Obstacles to achieving in-court settlements: Perspective of Czech judicial practice





civil proceedings, litigation, settlement, judge, attorney


In-court settlement is often considered not only socially but also economically advantageous resolution of legal disputes as it is typically less costly for governments and parties to the dispute than a judgment. Using data from a survey experiment administered via computer assisted web interviews with 450 judges and 500 attorneys, we investigate reasons for the low settlement rate and appropriate procedures to increase this rate. We find that a significant factor influencing the settlement probability is the type of case (e. g., passenger transport, loan contracts, insurance). We also find that oral preparation of court hearing, making the parties to the dispute acquainted with the legal opinion of the court as well as the attorney’s support for the parties to settle the dispute have an impact on settlement probabilities.



Download data is not yet available.


Views 237
13(5)_Holas_Lavicky_OSLS 186
XML_13(5)_Holas_Lavicky_OSLS 10

Author Biographies

Jan Holas, Masaryk University

Jan Holas, Masaryk University, Faculty of Law, Department of Civil Procedure. E-mail: Jan.Holas@law.muni.cz

Petr Lavický, Masaryk University

Petr Lavický, Masaryk University, Faculty of Law, Department of Civil Procedure. E-mail: Petr.Lavicky@law.muni.cz


Ali, S.F., 2011. Facilitating Settlement at the Arbitration Table:Comparing Views on Settlement Practice Among Arbitration Practitioners in East Asia and the West. Oñati Socio-Legal Series, 1(6), 1–30.

Andrews, N., 2003. English civil procedure: fundamentals of the new civil justice system. Oxford University Press.

Andrews, N., 2008. The modern civil process: judicial and alternative forms of dispute resolution in England. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck.

Barkai, J., and Kent, E., 2014. Let’s Stop Spreading Rumors About Settlement and Litigation: A Comparative Study of Settlement and Litigation in Hawaii Courts. Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution, 29(1), 85–160.

Berlemann, M., and Christmann, R., 2019. Determinants of in-court settlements: empirical evidence from a German trial court. Journal of Institutional Economics [online], 15(1), 143–162. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1017/S1744137417000637

Blake, S., 2009. A practical approach to effective litigation. Oxford University Press.

Bone, R.G., 2017. Economics of civil procedure. In: F. Parisi, ed. The Oxford handbook of law and economics: Volume 3: Public law and legal institutions. Oxford University Press, 143–170.

Brink, B., and Marseille, A.T., 2014. Participation of citizens in pre-trial hearings. Review of an experiment in the Netherlands. International Public Administration Review [online], 12(2-3), 47–62. Available at: https://doi.org/10.17573/ipar.2014.2-3.a03

Callegaro, M., Lozar Manfreda, K., and Vehovar, V., 2015. Web survey methodology. London: Sage.

Cremers, K., and Schliessler, P., 2015. Patent litigation settlement in Germany: why parties settle during trial. European Journal of Law and Economics, 40(2), 185–208.

Drápal, L., 2002. Příprava jednání a projednání věci samé ve sporném řízení před soudem prvního stupně po novele občanského soudního řádu. Právní rozhledy, 10(5), 1.

Dušková, L., and Holas, J., 2023. The role of judges at the pre-mediation stage of court-annexed mediation: A case study of the situation in the Czech Republic. Hungarian Journal of Legal Studies [online], 63(4), 399–415. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1556/2052.2023.00403

Dvořák, B., 2012. Die Entwicklung des tschechischen Zivilprozessrechts seit dem Jahre 1989. In: T. Sutter-Somm and V. Harsági, eds. Die Entwicklung des Zivilprozessrechts in Mitteleuropa um die Jahrtausendwende. Zürich: Schulthess, 123–136.

Dvořák, B., 2016. Soudní smír. In: P. Lavický, ed., Občanský soudní řád (§ 1 až 250l). Řízení sporné. Praktický komentář. Prague: Wolters Kluwer ČR.

Dvořák, B., 2018. Procesní úkony stran řízení. Právní rozhledy, 26(3), 84–89.

Dvořák, B., and Zoulík. F., 2011. Tschechische Republik. In: W.H. Rechberger, ed., Die Entwicklung des Zivilprozessrechts in Mittel- und Südosteuropa seit 1918. Vienna: Jan Sramek, 107–116.

Eisenberg, T., and Lanvers, C., 2009. What is the Settlement Rate and Why Should We Care? Journal of Legal Empirical Studies, 6(1), 111–146.

ELI, UNIDROIT, 2020. Model European Rules of Civil Procedure [online]. Available at: https://www.unidroit.org/english/principles/civilprocedure/eli-unidroit-rules/200925-eli-unidroit-rules-e.pdf

Elkins-Elliott, K., and Elliott, F.W., 2004. Settlement advocacy. Texas Wesleyan Law Review, 11(1), 7–30.

Grajzl, P., and Zajc, K., 2017. Litigation and the timing of settlement: evidence from commercial disputes. European Journal of Law and Economics [online], 44(2), 287–319. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10657-016-9540-5

Lakomý, M., and Urbanová, M., 2021. Empirický výzkum v právu. In: L. Holá and M. Urbanová, eds., Mediace v praxi optikou empirického výzkumu. Prague: Wolters Kluwer ČR, 1–15.

Lavický, P., et al., 2014. Private law reform. Brno: Masaryk University.

