1. The Illusion of a Unified EU Court System

“There are a few basic misconceptions about the European legal system. First, there is no European legal system. While there are some broad similarities in the ways each independent country (‘member state’) resolves disputes through its courts, the 28 member states have their own laws and procedures. Second, the ‘UK’ is a political concept, not a legal one. The UK is made up of three entirely separate legal jurisdictions — England & Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland— and each has its own legal system. Third, due to the varying evolution of national laws, very few member states (just 15 percent) have a concept of the discovery process in litigation. Those that have adopted a common law approach do, while those following a civil law approach do not. As such, discovery in the EU is not as straightforward as some might think, especially when you add to that each member state’s unique implementation of the European Commission’s Data Protection Directive.”

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