The Way Forward
Edited by Michael Faure and André van der Walt
Chapter 10: Civil Procedure in a Globalizing World
Remco van Rhee 1 INTRODUCTION At the start of the 21st century, the world’s civil procedural landscape is diverse. The main origin of diversity can be found in the historical differences in the approach to civil litigation in the Common Law and Civil Law families of procedural law.1 However, even within these families the differences have become considerable, and it has been stated that because of that, the dichotomy between Civil Law and Common Law may soon have lost much of its relevance.2 An obvious example of major differences within one family can be seen when comparing England and Wales (shortly ‘England’ below) and the United States of America. In England, the jury has nearly disappeared from civil trials,3 whereas the right to a jury trial is a constitutional right in the US.4 Also, the role of pre-trial discovery (currently known as disclosure in England) is radically different in these two jurisdictions. Whereas discovery in the US is extremely extensive, at least from a European perspective,5 stringent limits have been introduced in England by the Woolf Reforms (1999).6 At the same time, it seems that occasionally the differences between jurisdictions from For example, van Caenegem (1973) Chapter 2; Van Rhee (2005a). Andrews (2009): ‘This project also shows that a jurisdiction’s historical association with the Common Law or Civil Law tradition is not an immutable genetic stamp. Arguably, this backward-looking distinction will soon have lost any clear value in modern procedural structures.’ And also: ‘These differences [between the...
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