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Access_open Chambers for International Commercial Disputes in Germany: The State of Affairs

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 1 2019
Keywords Justizinitiative Frankfurt, Law Made in Germany, International Commercial Disputes, Forum Selling, English Language Proceedings
Authors Burkhard Hess and Timon Boerner
AbstractAuthor's information

    The prospect of attracting foreign commercial litigants to German courts in the wake of Brexit has led to a renaissance of English-language commercial litigation in Germany. Leading the way is the Frankfurt District Court, where – as part of the ‘Justizinitiative Frankfurt’ – a new specialised Chamber for International Commercial Disputes has been established. Frankfurt’s prominent position in the financial sector and its internationally oriented bar support this decision. Borrowing best practices from patent litigation and arbitration, the Chamber offers streamlined and litigant-focused proceedings, with English-language oral hearings, within the current legal framework of the German Code of Civil Procedure (ZPO).1xZivilprozessordnung (ZPO).
    However, to enable the complete litigation process – including the judgment – to proceed in English requires changes to the German Courts Constitution Act2xGerichtsverfassungsgesetz (GVG). (GVG). A legislative initiative in the Bundesrat aims to establish a suitable legal framework by abolishing the mandatory use of German as the language of proceedings. Whereas previous attempts at such comprehensive amendments achieved only limited success, support by several major federal states indicates that this time the proposal will succeed.
    With other English-language commercial court initiatives already established or planned in both other EU Member States and Germany, it is difficult to anticipate whether – and how soon – Frankfurt will succeed in attracting English-speaking foreign litigants. Finally, developments such as the 2018 Initiative for Expedited B2B Procedures of the European Parliament or the ELI–UNIDROIT project on Transnational Principles of Civil Procedure may also shape the long-term playing field.


  • 1 Zivilprozessordnung (ZPO).

  • 2 Gerichtsverfassungsgesetz (GVG).

Burkhard Hess
Burkhard Hess is the Executive Director of the Max Planck Institute Luxembourg for International, European and Regulatory Procedural Law (MPI Luxembourg).

Timon Boerner
Timon Boerner is a Research Fellow at the MPI Luxembourg.

‘Democratie gaat altijd voor’

Denkbeelden van Nederlandse jongeren over democratie en besluitvorming

Journal Res Publica, Issue 2 2013
Keywords views on democracy, political socialization, models of democracy, adolescents
Authors Hessel Nieuwelink, Paul Dekker, Geert ten Dam e.a.
AbstractAuthor's information

    Little is known about views on democracy of adolescents. In this article we describe results of our interview study with forty adolescents of fourteen years old on their views of democracy and decision making. The study focuses on the daily lives of adolescents and decision making within local contexts, such as the classroom. The adolescents’ views on decision making appear to correspond to the models of democracy as we know them, that is majoritarian democracy (the largest group), consensual democracy or deliberative democracy. However, only some of the adolescents have an explicit understanding of the concept of democracy and most have limited political knowledge. For these students, the experience or feeling of being part of a political democracy is still something ‘far away’ and not something of any relevance in their daily lives.

Hessel Nieuwelink
Hessel Nieuwelink doet promotieonderzoek naar democratische gezindheid van Nederlandse middelbare scholieren bij het Research Institute of Child Development and Education van de Universiteit van Amsterdam. Hij is daarbij verbonden aan het Amsterdam Centre for Inequality Studies (AMCIS) en werkt bij Kenniscentrum Onderwijs en Opvoeding, lectoraat Didactiek van de maatschappijvakken van de Hogeschool van Amsterdam.

Paul Dekker
Paul Dekker is hoogleraar Civil Society aan de Universiteit van Tilburg en hoofd van de sector Participatie, Cultuur en Leefomgeving van het Sociaal en Cultureel Planbureau. Hij doet onderzoek naar de publieke opinie en naar maatschappelijke en politieke participatie en betrokkenheid.

Geert ten Dam
Geert ten Dam is hoogleraar Onderwijskunde bij het Research Institute of Child Development and Education van de Universiteit van Amsterdam. Ze is tevens verbonden aan het Amsterdam Centre for Inequality Studies (AMCIS). Haar onderzoek richt zich in het bijzonder op burgerschapseducatie. Sinds 2011 is ze voorzitter van de Nederlandse Onderwijsraad.

Femke Geijsel
Femke Geijsel is senior onderzoeker bij het Research Institute of Child Development and Education en verbonden aan het Amsterdam Centre for Inequality Studies (AMCIS) van de Universiteit van Amsterdam. Daarnaast werkt zij als lector Pedagogische kwaliteit van het onderwijs bij Windesheim te Zwolle. Haar onderzoek richt zich op burgerschapsvorming, onderzoekend werken in scholen, schoolontwikkeling en leiderschap.
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