Comparative Civil Procedure
Full course description
Whether or not procedural law 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 existing procedures in the Member States of the Union, (2) the origins of these procedures and (3) 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 characteristics of each procedural family will be discussed. In discussing these characteristics, the civil procedure of France, Germany and England will be studied in some detail. Special attention is given to the question how these systems deal with the requirements of Article 6 (and 13) of the European Convention of Human Rights and with fundamental principles of procedure in general. 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. The final part of the course addresses the question whether or not approximation of procedural law is desirable and, if it is desirable, in what particular manner approximation can be achieved. In this context, the Principles of Transnational Civil Procedure of ALI/UNIDROIT will be discussed.
To provide students with an insight in the character and goals of civil procedure; To provide students with knowledge of the basic principles of civil procedure in Europe; To provide students with knowledge of Articles 6 and 13 ECHR and the case law of the ECtHR; To provide students with knowledge of harmonised European rules on civil procedure; To provide students with knowledge of the ALI/Unidroit Transnational Principles of Civil Procedure; To provide students with knowledge of civil procedure in England & Wales, Germany and France from a comparative perspective; To make students aware of the fundamental similarities and differences in civil procedure in Europe; To provide students with an insight into the historical development of civil procedure in Europe; To provide students with an insight into the current debate on harmonisation of civil procedure; To provide students with knowledge of the advantages and disadvantages of the tools available for harmonising the law of procedure; To enable students to formulate well-founded opinions on civil procedural issues in a comparative perspective.