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Does the New Always Prevail? Parallel Modes of Procedure in the History of Procedural Transformations

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Part of the Ius Gentium: Comparative Perspectives on Law and Justice book series (IUSGENT,volume 70)

Abstract

This contribution provides a historical-comparative analysis of the phases of certain relevant civil procedural reforms in which for a certain period of time the old and the new mode of procedure existed in parallel, with the possibility of the parties’ choice between the two. In the analysis, a threefold perspective is assumed, and the issue is approached from the perspective of Roman law, historical English common law and procedural law reforms in the lands of the Habsburg Monarchy in the 19th century. In the analysed periods, contrary to expectations, the parties disregarded the general evaluation of a new procedure’s efficiency. Instead, they were inclined to prefer the procedure that suited their immediate interests the best, even if it was generally considered to be outdated. The presence of this phenomenon throughout millennia and in disparate jurisdictions indicates the necessity to calculate its effects in scholarly and practical assessments of any given procedural reform.

This contribution is the result of research supported by the Croatian Science Foundation (project no. 6988).

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Notes

  1. 1.

    The parties’ choice here means either that the claimant had a right to choose the mode in which to pursue the claim against the defendant, or that both parties agreed as to the mode of procedure beforehand.

  2. 2.

    For textbook references on the matter see Kaser and Hackl (1996, 34 sqq.), and in a less extensive manner Guarino (2001, 168 sqq.) and Jörs et al. (1987, 506 sqq.). For useful encyclopaedic references see Paulus (1999, 22 sqq.), Talamanca (1987, 4 sqq.), Mayer-Maly (1969, 546 sq.), Betti (1966, 1104 sq.), Weiss (1925, 1838 sqq.). For a monographic treatment of the subject see Albanese (1987), Cannata (1980), Pugliese (1961). Special treatment of the origins of the procedure can be found in Nicosia (1986).

  3. 3.

    Alongside general literature on the legis actiones cited in the previous note, the following authors, in their respective works, deal specifically with five different forms of the procedure: Melillo (2007) and Fuenteseca (1964).

  4. 4.

    For the formulary procedure in detail, with further references, see Kaser and Hackl (1996, 151 sqq.), less extensively Guarino (2001, 183 sqq.), Jörs et al. (1987, 524 sqq.). Encyclopaedic references can be found in Talamanca (1987, 24 sqq.), Betti (1966, 1106 sqq.). For a separate monography on the subject see Cannata (1982). Specific treatment of the origins of this procedure can be found in Magdelain (1991), Scherillo (1969), Luzzatto (1946).

  5. 5.

    A significant role in the process during which the legis actiones were gradually superseded by the formulary procedure was played by the lex Aebutia from the 2nd century BC, which will be analysed in the text that follows. The leges Iuliae iudiciariae were subsequently passed in 17 BC. Alongside general references on the formulary procedure found in the previous note, which deal with the matter extensively, for a closer look at the sources relevant for the reconstruction of the contents of the said leges Iuliae iudiciariae see Rotondi (1962, 448 sqq.). For the most recent and thorough study of this transition and relevance of both the lex Aebutia and the leges Iuliae iudiciariae see Talamanca (1999, 63 sqq.).

  6. 6.

    For a splendid collection of different formulas used in Roman law see Mantovani (1999).

  7. 7.

    For a general account about this lex see Rotondi (1962, 304 sq.). Older discussions about the date of its enactment can be found in Girard (1893, 1908). For later discussions see especially Kaser (1953, 27 sqq.), Luzzatto (1946, 12 sqq.).

  8. 8.

    Here, this term is used in the sense of a body of law based on leges, plebiscites, enactments of the emperor and the authority of the jurists, as it is defined in D. 1, 1, 7 pr. (Papinianus 2 def.), and is as such contrary to ius praetorium or honorarium, which is the law created by the praetor (Jörs et al. 1987, 13 sq.).

  9. 9.

    He was a magistrate with jurisdictional powers in civil matters between foreigners, and between foreigners and Romans, who was accordingly allowed more freedom in the creation and application of the law, and was not strictly bound to the ius civile (Jörs et al. 1987, 12).

  10. 10.

    Kaser himself admitted that this theory is not completely new, but stems from a work by Fridolin Eisele from 1889. However, he criticised this argumentation as partly based on untrue statements (Kaser 1953, 28 sq.). A similar line of reasoning as Kaser’s is also proposed by the renowned Belgian Romanist Fernand de Visscher, in de Visscher (1923, 46 sqq.).

  11. 11.

    In short, he opined that even before the lex Aebutia there was a choice between the two modes of procedure, but the legis actiones operated within the ius civile, and the formulary procedure within the ius praetorium. Consequently, conducting a suit in the formulary proceedings did not preclude a possible subsequent legis actio in the same matter. Claimants took advantage of this loophole by resorting to the legis actio after they failed in the same claim in formulary proceedings, thereby obviously abusing the system in their favour. The lex Aebutia, according to him, was designed to curb such behaviour, by providing that an adjudicated claim in the formulary proceedings consummates the matter iure civili, so that another suit cannot be brought in either mode of procedure. Birks’s arguments are very clearly summarised in Birks (1969, 366 sq.). More recently, similar reasoning regarding the contents of the lex Aebutia can be found in Talamanca (1999, 75, 202 sq.), Crook (1992, 546), cf. Metzger (2015, 295 sq.).

  12. 12.

