This book explores the regulations, goals and functioning of preparatory proceedings in four Nordic countries and eight former communist countries. The contributions discuss whether, and how the regulation and practice of preparatory proceedings enhance swift civil justice that is both inexpensive and has quality outcomes. A central question is whether the main hearing model of civil justice, in which preclusion of new evidence and claims occur at the end of the preparatory stage, results in greater efficiency, or whether the functioning of civil proceedings largely depends on other factors. It also examines regulation and use of court-connected mediation and judicial settlement efforts. This book offers comparative insights into the functioning of the preparatory civil proceedings in the countries covered.
Preparatory proceedings are considered a key tool for achieving efficient civil proceedings. The claims and factual background of the case are clarified at an early stage, and the main hearing is focused. Judicial settlement efforts and court-connected mediation contribute to early resolution of cases, and are important elements of Nordic civil procedure The Nordic countries have used the main hearing model of civil proceedings for some decades, and recent reforms have further enhanced the role of the preparatory stage. Former communist countries are reforming their earlier piecemeal- format civil proceedings by introducing and strengthening written and oral preparation, as well as court-connected mediation.