This book presents the results of a research project that looks at the interplay between national and international civil procedure law. While the project covers many kinds of international law – both soft law and hard law from a number of international institutions – the influence of European Union civil procedure law on national civil procedure forms the heart of the project. The editors of this book, together with Professor Halvard Haukeland Fredriksen, had previously conducted research on the interplay between Norwegian civil procedure and EU law. The interest in EU law in Norway may appear somewhat surprising at first, since Norway is not a member of the Union. However, Norway is part of the single market through its participation in the European Economic Area Agreement. Accordingly, EU law exerts an influence on national civil procedure through the EEA Agreement, voluntary harmonisation, hard law and soft law.
Our previous engagements in comparative projects sparked our curiosity, as we noticed divergent attitudes, practices, policies and outcomes in countries in our geographical neighbourhood. As a result, in 2016, we initiated a research project, drawing on our networks and discussions with Professor Volker Lipp, that focused on the interplay between national and international civil procedure law in north-western Europe. A research workshop was organised in Tromsø in late August and early September 2017, where experts from Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the Nordic countries took part. Most of the papers contained in this book are based on the discussions that took place during that workshop.
We would like to express our gratitude to the Faculty of Law at the University of Tromsø – The Arctic University of Norway for its financial contribution, which made both the workshop and the book possible. We also wish to thank Satu Svahn for her review of the English language of the contributions. Harald Hofgaard, a student in Tromsø, provided valuable assistance in preparing the papers for publication. Finally, we are grateful to all of the authors for their participation.