February 20, 2005


by Armen

CNN is reporting that Mexico is holding its first ever public, oral trial. Who knows, maybe that country is interested in a celebrity spectacle involving a soap star or something, but this occasion raises a few semi-interesting thoughts.

First, even though Mexico is a Code country, it's a bit puzzling that there are NO oral arguments whatsoever in their proceedings. In Code countires like France, the proceedings are similar in that both sides collect evidence and submit it to a judge. But there is also a point where both sides appear before the judge to aruge their side (though this might be in chambers rather than open court or what have you).

But of course the more significant point is the degree of conformity now found between Code and Common Law jurisdictions. In an effort towards open and fair judicial proceedings Code countries are adopting some aspects of Common Law proceedings, while in an effort toward uniformity and because of advances in society, Common Law jurisdictions are more and more acting as interpreters of judicial intent rather than pronouncers of general rules of law. I'm almost certain that in another 20-50 years, it would not be difficult to practice law in France and then go over to a Common Law country and vice versa (minus the whole learning the law of the country part...but with respect to procedure and technique...won't be all that different).

February 20, 2005 03:27 PM | TrackBack
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