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Rhee, C. (Ed.) (2010). Within a Reasonable Time: The History of Due and Undue Delay in Civil Litigation. Duncker & Humblot. https://doi.org/10.3790/978-3-428-53409-8
and Rhee, C. H. van. Within a Reasonable Time: The History of Due and Undue Delay in Civil Litigation. Duncker & Humblot, 2010. Book. https://doi.org/10.3790/978-3-428-53409-8
Rhee, C (ed.) (2010): Within a Reasonable Time: The History of Due and Undue Delay in Civil Litigation, Duncker & Humblot, [online] https://doi.org/10.3790/978-3-428-53409-8

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Within a Reasonable Time: The History of Due and Undue Delay in Civil Litigation

Editors: Rhee, C. H. van

Comparative Studies in Continental and Anglo-American Legal History, Vol. 28

(2010)

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Abstract

As it becomes clear from the contributions to this volume, delay in civil litigation is a central issue in the Western legal tradition. It cannot be avoided since justice cannot be done without a proper investigation of the case at issue and this takes time. Justice and procedural delay are therefore virtually synonymous. However, even though delay is unavoidable, it becomes problematic when it can be qualified as »undue«. […] the present volume contains a fascinating collection of causes of due and undue delay in civil litigation […] as well as measures to reduce the time needed to arrive at a final decision of the case. Therefore, this collection of essays may not only be worthwhile for the historically interested lawyer, but most likely also for those with an interest in the improvement of the procedural systems of our modern world.

