Droit international général

Université de Lausanne/BIICL Conference on ‘The UK, Switzerland, Norway and the EU: Cross-border Business Relations after Brexit’

Conflictoflaws - il y a 5 heures 54 min

On 17 May, the Centre de droit comparé, européen et international of the University of Lausanne will host a joint conference with the British Institute of International and Comparative Law on ‘The UK, Switzerland, Norway and the EU: Cross-border Business Relations after Brexit’. The flyer can be found here. The conference, organised by Professor Eva Lein, intends to provide a forum to discuss the legal uncertainties arising from Brexit with regard to cross-border commercial relations between British, EU, Norwegian and Swiss companies companies.

It will feature the following panels:

Welcome: Eva Lein (UNIL / BIICL)

Panel 1: Trade and Services
Chair: Spyros Maniatis (BIICL / Queen Mary University of London)

  • Andreas Ziegler (UNIL)
  • Thomas Sebastian (Monckton Chambers)
  • Kaja Sandvig (DLA Piper, Oslo)
  • Federico Ortino (King’s College London / Clifford Chance)

Panel 2: Company Law and Insolvencies
Chair: Adam Johnson QC (Herbert Smith Freehills)

  • Stefania Bariatti (University of Milan)
  • Rodrigo Rodriguez (University of Lucerne)
  • John Whiteoak (Herbert Smith Freehills, London)
  • Kern Alexander (University of Zurich)

Panel 3: Dispute Resolution
Chair: Andrea Bonomi (UNIL)

  • Diana Wallis (former vice-President of the European Parliament / ELI)
  • Trevor Hartley (London School of Economics)
  • Benoît Arthur Mauron (Lalive)
  • Peter Arnt Nielsen (Copenhagen Business School)
  • Eva Lein (UNIL / BIICL)

University of Glasgow Ph.D. Scholarship – ‘The Europeanisation of International Private Law: Implications of Brexit for Children and Families in Scotland’

Conflictoflaws - mer, 04/18/2018 - 18:53

University of Glasgow has announced a PhD scholarship opportunity for the project entitled “The Europeanisation of International Private Law: Implications of Brexit for Children and Families in Scotland” supervised by Professor Janeen Carruthers. The project shall commence in Oct 2018 and will provide (1) a stipend at the RCUK rate (2018-19 rate is £14,777 Full-Time); (2) 100 % tuition fee waiver; (3) access to the Research Training Support Grant. UK/EU and International applicants are eligible to apply.

For more information, please visit the university website, or follow this link:  The Europeanisation of International Private Law – Implications of Brexi….

The CJEU settles the issue of characterising the surviving spouse’s share of the estate in the context of the Succession Regulation

Conflictoflaws - mar, 04/17/2018 - 10:22

It has not been yet noted on this blog that the CJEU has recently settled a classic problem of characterisation that has plagued German courts and academics for decades (CJEU, 1 March 2018 – C-558/16, Mahnkopf, ECLI:EU:C:2018:138). The German statutory regime of matrimonial property is a community of accrued gains, i.e. that each spouse keeps its own property, but gains that have been made during the marriage are equalised when the marriage ends, i.e. by a divorce or by the death of one spouse. According to § 1371(1) of the German Civil Code (Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch – BGB), the equalisation of the accrued gains shall be effected by increasing the surviving spouse’s share of the estate on intestacy by one quarter of the estate if the property regime is ended by the death of a spouse; it is irrelevant in this regard whether the spouses have made accrued gains in the individual case. How is this claim to be characterised? In the course of the German discussion, all solutions had been on the table: some have advocated to classify the issue as a part of succession law only, others have argued for characterising the issuse as belonging to the field of matrimonial property law, and a minority opinion has developed a so-called “double characterisation”, i.e accepting the spouse’s share in the estate only if both the applicable succession and matrimonial property law would countenance such a solution. In 2015, the German Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof – BGH), ruling on former autonomous choice of law rules, had settled the issue in favour of applying the German conflicts rules on matrimonial property, mainly arguing that § 1371(1) BGB determines what is left to the estate after the gains accrued during the marriage have been equalised (BGHZ 205, 289). The Court argued that, for practical reasons, the means that the provision deploys to allocate the gains are found in succession law, but its function is to deal with the dissolution of a marriage because of the death of one of the spouses. If frictions arose between the law applicable to matrimonial property and the rules governing succession – e.g. a widow receiving nothing although the succession law and the matrimonial property regime would grant her a share if applied in isolation –, such problems would have to be solved by the technique of adaptation.

