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Inspiration for procedural reform i~ increasingly sought in the legal thesaurus of foreign countries. In their search for new solutions, lawyers are prone to focus almost exclusively on normative aspects of foreign arrangements, trying to ascertain whether they hold promise of advantages over domestic law. But this understandable deformation professionelle is not without its costs: the success of most procedural innovation depends less than lawyers like to think on the excellence of rules. More than in the private law domain, perhaps, the meaning and impact of procedural regulation turn on external conditions - most directly on the institutional context in which justice is administered in a particular country. If imported rules are combined with native ones in disregard of this context, unintended consequences are likely to follow in living law. And while some of these consequences can turn out to be a pleasant surprise, others can be very disappointing.

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