Judicial Dialogue and Comparative Law: Lost in Translation?

The idea of judicial dialogue has immediately been the target of criticism. This criticism is also due to the ambiguity of the concept. Dialogue can be conceived as a kind of judicial interaction, characterized by the presence of some specific features, namely the existence of differing viewpoints, the symmetry between the interlocutors, mutual recognition and respect, equal opportunity to participate, and continuity over time (Torres Pérez). If taken too rigidly, this view risks setting aside forms of influence that could be relevant according to other definitions. According to Tzanakopoulos, dialogue ‘could thus be defined as influence (exercised by the decision of one court on the reasoning and decision of another), or as reaction, or even better, criticism and rejection (by one court of the reasoning or decision of another)’. This paper looks at the origin of this concept in comparative law to stress the transformation that it has known in European law.