In light of the Europeanisation of private international law, however, it had become doubtful whether this approach would remain valid within the context of the Succession Regulation (Regulation (EU) No. 650/2012). A pertinent question was referred to the CJEU by the Kammergericht (Higher Regional Court Berlin). Following the conclusions by AG Szpunar, the CJEU now has decided the case in diametrical opposition to the earlier judgment of the BGH, by adopting a purely succession-oriented characterisation. The CJEU argues that “Paragraph 1371(1) of the BGB concerns not the division of assets between spouses but the issue of the rights of the surviving spouse in relation to assets already counted as part of the estate. Accordingly, that provision does not appear to have as its main purpose the allocation of assets or liquidation of the matrimonial property regime, but rather determination of the size of the share of the estate to be allocated to the surviving spouse as against the other heirs. Such a provision therefore principally concerns succession to the estate of the deceased spouse and not the matrimonial property regime. Consequently, a rule of national law such as that at issue in the main proceedings relates to the matter of succession for the purposes of Regulation No 650/2012” (para. 40). The main reason, however, is to ensure that the European Certificate of Succession remains workable in practice by giving a true and comprehensive picture of the surviving spouse’s share in the estate, no matter whether domestic law achieves this result by inheritance law alone or rather by a combination of matrimonial property and succession law (see in particular paras. 42 et seq.). It remains to be seen how much scope this approach will leave to an application of the European Matrimonial Property Regulation (Regulation (EU) No. 2016/1103), which also covers the liquidation of the matrimonial property regime as a result of the death of one of the spouses. Whereas the law applicable to matrimonial property is, in principle, stabilised at the first common habitual domicile of the spouses, the applicable succession law is changed much more easily – it suffices that the deceased spouse had acquired a new habitual residence before his or her death. Thus, an extension of the Succession Regulation to the detriment of the Matrimonial Property Regulation may disappoint legitimate expectations of the surviving spouse concerning the allocation of accrued gains. The CJEU, however, does not seem to worry too much about this aspect, which was not problematic in the case at hand (para. 41). Future cases may be more enlightening in this regard.

Dutch workshop on Cross-Border Enforcement in the EU (“IC²BE”)

Conflictoflaws - lun, 04/16/2018 - 22:30

On Monday, 23 April 2018, the Erasmus School of Law of Erasmus University Rotterdam (Netherlands) will host a national workshop that takes place within the framework of the research project “Informed Choices in Cross-Border Enforcement” (IC²BE). Funded by the Justice Programme (2014-2020) of the European Commission, the project aims to assess the working in practice of the “second generation” of EU regulations on procedural law for cross-border cases, the European Enforcement Order, European Order for Payment Procedure, the European Small Claims Procedure and the Account Preservation Order. The project has the objective to create a database of national case law. The project is led by the University of Freiburg (Prof. Jan von Hein), and partners are the MPI Luxembourg and the universities of Antwerp, Complutense, Milan, Rotterdam, and Wroclaw.

Four speakers will present the European procedures and share experiences on the application of the procedures in the Netherlands. The speakers are: Prof. C.H. (Remco) van Rhee (University of Maastricht), Kasper Krzeminski (Lawyer at Nauta Dutilh), Jeroen Nijenhuis (judicial officer, board member Royal Professional Organization of Judicial Officers), and Eva Calvelo Muiño (director European Consumer Centre Netherlands). The workshop and roundtable are chaired by Xandra Kramer (Erasmus University Rotterdam).

