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The most comprehensive description of the West German civil litigation system to appear in United States law journals, a much-admired, practice-oriented work by two United States law professors and a Hamburg judge, was published twenty-five years ago. At that moment, a commission of experts, appointed in 1955 by the Federal Ministry of Justice and called the Commission to Prepare a Reform of Civil Justice, was already deep into a thorough reexamination of the entire West German system. The stimuli for this reexamination were the eternal devils of judicial procedure everywhere: technicality, inaccessibility, and above all, delay and cost. In 1961, the Preparatory Commission made extensive recommendations for change in its final report. In 1964, the Ministry appointed the Kommission far Zivilprozessrecht (Commission for Civil Procedure Law), which was charged with translating these recommendations into specific legislative proposals.

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