Constitutional Law in the Faculty Law since 2012, is affilliated to the Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance, ACELG and is presently Head of the department of Public Law. Prior to that he held the chair of European Constitutional Law at the University of Utrecht. He was Henri G. Schermers Fellow of the Netherlands Institutefor Advanced Studies (2011-2012), the Royal Committee on the Constitution (2009-2010) and is a member of the Royal Netherlands Society of Sciences and Humanities. His research focuses on issues of European, comparative and national constitutional law.


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Spui 25

Room Spui25

Spui 25-27
1012 WX Amsterdam