Civil Justice in Crisis: Comparative Perspectives of Civil Procedure

By Adrian A. S. Zuckerman; Sergio Chiarloni et al. | Go to book overview

Addendum
Since this contribution was written, some of the propositions of the Coulon Report have been implemented. These modifications are contained in a statute published in the Official Journal of France on 20 December 1998 (Statute no. 98-1163, 18 December 1998) and a regulation of 28 December 1998 both revising the French Judiciary Organization Code and the New Code of Civil Procedure ( Official Journal, 30 December 1998, 19904) and relating to access to justice and peaceful settlement of disputes.These texts target two aims: rationalizing judicial work and favouring peaceful solutions of disputes (see L. Cadiet, Chronique d'actualité. Droit judiciaire privé, in La Semaine juridique, gen. edn. ( 1999) i, 130).The main modifications are as follows:
• The competence rate rose from E Frs. 30,000 to E Frs. 50,000 and the jurisdiction rate from E Frs. 13,000 to E Frs. 25,000, except with regard to labour disputes (E Frs. 22,000) and commercial matters (where it stays at E Frs. 13,000).
• Before the tribunal de grande instance, the tribunal d'instance, the commercial courts and the Court of Appeal, parties are invited to formulate legal arguments and not just facts.
• Before the tribunal de grande instance and the Court of Appeal, parties must disclose all of their arguments. Those which are not included in their briefs or those which are advanced at an early stage but subsequently withdrawn will be disregarded by the judge.
• Before the tribunal de grande instance and the Court of Appeal, the powers of the preliminary investigation judges are extended, as they are now in a position to rule on procedural exceptions (irregularities etc.).
• Interlocutory injunctions are improved, before the tribunal de grande instance and the Court of Appeal.
• Before the tribunal d'instance, the judge now has the possibility of committing all proceedings to conciliation.
• The benefit of legal aid is extended to peaceful settlement of disputes as soon as an agreement is reached and even though the competent court has not yet been seized.
• Simple proceedings for enforcing peaceful settlements are instituted before the president of the tribunal de grande instance who can confer upon them a binding force through a mere declaration to the court.

These modifications are not of major importance but should not be overlooked. It is likely that they will lead to other reforms in the months or years to come.

A critical reform is under review at the moment. Under this reform, first instance judgments would be immediately enforceable even though an appeal has been lodged and even though the principle is that of a suspension of enforcement nowadays. A decrease of appeal proceedings could follow.

-328-

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