The language of the workshop is Dutch. Partcipation is free of charge, but requires registration. Further information on the program and on how to register is available here: Workshop IC2BE NL-Rotterdam

Evidence in Spanish and Greek Law on Civil Procedure

Conflictoflaws - lun, 04/16/2018 - 18:59

Prof. Makridou and Prof. Diamantopoulos are hosting on 23/04/2018 a seminar on the law of evidence in Spain and Greece. The event starts at 09.00 and will take place in the conference room of the Central Library of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

The program of the seminar is the following:

CHAIRMAN

Prof. Konstantinos Polyzogopoulos, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens

SPEAKERS

Prof. Fernando Gascón Inchausti, Complutense University of Madrid

Prof. Enrique Vallines Garcia, Complutense University of Madrid

Prof. Kalliopi Makridou,  Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

Ass. Prof. Ioannis Delikostopoulos, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens

CONCLUSIONS

Prof. Georgios Diamantopoulos, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

 

This seminar forms part of a project initiated by Prof. Makridou and Prof. Diamantopoulos back in 2014. In the course of the past 5 years, the professors have edited three volumes, published in the series ‘Greek and Foreign Civil Procedural Systems’, Sakkoulas Publications.

Vol. 1: Issues of Estoppel and Res Judicata in Ango-American and Greek Law (2014)

Vol. 2: Civil trial of first and second instance according to Swiss and Greek Law (2014)

Vol. 3: Provisional measures in Italian and Greek Law  (2016)

Towards an innovation principle: our paper on an industry horse knocking at the EU door.

GAVC - lun, 04/16/2018 - 08:31

Our paper on the innovation principle, with Kathleen Garnett and Leonie Reins is just out in Law, Innovation and Technology. We discuss how industry has been pushing for the principle to be added as a regulatory driver. Not as a trojan horse: industry knocks politely but firmly at the EU door, it is then simply let in by the European Commission. We discuss the ramifications of such principle and the wider consequences for EU policy making.

Happy reading.

Geert.

(Handbook of) EU Environmental Law (with Dr Reins), 1st ed. 2017, Chapter 2.

Save the date: Seminar International Business Courts

Conflictoflaws - jeu, 04/12/2018 - 22:44

Innovating Business Courts: A European Outlook

On 10 July 2018, a seminar will be held on the establishment of international business courts in a number of Member States. It aims to discuss these initiatives, in particular the novelties in the court administration and the procedural rules, to exchange views on the possible impact on international commercial and complex litigation, and to reflect on the challenges ahead.

The seminar is organised by Erasmus School of Law (ERC project ‘Building EU Civil Justice’) of Erasmus University Rotterdam, in collaboration with the Max Planck Institute for Procedural Law Luxembourg, and the Montaigne Centre for Judicial Administration and Conflict Resolution (Utrecht University)

More information on the program and how to register will follow soon!

Seminar International Business Courts – 10 July 20…

Recent Scholarship on Article 5 of the Rome I Regulation

Conflictoflaws - jeu, 04/12/2018 - 18:52

Yehya Badr, Associate Professor at the Alexandria University, Egypt, published an article “A Cure From Rome for Montreal’s Illness: Article 5 of the Rome I Regulation and Filling the Void in the 1999 Montreal Convention’s Regulation of Carrier’s Liability for Personal Injury”, in (2018) 83 JOURNAL OF AIR LAW AND COMMERCE 83.  The abstract reads:

“An examination of the 1999 Montreal Convention shows that the drafters did not intend to lay down a comprehensive treaty that would organize a carrier’s liability for personal injury to passengers. They opted to achieve a certain level of uniformity through enacting a set of rules that tackled several key issues such as the grounds for a carrier’s liability, the available defenses, and the limits on the recoverable damages. Consequently, some unaddressed issues created a void in the Montreal Convention and were then left without a clear remedy. In this article, a distinction is made between two types of voids: first, the definitional void describes the lack of definition for several key terms used in the Montreal Convention, such as “accident” and “carrier.” Second, the regulatory void describes the lack of rules to address issues such as determining the effect of a passenger’s contributory negligence as a defense for liability and the right of action. This article demonstrates that national courts have resorted either to the forum’s law or the forum’s choice-of-law rules to fill the void in the Montreal Convention. As a result, international uniformity of results cannot be achieved nor is there any predictability. This article recommends the adoption of Article 5 of the Rome I Regulation as a solution to this problem. Doing so would give both parties the freedom to choose a law from a predetermined list, and fill the above mentioned voids, while providing alternative choice-of-law rules if the parties decided not to choose a law to govern their contract for air carriage.”