    For a complete and extensive treatment of the history of English law see Holdsworth (19031966). An exceptionally clear and useful monography on the matter is Baker (1979). Further literature on the general history of the English common law includes Plucknett (2010), Van Caenegem (1988), Milsom (1969), Pollock and Maitland (1968). Specific treatment of the history of civil procedure in the English common law can be found in every cited source, to which may be added an encyclopaedic reference in Swain (2009), and a very comprehensive and detailed overview in Van Rhee (2005), especially valuable due to its analogies between certain developments in the English common law and those on the European continent.

  13. 13.

    For their development generally see Van Rhee (2005, 133 sqq.), Baker (1979, 48 sqq.).

  14. 14.

    For general information on the development of the jury in the English common law procedure, alongside further references, see Plucknett (2010, 106 sqq.), Baker (1979, 62 sqq.), Pollock and Maitland (1968, 616 sqq.). A useful monography dedicated solely to trial by jury is Devlin (1956).

  15. 15.

    More about this Act and the County Courts, with further references, in Plucknett (2010, 208 sq.), Arthurs (1984, 137 sqq.).

  16. 16.

    In smaller claims, the judge had the right to allow jury trial by discretion (Hanly 2005, 270).

  17. 17.

    Out of the 267,445 cases that the County Courts dealt with in the first eight months of their existence, only 800 were tried before juries (Hanly 2005, 271).

  18. 18.

    This Act provided that trial by jury was mandatory in the case of libel, slander, malicious prosecution, false imprisonment, seduction or breach of promise of marriage, unless the court was of the opinion that the trial required any prolonged examination of documents or accounts or any scientific or local investigation which could not be conveniently made with a jury (Jackson 1937, 141).

  19. 19.

    This Act provided that the action should be tried by jury in the case of fraud, libel, slander, malicious prosecution or false imprisonment, unless the trial required any prolonged examination of documents or accounts or any scientific or local investigation which could not conveniently be made with a jury (s. 69 of the Senior Courts Act. Available at https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1981/54. Accessed 7 June 2018). One can see how the provision from 1933 was changed only slightly, adding fraud and removing seduction or breach of promise of marriage as causes for jury trial.

  20. 20.

    This includes in the first place countries that were previously in the lands of the Habsburg Monarchy, but also some other countries (Van Caenegem 1971, 97 sq.). Of course, those developments are of immense importance also for Croatia, since they were clearly reflected in its legislation, both before and after it ceased to be part of the state, albeit with certain significant delays (Uzelac 2011, 176 sqq.).

  21. 21.

    Justizgesetzsammlung 1781/13. For a monography dealing with the AGO in detail see Loschelder (1978).

  22. 22.

    Justizgesetzsammlung 1845/906. For more about this Act see Oberhammer (2004, 221), with references to further literature in note 23.

  23. 23.

    Reichsgesetzblatt 1873/66. For a monography dedicated to the Bagatellverfahren see Schneider (2001), with further references to literature.

  24. 24.

    The ZPO and its conceptual derivatives also form part of the Croatian procedural tradition, and it has been said that the ZPO is actually a ‘Grundstein des modernen Prozessrechts in Kroatien’ (Uzelac 2011, 175). A critical evaluation of the actual acceptance of its principles in Croatia can be found in Uzelac (2011, 183 sqq.).

  25. 25.

    The Summarpatent in para. 1 provided that the Summarverfahren was to be conducted if monetary claims did not exceed 200 guldens. According to para. 1 of the GBV from 1873, the Bagatellverfahren was conducted for claims under 25 florins. However, that sum was changed to 50 florins in the Gesetz vom 1. März 1876, Reichsgesetzblatt 1876/23.

  26. 26.

    Decision of the kaiserlich-königlich Oberster Gerichts- und Cassationshof, Nr. 32 Plenissimarbeschluss vom 14. April 1885, Z. 2553 (Judicatenbuch Nr. 117). It can be found in Entscheidungen (1885, 58–63).

  27. 27.

    Decision of the kaiserlich-königlich Oberster Gerichts- und Cassationshof, vom 30. Jänner 1890, Z. 13552 ex 1889. I. Senat. It can be found in Entscheidungen (1890, 59).

  28. 28.

    Decision of the kaiserlich-königlich Oberster Gerichts- und Cassationshof, Nr. 915 Plenissimarbeschluss vom 24. Mai 1893, Z. 4365 (Judicatenbuch Nr. 125). It can be found in Entscheidungen (1893, 91, 92).

  29. 29.

    See Sec. 2, para. 78 of the GBV indicating para. 1–7 of the same Act.

  30. 30.

    The decision of the supreme court from 1885 analysed in the previous text did have certain policy arguments favouring the Bagatellverfahren over the ordinary procedure, as was noted earlier.

  31. 31.

    For example, the forms of action in England were gradually abolished during the 19th century (Van Rhee 2005, 142 sqq.). However, even after their abolition they still greatly influenced the pleading and the lawyers’ mind-set generally, so much as to warrant Maitland to famously proclaim in 1909: ‘The forms of action we have buried, but they still rule us from their graves’ (1997, 1). This has been said to be true for the developments in the United States of America as well (Maxeiner 2010, 1275).

  32. 32.

    On this characteristic of Roman law see especially Schulz (2003, 57 sqq.), with further references to sources and literature.

  33. 33.

    For example, the psychological factor was emphasised regarding reforms of civil procedure in the United States of America in the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century (see Fowler 1934; Proskauer 1928; and Sims 1911).

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Held, HR. (2018). Does the New Always Prevail? Parallel Modes of Procedure in the History of Procedural Transformations. In: Uzelac, A., van Rhee, C. (eds) Transformation of Civil Justice. Ius Gentium: Comparative Perspectives on Law and Justice, vol 70. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-97358-6_20

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