Global Civil Procedure

71 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2020 Last revised: 9 Dec 2020

See all articles by Alyssa S. King

Alyssa S. King

Queen's University Faculty of Law; Yale University - Information Society Project

Date Written: June 29, 2020


A “global” civil procedure has emerged and has found its way into debates over procedural reform in both the international and domestic arenas. Global civil procedure includes the procedural rules, practices, and social understandings that govern transnational litigation and arbitration. A global civil procedure norm is a norm adopted across courts or arbitration providers with the purpose of making that jurisdiction or provider more competitive in attracting transnational litigation or arbitration. Global civil procedure norms are at stake in multiple present trends and debates, including model laws in commercial arbitration, the procedure of international tribunals, the debate over investment dispute resolution, the rise of courts oriented towards international litigation, and sprawling litigation the spans multiple jurisdictions and fora. This Article discusses emerging global civil procedure norms in three areas: tribunal independence, aggregation, and discovery.

On a surface level, the values reflected in global civil procedure seem to be roughly the same across jurisdictions. A common language has emerged around competition for litigation business and procedure values such as efficiency, certainty, and impartiality. Yet different legal systems do not necessarily agree on the purpose of various shared elements of global civil procedure. For democracies, for instance, the purpose of procedural reforms might be to facilitate access to justice. Other countries may favor the same reforms because they facilitate top down administrative control of judges. Surface agreement can submerge these divergent logics, but they may ultimately lead to very different applications of harmonized rules.

Suggested Citation

King, Alyssa S., Global Civil Procedure (June 29, 2020). Harvard International Law Journal, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: or

Alyssa S. King (Contact Author)

Queen's University Faculty of Law ( email )

Macdonald Hall
Kingston, Ontario K7L 3N6 K7L3N6

Yale University - Information Society Project ( email )

P.O. Box 208215
New Haven, CT 06520-8215
United States

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