Christiane Simsa, Johannes Stock
October 18, 2016
State Justice Ministries and judicial bodies in the FRG have been noting with alarm the increasing number of court cases during the last 20 years. The study presented here is concerned with the potential development of the number of cases coming before civil, marital, administrative and fiscal courts in light of the relationship between conflict resolution in and outside the court-room. PROGNOS has conducted an examination of the various factors that effect the number of cases that come before the courts. The results of this examination serve as the basic for a caseload forecast for the year 2000 on the basis of a methodology specially-developed by PROGNOS. The forecast considers two variants: the first assumes the unchanged status of filtering institutions and occupations; the second considers the promotion and expansion of these out-of-court conflict resolution instruments. The evaluation of the (potential) filtering effects was based on interviews with experts that were conducted and documented by the Forschungsinstitut für öffentliche Verwaltung, Speyer. The study yields two important results: First, an overview of the variety and importance of out-of-court settlement possibilities; and secondly, an estimate of the scope of filtering potential available through developing and further utilizing pre-court and out-of-court conflict resolution-instruments. The study concluded that if a determined effort is made to fully develop and improve pre-court filtering channels, the number of court cases in the year 2000 for the judicial fields surveyed would remain at about the level of today. In this way, the dramatic increase in the number of court cases that is threatening to occur could be averted.