In contrast to the U.S. adversary system, the great influence of the judge on the conduct of litigation in continental Europe, especially in Germany, is based upon a different understanding of the relationship between the state and its citizens. Based upon historical experience, especially under German law, judges have great constitutionally-based independence. The German Civil Procedure Rules Act had as its goals the reform of the German civil procedure remedy system, the development of a more consumer-friendly, efficient and transparent civil procedure, the encouragement of faster trials and the increase of court-directed settlements. It is still too early for a final assessment of the reform. In terms of procedural fairness and efficiency, it definitely was a step in the right direction to strengthen the responsibility of judges and attorneys, and to ask for more cooperation of parties and non-parties with regard to the disclosure of evidence.
The Multiple Roles of Judges and Attorneys in Modern Civil Litigation,
27 Hastings Int'l & Comp. L. Rev. 55
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