Diana Wallis Attending Meeting of the Legal Affairs Committee


On Tuesday, 28 February 2017, Diana Wallis, President of the ELI, will attend a meeting of the Legal Affairs Committee of the European Parliament in Brussels.

The Committee will be considering a draft report by Mr Emil Radev MEP on “The Recommendations to the Commission on Common Minimum Standards in Civil Proceedings”.  The draft report contains a proposal for a Directive on this subject and invites the Commission to take further action in this area to enhance certainty and access to justice.

The ELI has for some years now been working with the UNIDROIT on producing soft law European Rules for civil procedure based on the previous and very successful 'Principles of Transnational Civil Procedure' developed between UNIDROIT and the American Law Institute (ALI).

President Wallis, herself a former MEP, and former member of the JURI committee, said: "The ELI is clearly delighted that the Rapporteur has taken inspiration from our joint work with UNIDROIT and we have been pleased that both Parliament and Commission have been following this so closely. It is clear that a coherent European approach to civil procedure can help safeguard rights and simplify access to justice in cross border cases."

The Project has recently been gaining recognition among the actors involved in developing proposals and solutions in the domain of unified civil procedure. The need to address the issues arising therefrom at a European level has already been accepted so it seems unrealistic not to look further.

Wallis continued: "There has long been an alleged divide between substantive law and procedural law where, in respect of the latter, this has been felt to be the sole domain of the Member States. Maintaining this division becomes difficult when even at the commencement of proceedings it is clear there is a need for a common approach for basic issues like how documents are served on parties. It is, therefore, good to see that the report encourages the Commission to go further in the interests of justice. […] Moreover, procedural rules need to keep up with technological and other developments if justice systems are to provide accessible and comprehensible dispute settlement possibilities that enhance economic activity across the national borders of the Internal Market."

Further information on this meeting will be provided on our website in due course.