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USIP Civil Law Liason Briefing

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USIP Civil Law Liason Briefing

  1. 1. Civil Law: Understanding the Basics “ You are not in Kansas anymore.”
  2. 2. Introduction <ul><li>Rationale </li></ul><ul><li>Historical Basis </li></ul><ul><li>Key Issues </li></ul><ul><li>Modern Convergence </li></ul>
  3. 3. Rationale <ul><li>Provide basic knowledge to be effective in Civil Law jurisdictions </li></ul><ul><li>Understand basis of most legal systems </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid being the “Ugly American”, or even worse, the “Ugly American Lawyer” </li></ul><ul><li>Create opportunities for dialogue </li></ul>
  4. 4. Historical Basis <ul><li>Continental in Origin </li></ul><ul><li>Codified First in 19 th Century </li></ul><ul><li>Developed Fully in the 20 th Century </li></ul>
  5. 5. Historic Laws of the Continent <ul><li>Corpus Juris Civilis </li></ul><ul><li>Customary Law </li></ul><ul><li>Canon Law </li></ul><ul><li>Lex Mercatoria </li></ul>
  6. 6. 19 th Century Codifications <ul><li>French Revolution: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Code Napol é on </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Bismarckian Republic: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>German Civil Code </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. 2 0 th Century Innovations <ul><li>Austrian Constitutional Court </li></ul><ul><li>“ Decodification” </li></ul><ul><li>Council of Europe </li></ul><ul><li>European Union </li></ul><ul><li>Constitutionalism </li></ul>
  8. 8. Key Issues <ul><li>Codes and Case-Law </li></ul><ul><li>Structure of the Legal Education System </li></ul><ul><li>Structure of the Legal Profession </li></ul><ul><li>Trials and Rules of Procedure </li></ul>
  9. 9. Codes, Commentary & Case-Law <ul><li>Public v. Private Law </li></ul><ul><li>Basic Codes </li></ul><ul><li>Commentary </li></ul><ul><li>Case Decisions </li></ul>
  10. 10. Public v. Private Law <ul><li>Fundamental Concept </li></ul><ul><li>Frames Legal Structures </li></ul><ul><li>Self-Evident to Civil Law Lawyers </li></ul><ul><li>Modern Scope Evolving </li></ul>
  11. 11. Basic Codes <ul><li>Civil Code </li></ul><ul><li>Civil Procedure Code </li></ul><ul><li>Commercial Code </li></ul><ul><li>Criminal Code </li></ul><ul><li>Criminal Procedure Code </li></ul>
  12. 12. Commentary <ul><li>Not a Formal Source of Law </li></ul><ul><li>Scholarly Doctrine Drives the System </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Legislatures Defer to Doctrine </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Judges Typically Refer to Doctrine </li></ul></ul>“ Civil law is a law of the professor.” John Merryman
  13. 13. Case Decisions <ul><li>No stare decisis Effect, but Cases are </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Always Consulted </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Commonly Followed </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Most Influential in New Areas of Law </li></ul><ul><li>Structured Differently </li></ul>
  14. 14. Structure of the Legal Education System <ul><li>Law Faculty </li></ul><ul><li>Bar Exam </li></ul><ul><li>Practical Training </li></ul><ul><li>Magistrate Schools </li></ul>
  15. 15. Law Faculty <ul><li>Students </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No Entrance Exams </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>High Failure Rate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Early Specialization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Graduates Often Don’t Practice </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Professors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Usually in Private Practice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Arduous Tenure Track </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Full Professors Serviced By Team of Assistants </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Less Interactive Style </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Emphasize Theory </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Oral Exams Common </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Bar Exams <ul><li>One of Several Criteria to Practice </li></ul><ul><li>Failure Rates may be High </li></ul><ul><li>Contains Oral and Written Components </li></ul><ul><li>May be Administered Over More than One Session </li></ul><ul><li>May Include Special Certifications </li></ul>
  17. 17. Practical Training <ul><li>Prerequisite to Practice </li></ul><ul><li>Unique to Each Jurisdiction </li></ul><ul><li>May Involve Multiple Stages or Internships </li></ul><ul><li>May Allow Trainee to Earn Income </li></ul>