Lozar Manfreda, K., Berzelak, N., and Vehovar, V., 2012. Paradata insight into survey response behaviour: An analysis of a set of hosted web surveys [online]. General Online Research Conference (GOR). Mannheim. Available at: http://www.websm.org/db/12/15205/Web%20Survey%20Bibliography/Paradata_insight_into_survey_response_behaviour_An_analysis_of_a_set_of_hosted_web_surveys/

Macková, A., 2019. Civil Procedure in the Czech Republic. 2nd ed. Alphen aan den Rijn: Kluwer Law International.

Mazel, F., 2020. Právní rozhovor soudu a stran v civilním procesu [Legal Discussion between the Court and the Parties in the Civil Procedure]. Časopis pro právní vědu a praxi [online], 28(2), 267-297. Available at: https://doi.org/10.5817/CPVP2020-2-6

Menkel-Meadow, C., 2021. What is an appropriate measure of litigation? Quantification, qualification and differentiation of dispute resolution. Oñati Socio-Legal Series [online], 11(2), 320–353. Available at: https://doi.org/10.35295/osls.iisl/0000-0000-0000-1146

Ministry of Justice of the Slovak Republic, 2019. Štatistická ročenka 2019. III. 1 Občianskoprávne veci [online]. Available at: https://web.ac-mssr.sk/wp-content/uploads/2020/rocenka2019/III.-1-Ob%C4%8Dianskopr%C3%A1vne-veci_2019_pdf.pdf

Ministry of Justice, 2019a. S-SL-C Přehled o průběhu řízení v občanskoprávních věcech 2019 [S-SL-C Overview of the progress of civil proceedings for 2019] – [online]. Available from: https://cslav.justice.cz/InfoData/servlet/FileServlet?id1=1&id2=obsah_dokumentu_html&id3=id_dokumentu=1733517&id4=html&id5=5037a5247e63805f6a1fa46bc99b882c&id6=null

Ministry of Justice, 2019b. V(MS)-114 – Výkaz o pohybu agendy rejstříku C u okresních soudů [V(MS)-114 – Report on the movement of the C register agenda in district courts] – [online]. Available at: https://cslav.justice.cz/InfoData/servlet/FileServlet?id1=1&id2=obsah_dokumentu_html&id3=id_dokumentu=1680852&id4=html&id5=f2f596f4f401bcb9fc1e884310ad5d4c&id6=null

Ministry of Justice, 2019c. V(MS)-114 – Výkaz o pohybu agendy rejstříku EPR [V(MS)-114 – Report on the movement of the EPR register agenda] – [online]. Available at: https://cslav.justice.cz/InfoData/servlet/FileServlet?id1=1&id2=obsah_dokumentu_html&id3=id_dokumentu=1668579&id4=html&id5=803c310f1975643284630a83d055b4ef&id6=null

Ministry of Justice, 2019d. V(MS)-131 – Výkaz o pohybu agendy rejstříku C u krajských soudů [V(MS)-131 – Report on the movement of the C register agenda in regional courts] – [online]. Available at: https://cslav.justice.cz/InfoData/servlet/FileServlet?id1=1&id2=obsah_dokumentu_html&id3=id_dokumentu=1668564&id4=html&id5=9d429d09894ad830e29b673c4fc7478a&id6=null

Ministry of Justice, 2019e. V(MS)-139 – Výkaz o pohybu agendy rejstříku Cm u krajských soudů [V(MS)-139 – Report on the movement of the Cm register agenda in regional courts] – [online]. Available at: https://cslav.justice.cz/InfoData/servlet/FileServlet?id1=1&id2=obsah_dokumentu_html&id3=id_dokumentu=1668568&id4=html&id5=c82cf47042bf8c6e7ade609dae5f4650&id6=null

Ministry of Justice, 2019f. V(MS)-161 – Výkaz o pohybu agendy rejstříku EVC [V(MS)-161 – Report on the movement of the EVC register agenda] – [online]. Available at: https://cslav.justice.cz/InfoData/servlet/FileServlet?id1=1&id2=obsah_dokumentu_html&id3=id_dokumentu=1668572&id4=html&id5=b40e68dc0b032ea049e4b4921a636284&id6=null

Myslil, S., 2003. Málo smírů v majetkových sporech. Bulletin advokacie, 2(11–12), 33.

Rechberger, W.H., 2016. Civil procedure in Austria. 2nd ed. Alphen aan den Rijn: Kluwer Law International.

Roberts, D., 2000. Settlement as Civil Justice. The Modern Law Review, 63(5), 739–747.

Sappleton, N., and Lourenço, F., 2016. Email subject lines and response rates to invitations to participate in a web survey and a face-to-face interview: the sound of silence. International Journal of Social Research Methodology [online], 19(5), 613. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/13645579.2015.1078596

Saria, G., 2018. Der gerichtliche Vergleich im österreichischen und tschechischen Recht. Vienna: Verlag Österreich.

Starnes, H.E., and Finman, S.E., 2015. The court’s role in settlement negotiations. Family Advocate, 37(3), 30–35.

Urbanová, M., Holá, L., and Lakomý, M., 2020. Mediation in the Context of Law Acquaintance. Danube [online], 11(1), 1–15. Available at: https://doi.org/10.2478/danb-2020-0001

Uzelac, A., 2017. Towards European Rules of Civil Procedure: Rethinking Procedural Obligations. Hungarian Journal of Legal Studies [online], 58(1), 3–18. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1556/2052.2017.58.1.1



How to Cite

Holas, J. and Lavický, P. (2023) “Obstacles to achieving in-court settlements: Perspective of Czech judicial practice”, Oñati Socio-Legal Series, 13(5), pp. 1817–1840. doi: 10.35295/osls.iisl.1696.