C. RASIA, Civil Procedure in the European Union

Wolters Kluwer International, Alphen aan den Rijn, 3rd ed, 2022, pp. 1-240


Most handbooks on EU judicial proceedings follow a relatively similar structure: after a general introduction focusing on the role, history, composition and internal functioning of the Court of Justice of the European Union, the various forms of actions and proceedings are examined in sequence, followed by a general description of the procedure before the EU Courts. However, that is not the structure chosen by Prof. Rasia for his handbook, the third edition of which has been recently published by Wolters Kluwer. That approach was first followed by Prof. Carpi and Prof. Biavati for their seminal monography ‘Diritto processuale comunitario’, first published (in Italian) in 1994. That volume has been – for several generations of Italian students, including myself – the key which (metaphorically speaking) opened the gates of the Palais du Kirchberg, when cases such as Francovich, Bosman, Gebhard, and Faccini Dori were being litigated, with a good understanding of what was taking place in the grande salle d’audience. In fact, the original idea behind Carpi and Biavati’s work was, in essence, to author a volume which would present and explain the EU judicial proceedings from the perspective of a civil lawyer. Very wisely, Prof. Rasia has kept the approach of his mentors, which allows virtually any reader, including those that are not particularly familiar with the peculiarities of the EU legal system and institutional structure, to easily grasp the fundamental characteristics of EU judicial proceedings. The volume is divided in six parts: ‘Competences of the European Judges’, ‘Judges and Parties’, ‘The Ordinary Proceedings’, ‘Special Forms of Procedure’, ‘Peculiar Aspects of the Proceedings in the Relationships Between the Judicial Bodies’, and ‘The Proceedings of Appeal and Review of the Decisions’. Each of those parts is then divided into a number of chapters. The volume succeeds in providing an exhaustive overview of the subject, despite its reasonable length. It is also clearly written and well researched (providing numerous references to relevant case-law and scholarship), and up-to-date (e.g. takes into account Brexit and the procedural mechanisms adopted during the COVID pandemic). As its predecessor, this volume too will certainly prove to be of great interest and usefulness to many students and practitioners alike.