The full text can be downloaded here.

First Issue of 2018’s Revue Critique de Droit International Privé

Conflictoflaws - jeu, 04/12/2018 - 17:48

The last issue of the “Revue critique de droit international privé” will shortly be released.

It contains several casenotes and three articles.

The first one is authored by Gilles Cuniberti and Sara Migliorini. It discusses the issues of private international law raised by the European Account Preservation Order procedure established by Regulation (EU) no 655/2014. After presenting the scope of the Regulation, it addresses the issues of jurisdiction, choice of law, and enforcement of judgments arising under the new instrument.

The second article is authored by Gerald Goldstein. It deals with the « legal certainty exception » under Dutch law.

Born out of a deep internationalist perspective, section 9 of Book 10 of the Civil code of the Netherlands codified a new general exception to the application of a conflict rule. Under this « legal certainty exception », a court may apply a law applicable under the private international law of a foreign State involved, in contravention to the law designated by the Dutch private international law, whenever doing otherwise would constitute an unacceptable violation of the legitimate expectations of the parties or of legal certainty.

The legal certainty exception’s function is to avoid a serious lack of foreseeability possibly leading to a limping situation, stemming from the application of the law normally applicable under the conflict of law rule of the forum. Such a general and exceptional rule based on conflict justice aims to coordinate conflicting systems of private international law by allowing a measure of flexibility into the conflict of law resolution. Taking globalization into consideration, this rule gives a broader role to private parties. Its effect is to allow a court a discretionary power to put the conflict rule into perspective while upsetting the usual hierarchy of private international law principles. Unlike the escape clause, the legal certainty exception will give predominance to foreseeability over proximity. It will designate a law which is not necessarily the law having objectively the closest connection to the situation but the law applicable under the subjective expectations of the parties or the law whose effectivity should not be altered.

In order to limit the disturbing impact of the legal certainty exception due to the discretionary nature of its intervention, cumulative conditions are required. The parties to the relationship must have erroneously, albeit legitimately, believed that a law applied under the private international law of a foreign State involved in such relationship. In addition, to ignore this state of fact would constitute an unacceptable violation of the legitimate expectations of the parties or of legal certainty.

A comparative analysis between the legal certainty exception and other already known notions allows to state that while presenting some similarities with some of them (among them, the conflict of systems theory, the recognition method and a subsidiary unilateral system of conflict of laws) the legal certainty exception keeps its singularity.

The third article is authored by Christian Kohler. It discusses the new German legislation on marriage and private international law.

A full table of contents is available here.

On the way towards a representative action for the protection of the collective interests of consumers in the EU

Conflictoflaws - mer, 04/11/2018 - 16:31

Today, the EU Commission presented its long awaited proposal for a directive on representative actions for the protection of the collective interests of consumers (COM (2018) 184/3). The proposal and other related documents are available here. The directive shall appply to domestic and cross-border infringements (Article 2(1), 2nd sentence). With regard to the latter group of cases, the directive “is without prejudice to the Union rules on private international law, in particular rules related to court jurisdiction and applicable law” (Article 2(3)). However, Article 16 sets out some rules relevant for cross-border representative actions. It ensures the mutual recognition of the legal standing of qualified entities designated in advance in one Member State to seek representative action in another Member State. Moreover, it enables qualified entities from different Member States to act jointly within a single representative action in front of a single forum competent under relevant Union and national rules. The pertinent provision reads as follows:

Article 16
Cross-border representative actions

1. Member States shall take the measures necessary to ensure that any qualified entity designated in advance in one Member State in accordance with Article 4(1) may apply to the courts or administrative authorities of another Member State upon the presentation of the publicly available list referred to in that Article. The courts or administrative authorities shall accept this list as proof of the legal standing of the qualified entity without prejudice to their right to examine whether the purpose of the qualified entity justifies its taking action in a specific case.

2. Member States shall ensure that where the infringement affects or is likely to affect consumers from different Member States the representative action may be brought to the competent court or administrative authority of a Member State by several qualified entities from different Member States, acting jointly or represented by a single qualified entity, for the protection of the collective interest of consumers from different Member States.