Table of Contents

Section Title Page Action Price
Contents 5
C. H. Van Rhee: Introduction 7
I. Preliminary Remarks 7
II. Due and Undue Delay: A Definition 10
III. Causes of Undue Delay 12
1. Non-Procedural Factors 13
2. Procedural Factors 17
a) Pre-Action 21
b) Pre-Trial 21
c) Trial 25
d) Closure of Trial until Final Judgment 27
e) Recourse against Judgments 28
f) Special Procedures 30
g) Enforcement 31
IV. Final Remarks 32
Bibliography 33
I. Middle Ages 35
M. Ascheri: Between Statutory Law and Learned Law: Delay in the Early History of the Medieval Italian Communes (and Beyond) 37
I. General Notes 37
1. Before the Ius Commune 37
2. From the Second Half of Twelfth Century Onwards: a New Complexity 39
3. A Glance at the Communal World 42
II. Means to Avoid Delay 43
1. The Regulation of Contumacia 43
2. Exclusion of Other Jurisdictions 44
3. Commercial Courts 44
4. Instrumentum Guarentigiatum (Guaranteed Deed) 47
5. Mandatory Arbitration 48
6. Consilia Sapientium 48
7. Reprisals 49
8. The Radical Solution: The Refusal to Apply the Ius Commune 49
III. The Realm of Contradiction 50
Bibliography 51
P. Brand: ‘To None Will We Sell, to None Will We Deny or Delay Right or Justice’: Expedition and Delay in Civil Proceedings in the English Medieval Royal Courts 57
I. Introduction 57
II. Court Organisation and ‘Court Staff’ 60
III. The Pre-Action Stage 61
IV. The Pre-Trial Stage 63
V. The Trial Stage 64
1. The Oral Pleading Stage 64
2. The Proof Stage 66
VI. From Closure of Trial to Final Judgment 67
VII. Recourse against Judgments 68
VIII. Special Procedures 69
IX. Conclusions 70
Bibliography 71
R. H. Helmholz: Due and Undue Delay in the English Ecclesiastical Courts (ca. 1300 – 1600) 73
I. Introduction 73
II. Court Organization 75
III. Pre-Trial Proceedings 78
IV. Trials 80
V. Appeals 83
VI. Enforcement of Sentences 85
VII. Conclusion 88
Bibliography 90
K. W. Nörr: Verzögert oder beschleunigt: das Beispiel des römisch-kanonischen Prozessrechts 93
I. Einleitung 93
II. Das vorbereitende Verfahren, oder Verfahren bis zur Litiskontestation 94
III. Das Verfahren im engeren Sinn: von der Litiskontestation zum Endurteil 98
IV. Ein Fazit 100
Literatur 101
II. Early Modern Period 103
A. M. J. A. Berkvens: The Reform of Civil Procedure in the Rhine-Prussian Provinces: The Example of Prussian Gueldres 1713–1786 105
I. Introduction 105
II. The Procedural Law of Gueldres in the Seventeenth Century 108
III. The Codex Fridericianus and the 1752 Ordinance for Gueldres 109
IV. Inspection of the Subaltern Judiciary and the 1779 Ordinance for the Lower Benches in Prussian Gueldres 111
V. The 1781 Corpus Iuris Fridericianum and the 1786 Ordinances for the Lower Benches and for the Sovereign Court of the Duchy of Gueldres 113
1. The 1786 Regulation for the Lower Benches 115
2. The 1786 Regulation for the Sovereign Court 116
VI. Concluding Remarks 118
Bibliography 120
J. Finlay: The History of Delay in Civil Procedure at the Scottish Court of Session (1600 – 1830) 121
I. Introduction 121
II. Court Organisation and Court Staff 124
1. The Outer House 126
2. The Inner House 128
3. Remuneration 129
III. Pre-Action 130
IV. Pre-Trial 131
1. Commencement of the Action 131
2. Litiscontestation 139
3. Defences 139
V. Trial 141
1. Oral Pleadings 141
2. The Taking of Evidence 142
3. Parole Evidence 142
VI. From the Closure of the Trial Until Final Judgment 144
VII. Recourse 147
VIII. Special Procedures 148
IX. Enforcement 148
X. Measures to Abbreviate the Procedure: Their Success or Lack of Success 149
Bibliography 150
A. M. Godfrey: Procedural Delay, Appeal and Advocation in the Court of Session in Sixteenth-Century Scotland 153
I. Introduction 153
1. Recognition of Delay as a Problem 154
2. The Prevalence of Delay 157
II. Court Organisation and ‘Court Staff’ 157
III. Pre-Action/Pre-Filing 161
IV. Pre-Trial 164
V. Trial 165
1. Litiscontestation 165
2. Written Pleadings 166
3. Failure of Witnesses to Compear 167
4. Examination of Witnesses 168
VI. From the Closure of the Trial until Final Judgment 170
VII. Recourse against Judgments 171
VIII. Special Procedures 171
1. Advocation 172
2. Taking of Evidence in a Foreign Jurisdiction 173
IX. Enforcement 173
X. Conclusion 173
Bibliography 175
III. 19th and 20th Centuries 177
J. Blackie: Delay and Its Control in Mid to Late Nineteenth Century Scottish Civil Procedure 179
I. Introduction 179
II. Length of Time Actually Taken 179
III. The Human Resources Question – Popular Judges and Advocates 182
IV. Timetables and Rules Allowing them not to Be Followed 183
V. Written Pleadings 183
1. Written Pleading Giving Fair Notice of the Remedy Asked for, the Facts to Be Relied on, and the Basic Legal Grounds 183
2. Debates on Points of Law, and the Move to Orality 185
VI. Control of Delay in Procedure for Proof of Facts 186
1. Cases Proceeding for Jury Trial 186
2. Cases Proceeding for ‘Proof’ before a Judge without a Jury 188
a) Court of Session 188
b) Provincial Courts 189
VII. Appeals 190
1. Appeals before a Case Came to Jury Trial 190
