German Civil Procedure was traditionally seen as a formal tool to settle disputes between individuals and to vindicate and enforce rights granted to citizens by the Private Law (such as property rights, claims to cease and desist or claims founded on contract). German Civil Procedure used to take a formal or adversarial approach where the parties were seen as formally equal and the state would have no interest in interfering in the litigation. This has changed since the late 20th Century. Civil Procedure is now used as a tool to favour certain parties that seem either "weaker" or otherwise worth of protection such as consumers, (alleged) owners of intellectual property or parties alleging injury by a cartel. Is this welcome development, given the aim of Civil Procedure to uphold the rule of law or should these tasks be appointed to a state regulatory agency?
2. Anna Bernzen
"What journalists can't do in court (and how they work around it)".
Journalists wishing to report from English courts are subject to strict rules: no photos, no sound recordings, no TV broadcasts - at least in most courts. This talk gives an overview over the English legal framework for court reporting, but also looks at the creative ways in which law-abiding journalists have sought to liven up their reports from the court. Its aim is to get its listeners to wonder: Are the rules on court reporting still up-to-date?
3. Taina Cooke
In my ongoing doctoral research, I study the debates around ‘culture’ taking place in criminal court hearings relating to cases that involve members of cultural minorities. My main research method is courtroom ethnography, through which I seek to scrutinise how manifold cultures – legal cultures, minority cultures, majority cultures – manifest themselves in Finnish criminal court cases. Specifically, I am interested in assessing how culture is discussed in the course of different criminal cases, what is perhaps meant by the ambiguous term, and who are making the claims regarding cultures. In my presentation, I will give an overview of my thesis topic focusing on the role of ‘informal cultural expertise’ that, according to my interpretation, has had an impact on some of the cases I have studied.