Academics from Frankfurt’s Max Planck Institute for European Legal History, Johann Wolfgang Goethe University and University of Applied Sciences have joined forces for a research project focussing on “Extrajudicial and Judicial Conflict Resolution”, which started in January 2012.
The kick-off workshop in February dealt with the topic of “Adjudication and Judicial Decision Making”, and in particular, with hybrid models in between. (Schlichten und Richten. Differenzierung und Hybridisierung).
When I came across the project website, I must admit, I was at first somewhat disappointed that there seemed to be little of practical value to a practicing lawyer. I did expect something more “modern”, and not a project routed in legal history. But when you look more closely, it is a fascinating range of topics that are being tackled – across times and cultures, and more relevant to current legal topics than appears at first sight.
If you look, on the one hand, at the debate amongst legal historians about adjudication cultures and consider, on the other hand, the current political controversy between the houses of the German parliament, Bundestag and Bundesrat, about the role judges should play in mediation, then legal history helps to put things into perceptive – as does comparative law: one of the projects looks at ADR and the Rule of Law in the Unites States and over here.