The Role of the Judge in Civil Litigation – Are the Procedural Rules Still Up to Date?

von Peter Bert

The Association of German Jurists (Deutscher Juristentag) is a venerable institution, one of the oldest in Germany’s legal community, having been established in 1860. It aims to promote the development of the legal system across all fields of law. Its recommendations have often been a catalyst for legal reforms. The Association’s activities culminate in the bi-annual German Jurists Forum (Deutscher Juristentag). This year, the 70th German Jurists Forum, will be held from September 16 to 19, 2014 in Hannover. One of its “divisions” (Abteilung) will be devoted to the role of the judge in the context of civil litigation reforms.

Here is the outline of what will be discussed in Hannover:

“The Code of Civil Procedure (ZPO) and the Courts Constitution Act (GVG) date back to the 19th century. It is about time to modernize the way litigation matters are being allocated within the court system and how procedures are managed. Lawyers have become increasingly specialized, facts have become more complex and disputes more voluminous; computers allow briefs to be easily (re)produced, and rules have been introduced that create sanctions for undue delays in litigation - all of these factors have changed indeed heightened expectations of what civil litigation should deliver.

The procedural division of the 70th Deutschen Juristentag plans to discuss whether, and if so which, instruments must be created to make civil litigation modern, attractive and efficient ...

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