Pre-trial or preparatory proceedings are considered a key tool for achieving efficient civil proceedings. The claims and the factual background of the case are clarified at an early stage and the main hearing is concentrated. Judicial settlement efforts and court-connected mediation contribute to early resolution of cases. This project explores the regulation, goals and functioning of preparatory proceedings in four Scandinavian (Nordic) countries and eight former communist countries. The Nordic countries have had the main hearing model of civil proceedings for some decades. Recent reforms have further enhanced the role of the preparatory stage. Judicial settlement efforts and court-connected mediation are important elements of Nordic civil procedure. Former communist countries are reforming their earlier piecemeal format civil proceedings by introducing and strengthening the written and oral preparation. Court-connected mediation has also been introduced.
The project discusses discuss if, and how, the regulation and the practice of preparatory proceedings enhance cheap and swift civil justice with quality outcomes. A central question is if the main hearing model of civil justice where preclusion of new evidence and claims occur at the end of the preparatory stage results in more efficiency, or if the functioning of civil proceedings depend mainly
on other factors. The regulation and use of court-connected mediation and judicial settlement efforts will be examined in a comparative perspective.
Head: Professor Dr. Laura Ervo, Örebro University & professor Dr. Anna Nylund, University of Tromsø
Funded by NOS-HS.