Hastings International and Comparative Law Review


Procedural reform seems to be a constant concern in most countries, but there are different modes of accomplishing it. One is to empower judges to develop their own rules of procedure. Another is to have a legislative body do so. A third is to borrow procedural regimes from another nation. And a final mode would be to leave procedural reform to a band of "experts" who can devise the preferred solutions to procedural problems. This paper provides an initial examination into whether the mode of procedural reform used influences the nature or aggressiveness of the reforms themselves. Drawing mainly from U.S. experience, it finds some, but limited, reason to believe that aggressive U.S. reforms in the mid 20th century resulted from the mode of procedural reform employed at that time, which emphasized leaving reforms to experts. It concludes with questions about whether more comparative research would shed additional light on the issue.