  18. 18. Magistrate Schools <ul><li>Judicial Training as a Special Legal Education Track </li></ul><ul><li>Magistrates May Include Prosecutorial Functions </li></ul><ul><li>Emphasizes the Judge as a Civil Servant </li></ul>
  19. 19. Structure of the Legal Profession <ul><li>Lawyer/Advocate </li></ul><ul><li>Notary </li></ul><ul><li>Non-Lawyers Who Provide Legal Advice </li></ul>
  20. 20. Lawyer/Advocate <ul><li>Right to Appear in Court </li></ul><ul><li>Geographic Limitations </li></ul><ul><li>Law Offices Typically Smaller </li></ul><ul><li>Different Role of Legal Ethics </li></ul>
  21. 21. Notary <ul><li>Draft Contracts, Wills, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Certify Documents as “Public Acts” for Court </li></ul><ul><li>Safeguard Records </li></ul><ul><li>Quasi-Monopolies </li></ul>
  22. 22. Non-Lawyer Advisers <ul><li>Accountants </li></ul><ul><li>Tax Advisers </li></ul><ul><li>Insurance Advisers </li></ul>
  23. 23. Trials and Rules of Procedure <ul><li>Court System </li></ul><ul><li>Evidence and the Court Record </li></ul><ul><li>Court Proceedings </li></ul>
  24. 24. Court System <ul><li>Three Levels </li></ul><ul><li>Clear Substantive Specializations </li></ul><ul><li>Juries Only in Serious Criminal Trials </li></ul><ul><li>De Novo Appeals </li></ul>
  25. 25. Federal Republic of Germany
  26. 26. Evidence and the Court Record <ul><li>Discovery is Limited </li></ul><ul><li>Judges Question Witnesses </li></ul><ul><li>Verbatim Transcripts/ Recording Rare </li></ul><ul><li>Preliminary Record May Not Be Prepared by Trial Judge </li></ul>
  27. 27. Court Proceedings <ul><li>Rules of Procedure </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Civil Procedure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Criminal Procedure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Administrative Procedure </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Influence of Civil Procedure </li></ul><ul><li>No “Trials” in the U.S. Sense </li></ul>
  28. 28. Civil Procedure <ul><li>Three Stages </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Preliminary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evidence-Taking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Decisionmaking </li></ul></ul><ul><li>No Single Trial Event </li></ul><ul><li>No Cross Examination </li></ul><ul><li>No Contingent Fees </li></ul><ul><li>No Contempt Powers </li></ul><ul><li>Use of Experts </li></ul>
  29. 29. Criminal Procedure <ul><li>Three Stages </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Investigative Phase </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Examining Phase </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trial </li></ul></ul><ul><li>No Plea Bargaining </li></ul><ul><li>Posture of the Prosecutor’s Office </li></ul>“ Judges in criminal cases have no right to interpret penal laws, because they are not legislators.” Cesare Beccaria
  30. 30. Modern Convergence <ul><li>Decline of Parliamentary Supremacy </li></ul><ul><li>Rise of Constitutionalism </li></ul><ul><li>Acceptance of Judicial Review </li></ul><ul><li>Harmonization of Commercial Practice </li></ul>
  31. 31. Legislature v. Judiciary <ul><li>Role of Legislature </li></ul><ul><li>Fundamental Rights </li></ul><ul><li>Spectrum of Judicial Review </li></ul>
  32. 32. France <ul><li>Increased Delegation to the Executive </li></ul><ul><li>Introduction of Limited Constitutional Review </li></ul><ul><li>1971 Conseil Constitutionnel Decision </li></ul><ul><li>Role of Administrative Courts </li></ul>
  33. 33. England <ul><li>No Written Constitution </li></ul><ul><li>Parliamentary Supremacy Declining </li></ul><ul><ul><li>EC Act of 1972 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ECHR Incorporation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Limited Judicial Review </li></ul>
  34. 34. Germany <ul><li>Impact of National Socialism </li></ul><ul><li>The Basic Law </li></ul><ul><li>“ Centralized” Judicial Review </li></ul><ul><li>Constitutional Court as Supreme Arbiter </li></ul>
  35. 35. United States <ul><li>Judicial Branch as Co-Equal </li></ul><ul><li>“ Diffuse” Constitutional Review </li></ul><ul><li>Due Process Jurisprudence </li></ul><ul><li>Supreme Court as Ultimate Arbiter </li></ul>
  36. 36. Questions and Comments “ My true glory is not that I have won forty battles. Waterloo will blow away the memory of these victories. What nothing can blow away and will live eternally is my Civil Code.” Napolean Bonaparte in Exile on the Island of St. Helena

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