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PUBLIC AND PRIVATE JUSTICE- DISPUTE RESOLUTION IN MODERN SOCIETIES Establishing a Fair and Efficient Justice System

Prof. Dr. C.H. van Rhee (Maastricht) HISTORY OF CIVIL LITIGATION IN EUROPE

Whether or not procedural laws in the European Union should be harmonised is a matter of debate. A discussion of this question is not possible without a thorough knowledge of (1) the origins of the civil procedural laws of Europe and (2) the differences between these procedures and their similarities.

Within the European Union at least three procedural families may be distinguished: those which have developed around the French Code de procédure civile, the ones of the German-speaking countries and finally the systems which belong to the Common Law family.

The course is devoted to the characteristics of each procedural family. In discussing these characteristics, the origins of civil procedure in France, Germany and England will be studied in some detail. Subsequently the differences between the three procedural families and their similarities will be evaluated. It will appear that most similarities can be explained on the basis of the origin of particular procedural rules. As regards continental Europe, most of these rules originate from the so-called Romano-canonical procedure, which came into being in the 12th century. As regards the Common law, the Romano-canonical procedure was less important, but nevertheless it will be shown that this procedure did affect English procedural law (surprisingly, the 19th century Field Code for the State of New York played a role in this respect).

Course organiser:

Prof. Dr. C.H. van Rhee (Maastricht)

Course materials:

C.H. van Rhee (ed.), European Traditions in Civil Procedure, Antwerp/Oxford, Intersentia, 2005 (ISBN 90 5095 491 X).

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