This book is available digitally as an Open Access resource at www.boomdenhaag.nl. Click here to access the content.
This open access eBook documents an empirical inquiry into the number, value and duration of large commercial court cases in five countries from different parts of Europe: Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands and Norway. It is an exploratory study as for each country data had to be extracted from the case registration systems of the courts. The study shows that a substantial part of economic activity is ‘paralyzed’ by disputes that are fought out in the courts. This has broad negative consequences for the countries in question. There are large differences in the number, value (as measured by reference to the claims) and duration of these court cases. All five judiciaries can improve their performance, to a greater or lesser degree, with Italy (volume, duration), Lithuania (volume) and the Netherlands (duration) having much to gain.
The study is of interest for its outcomes, but also from a methodological perspective, as it shows the necessity of taking the diversity of court cases into account and a method to achieve this. While the economic analysis is relatively simple and the analysis is confined to one type of dispute, the outcomes clearly show the importance of the legal/ judicial system for the economy.