Comparative Civil Justice: Decision According to Law in the United States, Germany and Korea: Chapter 3 Lawyers & Legal Systems: Access to Justice
43 Pages Posted: 16 Nov 2009 Last revised: 14 Dec 2010
Date Written: February 5, 2010
This paper is superseded by a later draft of the complete book, which is available at http://ssrn.com/abstract=1711003.
This is a working draft of a chapter in a book that introduces and compares civil justice systems in the United States, Germany and Korea. This chapter shows how the American legal system, compared to its German and Korean counterparts, does a poor job of providing access to justice. It points out how the American practice of no recovery of legal fees, high fees for all, and lack of provision of civil legal aid, discourages righteous litigants in ordinary cases. The chapter shows how the German and Korean systems do a better job of providing access for all to the legal system. It shows that both systems make righteous litigants nearly whole by using “loser pays” systems, which helps keep legal fees for all low. It shows how both systems provide better access to civil justice for the indigent. The German system guarantees the indigent civil legal aid; the Korean system makes pro se representation a real possibility in most civil cases. The chapter also gives brief descriptions of the instrumentalities of civil justice, i.e., lawyers, judges, legal education and ministries of justice. It observes that there is no institution in the United States to look out for the common good in litigation that is comparable to ministries of justice in Germany and the Supreme Court in Korea.
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