Comparative civil procedure: opportunities and pitfalls
Comparative methodological and theoretical approaches are easily applicable to a deeper level understanding and higher level utilisation of civil procedure. But, they are not typically at the forefront of work in civil procedure, whether by practitioners, the courts, or even the academics that study civil procedure. This is because civil procedure is particularly local in character - applying to the participants within a specific and localised jurisdiction.1 This is reinforced by local civil procedure being applied even to disputes centred on events outside the jurisdiction, even when foreign substantive law may be brought into the dispute through choice of law rules.2 Civil procedure is, after all, designed to apply within the four corners of the court. Thus, those involved, particularly the lawyers and judges that work with civil procedure, have not typically considered foreign and hence comparative civil procedure. Comparative considerations of civil procedure have been generally confined to academics, and occasionally to policy makers considering reform. Yet, as will be shown in this chapter, even as civil procedure is perhaps the most practical and domestic of all fields of law, those that work with it could nonetheless find significant benefits from occasional comparative considerations of civil procedure.