3. For the purposes of cross-border representative actions, and without prejudice to the rights granted to other entities under national legislation, the Member States shall communicate to the Commission the list of qualified entities designated in advance. Member States shall inform the Commission of the name and purpose of these qualified entities. The Commission shall make this information publicly available and keep it up to date.

4. If a Member State or the Commission raises concerns regarding the compliance by a qualified entity with the criteria laid down in Article 4(1), the Member State that designated that entity shall investigate the concerns and, where appropriate, revoke the designation if one or more of the criteria are not complied with.”

Call for Papers: Second German Conference for Young Scholars in PIL

Conflictoflaws - lun, 04/09/2018 - 15:17

Building on the success of the first German Conference for Young Scholars in PIL, which took place almost exactly one year ago at the University of Bonn, a second conference for young scholars in private international law will be held on 4 and 5 April 2019 at the University of Würzburg. Young scholars are invited to submit proposals for presentations in German or English that engage with the conference theme ‘IPR zwischen Tradition und Innovation – Private International Law between Tradition and Innovation’.

Further information on possible approaches to the conference theme can be found in the official Call for Papers; contributions may discuss any aspect of private international law relating to the theme, including questions of international jurisdiction, choice of law, recognition and enforcement, international arbitration, and loi uniforme. Submissions describing the proposed 30-minute talk in no more than 800 words can be made until 1 July 2018. While the conference language will be German, individual submissions may be made (and presented) in German or English.

All accepted contributions will be published in a conference volume.

 

Colin King: On the application ratione temporis of the Recast Insolvency Regulation.

GAVC - lun, 04/09/2018 - 06:07

I thought I had but seemingly had not, flagged Bob Wessels’ timely alert to [2016] COMP 039 Colin King (Supreme Court of Gibraltar). The judgment first of all looks at the temporal scope of application of the Regulation, holding correctly that it is not the filing for bankruptcy which is relevant but rather the time of actual openings of those proceedings. Further, it makes correct application of the various presumptions and definitions vis-a-vis natural persons.

Not a shocking judgment but one which is a good read for a gentle introduction to COMI. And as Bob notes, it was not quite the first to apply the new EIR.

Geert.

(Handbook of) EU Private International Law, 2nd edition 2016, Chapter 5.

 

Constitutional and Treaty-based Review of Foreing Law – Studies in Private International Law

Conflictoflaws - jeu, 04/05/2018 - 22:34

Thanks to Gustavo Cerqueira for this post.

A new book co-edited by Gustavo Cerqueira and Nicolas Nord has been published:

Contrôle de constitutionnalité et de conventionnalité du droit étranger – Études de droit international privé (Amérique Latine – États-Unis – Europe), Société de législation comparée, Paris, 2017, 285 p.

The application of foreign law is increasingly frequent in the settlement of international disputes, both before the judge and the arbitrator. At the same time, the impact of constitutional and treaty standards on private law is a widespread phenomenon. The question of a dual constitutional and treaty-based review of foreing law by the forum seized inevitably arises. It could be carried out in the light of the hierarchy of the standards of the system of the lex causae, the hierarchy of the forum or even the hierarchy of the State in which the judgment given is intended to be enforced. The operation of the classic mechanisms of private international law and arbitration law is put to the test, both in terms of applicable law and the international effectiveness of decisions.

Because of its innovative nature, this book updates the essential issues of the subject. The national reports show the different approaches to the question of double-checking in Europe (Germany, France, Italy and Switzerland), North America (United States) and Latin America (Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay). More generally, prolegomena contextualize the places and forms of application of foreign law subject to a constitutional and treaty-based review, and explore the figure of otherness in these contextes.

The debates raised during the round tables of the colloquium that gave rise to this book, which was held at the Grand Chamber of the Court of Cassation on 23 September 2016, revealed not only differences of assessment, but also certain convergences worthy of an overall vision of the problem. More than a juxtaposition of systems, the debates provided an opportunity to explore new avenues for resolution. Some of them seek to establish an international cooperation in this area. At a time when we are discussing the adoption of a supranational instrument aimed at strengthening the system for determining and applying foreign law and judicial cooperation in the field of information on the law applicable within the European Union, this book is intended to be the starting point for new reflections.

