Civil procedure encompasses the rules on court procedure in civil cases. The most important statute is the Act relating to mediation and procedure in civil disputes (no. 90/2005) (the Dispute Act), which entered into force on 1 January 2008. The purpose of the Dispute Act is to reform the processing of civil cases, including assigning greater emphasis to active case management and proportionality. Furthermore, important rules are also stated in the 1915 Act relating to the courts of justice.
Overview of the subject area
Civil procedure is a subject of long standing and has always played a key role in legal studies. Knowledge of civil procedure is a prerequisite when law graduates enter a profession such as that of a deputy judge or a trainee lawyer. Legal studies must qualify students to enter the judicial system, which is the core employment area for law graduates. At the same time civil procedure provides a template for best-practice administrative procedures in other areas as well – i.e. the most thorough and correct case processing possible. It provides a foundation for the rules governing the administrative procedures set out in the Public Administration Act. These procedures may be regarded as a ‘diluted’ form of civil procedure since a less time-consuming administrative procedure is required due to the large number of cases.
The civil procedure rules are applied in many administrative areas, for example in the case of coercive measures carried out by the child welfare services. A lawyer who has not received training in best-practice administrative procedures will be poorly equipped to influence the case processing in out-of-court dispute resolution bodies, and to exploit to the full the opportunities these offer. Nor will he or she be able to assess whether it is possible to succeed in a claim submitted to the ordinary courts. Out-of-court settlement of disputes will to a large extent be influenced by the possibility of achieving one’s goal through legal procedure.
Civil procedure provides a considerable degree of general legal education: it describes fundamental norms that apply to good conflict mediation in all areas of society.
Information on the research area can be accessed on the Norwegian web pages for this subject