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date: 23 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Procedural law, and civil procedure in particular, was long neglected by comparative scholars. Perceived as painstaking, ministerial, and ultimately boring, the subject was dreaded by students and avoided by professors who had higher aspirations. This article first examines the attempts to categorize and label procedural systems, an impulse that many comparatists should resist. The focus then shifts to procedural harmonization, a term that encompasses a number of topics of increasing importance to proceduralists. After illustrating the dynamics and results of regional and supra-regional harmonization initiatives, the discussion looks at trends towards harmonization through private rule making and at principles that determine the scope of, and limits to, procedural harmonization. The last section addresses the growing concern about access to justice, specifically cost considerations and claim aggregation techniques, which prompt the somewhat related questions of whether and to what extent one legal system can borrow procedural rules from another one.

Keywords: procedural law, procedural harmonization, private rule making, access to justice, borrowing procedural rules

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