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Preparatory Proceedings in Norway: Efficiency by Flexibility and Case Management

  • Anna Nylund
Chapter

Abstract

Active use of the preparatory stage to promote a concentrated main hearing is a key element in Norwegian civil procedure. The judge actively manages the cage and prepares it for the main hearing. Judicial discretion is an important tool to allow the judge to tailor the proceedings to the need of the parties. If an issue or question is unclear, the judge has a duty to help the parties clarify the issues and provide guidance by helping parties identify disputed and undisputed facts and argument and to separate core questions from questions that are more peripheral. The judge has a duty to promote settlement either by judicial settlement efforts or by diverting the case to court-connected mediation. When appropriate, the case can be disposed of during the preparatory stage. The format of preparatory proceedings is flexible: the judge has discretion to combine written and oral proceedings and use telephone hearings. The 2008 reform of Norwegian civil procedure, which emphasised the role of preparatory proceedings, has made civil litigation swifter and cheaper. It has also enhanced the quality of proceedings and the outcome. In the final part, Finnish and Norwegian preparatory proceedings are compared. Norway has a long tradition of concentrated oral hearings, promotion of settlement and an active judge, whereas these ideas were introduced in Finland only in 1993. The comparison explores how the underlying structure and culture of civil proceedings influence the implementation of the main hearing model in countries with a similar (legal) culture.

Keywords

District Court Civil Procedure Preparatory Proceeding Legal Question Preparatory Stage 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of LawUniversity of Tromsø – The Arctic University of NorwayTromsøNorway

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