A Tribute to Anders Bruzelius
I recall with affection and appreciation my long affiliation with Anders Bruzelius as working colleague and friend. We were engaged in 1961 by the Columbia University School of Law Project on International Procedure to coauthor a book titled Civil Procedure in Sweden. Other books in the series described the French and Italian procedural systems. Each of the three volumes teamed a jurist from the system studied with a jurist from the United States. The aim was to produce a work comprehensible to English-speaking readers trained in the common law system.
Sweden was chosen by the Project’s Director, Columbia Law School Professor Hans Smit, because Sweden’s reshaped Code of Procedure (Rättegångsbalk), adopted in 1942 and effective since 1948, incorporated into a typically civilian system some elements of Anglo-American practice, most notably, a concentrated trial episode and witness examination initially conducted by counsel. Working both in Sweden and in the United States, Anders and I studied, observed, and wrote of similarities and differences in the two nations’ endeavors to do justice. After completing the book, we worked together on a translation of the Rättegångsbalk, first published in 1968 , and revised by Anders in 1979. Later, Anders prepared and published a Concise English-Swedish Glossary of Legal Terms. In the process of working with Anders, I gained not only a beginner’s understanding of Sweden’s ways of handling legal disputes. Through comparative reflection, I came to understand more completely the United States system in which I was schooled. I became a better teacher of procedure as a result of our joint venture, and a better judge too, I believe. Anders shared and heightened my conviction that comparative sideglances could enrich one’s understanding of the law. He was a true gentleman, who honored and adhered to Sweden’s traditions, yet was forward looking in his interests and views. In 1969, Anders and I received honorary degrees from the University of Lund for our joint work on Civil Procedure in Sweden. It was a treasured moment for both of us. The ring I was given by the promoter at the ceremony is the only ring I have worn daily from that day to today. It is a constant reminder of my Swedish connection, and of my wise and kind friend. Anders Bruzelius loved Sweden and was devoted to his work and his family. He was a good citizen of Sweden and of the world, and a caring jurist. His long and productive life is cause for celebration.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg