International Commercial Courts in France: Innovation without Revolution?
9 Pages Posted: 4 Nov 2019
Date Written: October 1, 2019
In 2018, in the wake of Brexit, the French legal profession took several important measures to strengthen the competitiveness of France and the French legal system, and to make Paris an attractive go-to point when businesses have to deal with international commercial litigation. On close examination, Brexit is only the tip of the iceberg and has mostly served as a catalyst. The reasons for the development of international commercial courts in France are manifold. They are the consequences of long-standing efforts aimed at boosting the French judicial marketplace to adapt it to the requirements of globalisation and to the expectations of multinational corporations. The setting up of the French international business courts has made several procedural adjustments necessary. Although these adjustments undoubtedly represent clear innovations, they do not constitute a full-blown revolution. France has indeed decided to maximise the existing procedural rules, together with developing a new organisational format inspired by the common law tradition. Although it is too early to clearly assess the impact of these new developments, it is essential to keep our ears to the ground and to be forward-looking. We should carefully consider the possible side effects on the French justice system as a whole and, in particular, reflect on whether these international commercial courts might, in the future, open the door to a broader, far-reaching evolution within the judicial system. Finally, the current multiplication of international business courts across Europe triggers some questions concerning the role and potential added value of a European Union initiative in this domain.
Keywords: international commercial court, dispute resolution, business court, Brexit, judicial system
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