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This study, based on many years of comparative research, attempts to apply the comparative method to the analysis of the basic features of the judicial process and their transformation in modern societies, particularly in Europe and America. The challenges facing the courts of justice and other adjudicatory agencies are discussed in the light of their social, political, economic and ideological causes, and the solutions adopted by contemporary legal systems to meet those challenges are analyzed and evaluated. These challenges include the expanded role of courts in the modern "social" state and the new demands for judicial independence and democratic accountability; the rise and growth of varied systems of judicial review and the legitimacy of such development; the emergence of the notion of "access to justice" as a judicial answer to egalitarian ideals and demands for effectiveness and the development of "public interest litigation"; and the role of the courts in promoting legal and political integration of pluralistic societies, especially with regard to the EEC and the United States.