Document Type


Publication Date

January 2004


During the last fifteen years, there has been a growing interest in litigation transcending national borders. Yet, both in the United States and in Europe, where this interest is much older, a comprehensive intellectual framework to deal with this type of litigation is hard to find. In fact, courts and procedural law reformers still approach transnational cases in the same fashion as purely domestic ones, adjusting the concepts of domestic law where they believe it necessary. This has created significant problems both for litigants seeking justice in transnational cases and for lawmakers fashioning policy specifically for the transnational setting.

In light of recent developments in international trade law and in the European Union, this Article argues that, as a normative matter, we should begin to treat transnational litigation as a distinct field. It suggests that in-depth procedural comparison and international relations theory would have much to contribute to such a field. It uses a case study on judicial cooperation in Germany for litigation in the United States to demonstrate various ways in which lawmaking for transnational litigation is interconnected beyond national borders. The Article concludes that procedural law reformers who continue to disregard insights from both international politics and comparative procedure are apt to lose control over their lawmaking efforts to savvy groups, to international trade regimes such as the WTO and NAFTA, and to lawmakers abroad.

Publication Title

University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Economic Law

First Page


Included in

Law Commons