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Rolf Stürner

Rolf Stürner (*1943 Stuttgart) received the State Research Prize for his work in the area of German and International Civil Procedure Law.

Prof. Dr. Rolf Stürner from the Faculty of Law of the University of Freiburg has received the State Research Prize for fundamental research for his development of new international procedural principles. Globalization is leading to an increase in transnational trials. It is thus important to determine what legal system these procedures should be conducted under. The Anglo-American and the continental European legal systems are fundamentally different: German companies, for instance, are not only in danger of being confronted with high claims for damages but also of having to divulge information that is protected under continental European law.

Rolf Stürner’s principles have now been approved unanimously by the coordination centers of all industrialized nations, including China and Russia. “The key factor was accounting for the different historical and cultural backgrounds. This enabled us to identify the common foundations of the two currently different systems, providing us with a basis for a common dialogue,” explains Rolf Stürner.
The principles include recommendations for rules of procedure and curtail the jurisdiction of US courts. In addition, they describe minimum requirements for behavior and proceedings. In order to ensure the neutrality of the judge, for instance, the principles prohibit one-sided telephone calls with the parties. Another principle prescribes that international legal notices be written in understandable language, meaning that they be translated. Other recommendations concern the roles of judges and attorneys, the distribution of court costs, and preconditions for the acknowledgement and enforcement of foreign decisions. They lay down the procedures for conducting investigations in accordance with foreign law and provide basic rules for the appearance of foreign attorneys in court. Above all, however, they aim to better protect sensitive information that could have a bearing on competition. (Source: MWK)