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NCJ Number: 78553 Find in a Library
Title: Europeans Look at American Courts
Journal: American Bar Association Journal  Volume:67  Dated:(August 1981)  Pages:1004-1007
Author(s): A H Hermann
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 4
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A European reaction to the American court structure and style of operations is presented.
Abstract: The perspectives of American courts were derived primarily from a 1980 visit to the United States by some members of the legal communities in European countries. Many European visitors find it strange that in the United States the resolution of every important issue is ultimately sought in court, although visitors from countries with constitutional and administrative courts are more familiar with judicial review of legislative and executive acts than those from the United Kingdom. The uninformed European visitor is also surprised to find that the Department of Justice is not responsible for the administration of Federal courts. Also, it is almost unbelievable to the European that a joint conference on the administration of justice of the Federal and State judicial branches, together with the American Bar Association, was convened for the first time in 1976. This indicates that the United States can function as a Federation without attaching any great urgency to the harmonization of laws and institutions. The political nature of American judges' decisions requires political control over their appointments. In Europe, this is done only for the highest judicial echelons. Overall, it appears that the United States both generates a greater load for its courts and pioneers new developments for improving court efficiency. The heavy court load is largely due to urbanization and industrialization; the separation of powers, which permits every executive and legislative decision to be challenged in court; provision for appeals to a number of levels of appellate courts; the idolization of privacy; little control over the use of automobiles and guns; and a business emphasis on profit to the exclusion of ethics, which tends to increase the need for legislation and consequent court action to protect the general public and the consumer. No references are cited.
Index Term(s): Court management; Court system; Judicial process; Political influences; Separation of powers; United States of America; Western Europe
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