H W. Perry Jr


Frankfurter is certainly right in suggesting that we need to focus on procedure and understand that seemingly technical rules can have huge implications for the access to justice in a society. It is for this reason that I find this conference so interesting. I am also pleased that the conference has a comparative component for reasons beyond my good fortune to have been invited to Australia. Societies governed by the rule of law have many things in common, and we can learn from one another. The flip side is the problem I have alluded to about globetrotting constitutionalists. Unless we are willing to learn about some of the nitty-gritty details, our comparisons will be superficial for the reasons Frankfurter proffered. I believe that what helps bridge this dilemma is to try to place the esoteric rule of procedures in a broader context of a constitutional or legal order. This becomes essential if we are trying to make normative judgments, either comparatively or for our own systems.