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date: 22 March 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Courts play a central role in legal and political processes in many countries in the common law world. Legal actors have a stake in making sure that legal processes and procedures are perceived as legitimate, both by the general population and professionals. Civil procedure, in both common law and civilian legal systems, has been historically known for its complexity. This article presents a body of empirical research about courts and procedural rules, and their role in different societies. It also analyzes research and states how it has been used in policy debates and reforms. In addition, it discusses the question of the demand and supply for empirical research about rules of procedure and courts, and explores the difficulty of carrying out empirical research that goes beyond a focus on the institutional needs of the courts themselves and the reformers interested in their own court-reform agendas.

Keywords: courts, legal and political processes, law, legal actors, civil procedure, research, court-room

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