Switzerland: Proceeding in a civilised manner
Although the substantive civil law of Switzerland has long been unified - the Swiss Civil Code recently celebrated its 100th birthday - this small country still affords itself the luxury of no less than 27 different systems of civil procedure. On many issues, the various civil procedure rules differ substantially from one another, making recourse to a local trial lawyer almost inevitable, and constituting a technical barrier to litigation.To date, the federal legislator has only enacted a limited number of civil procedural provisions, including in tenancy law, labour law and divorce law, and unified provisions on jurisdiction. Even the Swiss Supreme Court was unable to put an end to the legal fragmentation in the area of civil procedure since it is essentially barred from reviewing the application of cantonal law and is only able to determine minimum standards with which cantonal proceedings are required to comply.
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