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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 153935 Find in a Library
Title: Trial Costs in the New Lower Court Proceedings: A Study of Lower Court Practice
Author(s): K Ervasti
Corporate Author: National Research Institute of Legal Policy
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 154
Sponsoring Agency: National Research Institute of Legal Policy
Helsinki , FI-00531
Publication Number: ISBN 951-704-165-9
Sale Source: National Research Institute of Legal Policy
POB 444
Pitkansillanranta 3 A
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Language: English; Finnish
Country: Finland
Annotation: This study examines how new provisions in chapter 21 of Finland's Code of Judicial Procedure have changed court practice regarding trial costs.
Abstract: The reform established the rule that the party which loses a civil case is required to pay the trial costs of the winning party. This assessment of the impact of the reform used lower court records and a questionnaire sent to judges. Trial documents were collected from 298 cases handled through so-called simplified proceedings and 84 cases dealt with through so-called expanded proceedings from 13 of the 70 local courts in Finland. A total of 70 responses were received from judges. In addition, individual judges, attorneys, and representatives of debt- collection agencies were interviewed. Legal practice was found to comply with the goals of the reform, in that generally the party who lost the case was ordered to pay in full the trial costs incurred by the winning party in both simplified and expanded proceedings. Approximately 80 percent of the judges regarded the new provisions as "very clear," "clear," or "relatively clear." In addition, 67 percent of the judges stated that the procedures for imposing trial costs in their own jurisdictions had changed, in that these were ordered to be paid in full in more and more cases. Of those who stated that their practice had not changed, some emphasized that they reduced the trial costs in the same way as they had before the reform; however, most stated that their practice had not changed. Almost 90 percent of the judges said that in most of their decisions in both simplified and expanded proceedings, the trial costs had been ordered paid in full. Most of the problems that the questionnaire revealed were due to the tension between the "reasonableness principle" and the "full payment principle."
Main Term(s): Court costs
Index Term(s): Civil proceedings; Court procedures; Foreign courts
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