Informations: http://legiscompare.fr/ecommerce/fr/colloques/408-livre-controle-de-constitutionnalite-et-de-conventionnalite-du-droit-etranger.html

Table of Contents

Préface
Dominique HASCHER

Avant-propos
Gustavo CERQUEIRA et Nicolas NORD

PROLÉGOMÈNES
Lieux et formes d’application du droit étranger soumis à un contrôle de constitutionnalité et de conventionnalité
Jean-Sylvestre BERGÉ

Contrôle de constitutionnalité, contrôle de conventionnalité, et la figure de l’altérité
Julien BOUDON

I. PERSPECTIVES FRANÇAISES

Le conflit hiérarchique étranger de normes devant le juge judiciaire français. Application à la constitutionnalité et à la conventionnalité de la loi étrangère
Pascal de VAREILLES-SOMMIÈRES

Le droit étranger à l’épreuve de la Constitution française et des conventions internationales liant l’ordre juridique français
Hugues FULCHIRON

II. PERSPECTIVES COMPARÉES

Amérique latine : Argentine-Uruguay, Brésil
Les contrôles de constitutionnalité et de conventionnalité du droit étranger
au regard de l’ordre juridique de l’État d’origine – Perspectives argentines et
uruguayennes
Didier OPERTTI BADAN

Les contrôles de constitutionnalité et de conventionnalité du droit étranger en Argentine et en Uruguay
Fernanda MUNSCHY

La conformité du droit étranger à l’ordre constitutionnel et conventionnel de l’État d’origine – Fondements et défis du double contrôle au Brésil
Gustavo CERQUEIRA

La place de la Constitution brésilienne et des conventions liant le Brésil dans le système de contrôle du droit étranger
Gustavo FERRAZ DE CAMPOS MONACO

Amérique du nord : États-Unis d’Amérique

Constitutional and Treaty-based review of foreign law : comparative and U.S. perspectives
Alejandro M. GARRO

Europe : Allemagne-Suisse, Italie
Le droit étranger face à la hiérarchie des normes en droit international privé allemand et suisse
Patrick KINSCH

Le juge italien face au contrôle de constitutionnalité et de conventionnalité du droit étranger
Serena FORLATI

CONCLUSION
Le droit étranger à l’épreuve des contrôles de constitutionnalité et de conventionnalité – Rapport de synthèse
Paul LAGARDE

A Battle over the Chinese Culture Treasure Lost Overseas–to be decided by Private International Law?

Conflictoflaws - jeu, 04/05/2018 - 14:46

Professor Zhengxin Huo, China University of Political Science and Law, has provided an interesting note entitled “A Battle over the Chinese Culture Treasure Lost Overseas–to be decided by Private International Law?”. It comments on the forthcoming auction of “Tiger Ying”, an ancient water vessel, which is believed to have been taken during the looting of Beijing’s Old Summer Palace by the British and French forces in 1860, at the Canterbury Auction Galleries in Kent on 10 and 11 April, and the pending proceedings in Amsterdam and Sanming (China) brought by Chinese villagers against a Dutch collector for the return of a stolen 1,000-year-old Buddhist mummy, known as the statue of Zhanggong-zushi. The full text can be found by following A Battle over the Chinese Culture Treasure Lost Overseas.

Professor Huo is Professor of Law, Deputy Dean of International Law Faculty at China University of Political Science and Law; Associate Member of International Academy of Comparative Law; Observer of the UNESCO 1970 Convention. Email: zhengxinh@cupl.edu.cn.

Greek Supreme Court Ruling on the maxim ne impediatur legatio

Conflictoflaws - jeu, 04/05/2018 - 14:04

For anyone interested in state immunities against execution, I have prepared a short report about a recent ruling of the Greek Supreme Court, which can be retrieved here

Forum Conveniens Annual Lecture -Edinburgh 2 May 2018

Conflictoflaws - jeu, 04/05/2018 - 13:44

This year’s Forum Conveniens Annual Lecture at the University of Edinburgh will be held on Wednesday 2nd of May, 5.30 – 7 pm.
The speaker is Dr. Alex Mills, Reader in Public and Private International Law at University College London, on the topic: “Party Autonomy in Private International Law: The Privatisation of Global Governance?”
The venue is Raeburn Room, Old College, South Bridge, Edinburgh, EH8 9YL
The event is free but registration is required at https://forum_conveniens_2018.eventbrite.co.uk.

