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Joyce Lie

Joyce Lie studied criminal law in Tilburg and graduated in 2002. After this, in 2009, she finished her RAIO-education to become a lawyer and from that moment she has been working at the court in ‘s-Hertogenbosch. She has also gained publicity because of her Twitter activity. With @JudgeJoyce she draws attention to the law in a personal way. She does not avoid discussion when it concerns jurisdiction and the position of the judge in society.

"Try to excel in your education, do not settle for a 6/10. However, make sure to live in a student house and combine your study with student life. Have fun with friends. Be active in a student organization. I see life associated with studying as a valuable addition to your study. You gain lots of life experience and useful knowledge for your future working life. In short, enjoy your time now you are a student!"

Why did you choose to study in Tilburg back in the day?

"Quite early I knew what I wanted to become. In my early childhood I thought of being a reporter as a dream job, although during high school it became clear I wanted to be a judge. A beautiful mix between what moved me: writing and sense of justice. So, my choice of study was easy; law!

Why then Tilburg? To be honest, this had little to do with Tilburg or its university. I just wanted to study in a city that was not too far from my parents’ home, so I could easily go home during weekends to spend time with friends and family. At that moment I could not apprehend that soon I would also spend my weekends in Tilburg, because it is simply not that easy to build a network when you live and study somewhere. I had a great student time and afterwards I can say that the university and Tilburg as a student city were the right choice for me."

Who was your favorite professor?

"I could name several professors or teachers, but who comes to mind first with such a question is assistant professor Erik-Jan Broers. He succeeds exceptionally well in teaching in a humorous and illustrative way. Through his way of communication he is close to students, which worked positively for me. Also the less interesting parts of legal history were easier to remember in this way. And the very illustrative way he discussed corporal punishment, I will never forget."

Do you have a fun anecdote from your student life?

"When I think back about my student life I could tell lots of anecdotes, but rather I would like to emphasize student life as a whole. It is a cliché, but one that is a 100% true for me. Every student should go live in a student house, not only to study (don’t get me wrong, this is very important as well) but also to learn what it’s like to live independently and really grow up. My study and student life have really shaped me to become my current me. This has started during the TIK-week (which is currently named TOP-week), the Faculty Camp, but also living in a student house with 39 female students and being a board member of DICIT have contributed to this. Moreover, I would recommend anyone to fulfill a board function, if possible; it teaches you lots and prepares you for your working life through the amount of contact you have with people working in law, while organizing activities."

What is your career like?

"My career has started during my study. In the last year of my study I started as a clerk at the court in ‘s-Hertogenbosch. I applied for this job at the criminal law department but during the job interview it appeared to me it was for a job in the trade sector. I remember very well that during the interview I believed I was totally at the wrong spot. This was because trade law was the only course I hadn’t passed so far. However, the job interview went very well and I was hired. During this job it became very clear to me that working at court was really what I wanted. I vastly enjoyed writing ‘summary judgments’. I encountered the most fun cases, sometimes general, but now and then also really bizarre ones. I sometimes think that I would like to end my career where it began, at the ‘summary judgments’, but then as a judge.

In 2002 I graduated and right before my graduation I started as a judicial clerk at the court in ‘s-Hertogenbosch. As I mentioned earlier, I wanted to become a judge. The RAIO-education (judicial officer in training) was the next step. In 2003 I was hired and in 2004 I started my education. I was placed in Roermond and had a pleasant and informative education. The education, which recently does not exist anymore in this form, consisted of several parts. Soon, I chose to become a judge and not a public prosecutor. Also, a year ‘outside’ was part of the curriculum. I did this at a law firm in Tilburg. In 2009 I graduated and first started as a judge in Roermond and soon after that – back to my old spot – I started as a judge in ‘s-Hertogenbosch. Currently I have been a judge for over four years and I cannot say anything else than that this is my dream job."

What is your ambition?

"At the moment I really enjoy my time as a judge in ‘s-Hertogenbosch. I enjoy working in first-line jurisdiction and it gives me a feeling of satisfaction. Besides, the work atmosphere in court is enjoyable. I really feel at home here and how I see it now is that I will be working here many years as a judge. An ambition that I have for the future is training new judges but to accomplish this ambition I will first need to gain more experience as a judge."

Which role has Tilburg University played in your life or career?

"The university and student life shaped me into the person that I am now. The study, but also being active within the ‘plea association’, have caused me to realize my dream to become a judge. My education and student life caused me to gain more life experience and lead me to the position I am in now. That is also a requirement for a starting judicial officer in training; you are young when you graduate from university, but doing extracurricular activities is a great advantage for that job and a benefit for becoming a judge. Looking back, I wish I had gone abroad for a while. For various reasons this unfortunately never happened."

Does Tilburg University play a role in your life now?

"This May I will return to the campus to help out with the so-called ‘practice court’. I am really looking forward to this. I find the contact with the current students highly inspiring. At the court we regularly have visiting students and I always experience this as very positive. It is refreshing to see what kind of questions run through their minds and it makes you think about things you never even think about anymore: 'Yes, why do we actually do things this way? Good question'."