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Book New Pathways to Civil Justice is out

Our book New pathways to civil justice in Europe has just been published by Springer. It results from one of the international conferences organized by our ERC group (’Challenge accepted!’) and this one was particularly memorable. The book focuses on innovative pathways to civil justice with a view to improving access to justice. It encompasses the four key topics of the project: use of Artificial Intelligence and its interaction with judicial systems; ADR and ODR tracks in privatising justice systems; the effects of increased self-representation on access to justice; and court specialization and the establishment of commercial courts to counter the trend of vanishing court trials. Top academics and experts from Europe, the US and Canada address these topics in a critical and multidisciplinary manner, combining legal, socio-legal and empirical insights. More information and sales available at the Springer website. The Introductory chapter by the editors (Erasmus University Rotterdam) and the final chapter by Judith Resnik (Yale University) are available for free download.

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Published: February 1, 2021

The European Order for Payment Regulation became applicable in 2005 and aims to smoothen cross-border enforcement of debts. After the partial abolition of exequatur in the enforcement rules on parental responsibility in the Brussels II-bis Regulation, it was the first broad instrument to abolish intermediate proceedings for enforcement in civil and commercial matters as far is it concerns an uncontested claim. For that purpose it introduces a number of minimum norms of civil procedure, in particular on the service of documents and information. This instrument was followed by a number of other instruments, including the European order for payment procedure, the Small Claims procedure and the Account preservation order, that advanced the harmonisation of civil procedure and the abolition of exequatur. With the Brussels I-bis Regulation becoming applicable in 2015, the abolition of exequatur with the aim to simplify cross-border enforcement reached its momentum.

Fifteen years after the European Enforcement Order Regulation became applicable it was high time that the Regulation be evaluated. Xandra Kramer acted as national reporter for the Netherlands. In addition, she wrote a response to the public consultation on the request of the European Law Institute (here) and participated to an opinion of the EAPIL (here).

Apart from evaluating the overall functioning in the Member States, the question is also whether it is still a useful instrument considering the enactment of new instruments and the abolition of exequatur under Brussels I-bis. While it is still used in the Netherlands and part of the other Member States, the undesired multiplicity and incoherence of instruments in the area of European civil procedure coupled with the inherent complexity of the present Regulation cast doubt. While it has served its purpose in enhancing access to justice its value in the present European civil justice system is very limited.