2. Appeals before a Case Came to Proof of Facts before a Single Judge without a Jury 192
3. Appeal to the House of Lords – A Source of Delay? 194
VIII. Conclusion 196
Bibliography 196
W. H. Bryson: The Code of Virginia of 1849 199
I. Court Organization 200
1. Appellate Courts 200
2. Public Offices as Private Property 201
II. Pre-Action/Pre-Filing 202
III. Pre-Trial 203
1. Generally 203
2. Actions for Torts 204
3. Actions for Breach of Contract 204
4. Actions for Ejectment from Land 204
5. Declaratory Judgments and Decrees 205
IV. Trials 205
1. Interested Witnesses 205
2. Depositions 206
V. From the Closure of the Trial until Final Judgment 207
VI. Recourse against Judgments 207
VII. Special Procedures 207
1. Pre-Trial Attachments 207
2. Distress for Rent 208
VIII. Enforcement of Judgments 209
1. Common Law 209
2. Equity 212
IX. Conclusion 212
Bibliography 213
S. Fockedey: Reducing Undue Delay in Nineteenth Century Belgium: a Sisyphean Task 215
I. Introduction 215
1. Context 215
2. Goals of this Article 216
II. Undue Delay: Definition and Policy 216
1. Undue Delay 216
a) Legal Definition 216
b) Undue Delay Defined by Nineteenth Century Policymakers 217
c) Civil Procedure and Criminal Procedure 218
2. Policy 218
a) Official Documents 218
b) Judicial Press 219
3. Key players 220
a) The Secretary of Justice 220
b) Parliament 221
III. Undue Delay in Nineteenth Century Belgium: A Real Problem? 221
1. A Local and Limited Problem 221
2. Who Was to Blame? 222
IV. Reducing Undue Delay in Nineteenth Century Belgium: A Pragmatic Approach 224
1. A Large Number of Judicial Appointments 224
2. Extending the Subject-Matter Jurisdiction of the Lower Courts 225
3. There is No Real Substitute for Hard Work 227
V. Missed Opportunities 228
1. An Overhaul of Civil Procedure Fails 228
2. No Transition to ‘Le Juge Unique’, No Rationalisation of the Judicial System 229
VI. Conclusion 230
Bibliography 231
T. P. Gallanis: Victorian Reform of Civil Litigation in the Superior Courts of Common Law 233
I. Introduction 233
II. Civil Litigation in the Superior Courts of Common Law at the Beginning of Victoria’s Reign (1837) 234
1. Court Organisation and ‘Court Staff’ 234
2. Pre-Action/Pre-Filing 237
3. Pre-Trial 238
4. Trial 240
5. From the Closure of the Trial Until Final Judgment 240
6. Recourse Against Judgments 241
7. Special Procedures 242
8. Enforcement 242
III. Civil Litigation in the Superior Courts of Common Law at the End of Victoria’s Reign (1901) 242
1. Court Organisation and ‘Court Staff’ 242
2. Pre-Action/Pre-Filing 244
3. Pre-Trial 244
4. Trial 246
5. From the Closure of the Trial Until Final Judgment, and Recourse Against Judgments 247
6. Special Procedures 248
7. Enforcement 249
IV. Themes and Conclusions 249
Bibliography 251
P. Oberhammer / T. Domej: Delay in Austrian Civil Procedure and the Legislator’s Response 255
I. Introduction 255
1. Franz Klein’s Reform of Civil Procedure and Procedural Delay 255
2. The Fight against Procedural Delay in the Twentieth Century 259
II. Court Organisation and Court Staff 262
1. Introduction 262
2. Panels versus Single Judges 262
3. Counsel Remuneration and Procedural Efficiency 264
III. ‘Pre-Trial’ and ‘Trial’ 265
1. Introduction 265
2. From the Default Judgment to the Order for Payment 266
3. Concentration of the Hearing 267
4. Concentration by Preclusion 268
IV. From the Closure of the Trial until the Final Judgment 270
V. Recourse against Judgments 271
1. Structure of the Appellate Procedure 271
2. Suspensive Effect of the Appeal 272
3. Access to Appellate Courts 273
VI. Summary Procedures 274
Bibliography 275
D. Tamm / A. Højer Schjøler: The Way to the 1916 Reform of Danish Procedural Law 279
I. Introduction 279
1. Presentation 279
2. Court Organisation in the Early Modern Times 280
II. New initiatives 282
1. Pre-Action – The Introduction of Conciliation Boards 282
2. The Danish 1849 Constitution 285
3. The Maritime and Commercial Court of Copenhagen 286
III. Reform of Procedural Law in the Early Twentieth Century 287
1. New Initiatives 287
2. Preparing the Reform 288
3. Need or Will? 289
4. The Conciliation Boards and the Reform 290
5. The Period After the Reform 291
6. The Abolition of the Conciliation Boards 292
IV. End 294
1. Delay Today 294
2. Conclusion 295
Bibliography 295
S. Waddams: Clergy Discipline in the Church of England, 1830 –1892 297
I. Introduction 297
II. Court Organization and ‘Court Staff’ 303
III. Pre-Action/Pre-Filing 308
IV. Pre-Trial 310
V. Trial 310
VI. From the Closure of the Trial until Final Judgment 312
VII. Recourse against Judgments 312
VIII. Special Procedures 314
IX. Enforcement 315
X. Conclusion 316
Bibliography 317
A. Wijffels: Undue Delay and the French Code of Civil Procedure (1806) 319
I. Introduction 319
II. Court Organisation 323
III. Preliminary Stages 325
IV. Formal Proceedings and Trial 327
V. Judgement 339
VI. Procedural Remedies against Judgements 341
1. Opposition 342
2. Appeal 343
VII. Special Procedures: Proceedings before the Justice of the Peace 347
VIII. Enforcement 349
IX. Epilogue 350
Bibliography 351
List of Contributors 355