X v I: The Austrian Supreme Court on due diligence in choice of court under Brussels I Recast.

GAVC - jeu, 04/05/2018 - 07:07

Thank you Klaus Oblin for flagging OGH 7 Ob 183/17p X SE v I SpA (yet again I am happy to grumble that there is really no need to keep B2B litigation anonymous) at the Austrian Supreme Court. At issue is the application of Article 25 Brussels I Recast: when can consent to choice of court be established.

The facts of the case reflect repeated business practice: offers are made and accepted; a business relationship ensues on the basis of which further offers and orders are made; somewhere along the lines reference is made to general terms and conditions – GTCs which include choice of court. Can defendant be considered to have consented?

The Supreme Court, justifiably, lays the burden of proof with the claimant /plaintiff: if the contract is concluded through different offer and acceptance documents, the offer need only reference the terms and conditions containing the agreement conferring jurisdiction only if the other party: can follow-up on this with reasonable diligence; and actually receives the terms and conditions.

I am happy to refer to Klaus’ excellent overview (which also discussed the absence of established business practice between parties: one of the alternatives for showing choice of court). Yet again, the first and foremost quality required of lawyers (here: in-house counsel) emerges: ensure proper filing and compliance with simple procedure. Here: a clear flag of the GTCs in correspondence, and simple follow-up would have sufficed.

Geert.

(Handbook of) EU private international law, 2nd ed. 2016, Chapter 2, Heading 2.2.9.

The forthcoming Volume of the Japanese Yearbook of International Law

Conflictoflaws - mer, 04/04/2018 - 13:58

Béligh Elbalti, Associate Professor at Osaka University, Graduate School of Law and Politics, has kindly informed us that the forthcoming volume of the Japanese Yearbook of International Law (Vol. 60, 2017) will feature the following articles and case notes relating to private international law.

Articles

Uniform Law Treaties: Their Reception, Implementation, Success and Failure

Hirao Sano, Introductory Note (pp. 4-9)

Hirao Sano, Going Forward with Uniform Private Law Treaties: A Study in Japan’s Behavioral Pattern (pp. 10-58)

Tomotaka Fujita, When Does Japan Not Conclude Uniform Private Law Conventions? (pp. 59-85)

Souichirou Kozuka, The Selective Reception of Uniform Law in Asia (pp. 86-112)

Tetsuo Morishita, Successes and Failures of Harmonization of Commercial Laws (pp. 113-135)

Unilateralism and Multilateralism in Regulating Cross-border Business Transactions: Part Two

Yoshiaki Nomura, Fall of Extraterritoriality and Resurgence of Choice of Law in Global Securities Litigation (pp. 314-338)

Cases and Issues in Japanese Private International Law

Dai Yokomizo, Recognition of a Foreign Judgment on Children Born Through Surrogate Pregnancy (pp. 399-409)

As it has been the tradition since the creation of the Yearbook in 1959 (former The Japanese Annual of International Law), the forthcoming volume will also include English translations of a number of Japanese Court decisions relating to private international law.

Judicial Decisions in Japan

II. Private International Law

Supreme Court 1st Petty Bench), Judgment, March 10, 2016 (pp. 488-490)
International Adjudicatory jurisdiction over a Tort Claim – Special Circumstances- Defamation – Lis Pendens

Supreme Court 1st Petty Bench), Decision, June 2, 2016 (pp. 490-495)
Locus Standi – Civil Procedure Law – Party Authorized Charge of Litigation – Principle of Representation in Court by Attorney-at-law – Prohibition of Creating Trusts for Litigation

Tokyo High Court, Judgment, November 17, 2014 (pp. 495-498)
International Adjudicatory jurisdiction – Exclusive Choice of Court Agreement – Consumer Contracts – Redemption on Maturity – Alternative Claim for Damages Based on Tort- Article 3.4(1) of the Code of Civil Procedure- Public Policy

Intellectual Property High Court, Decision, March 25, 2015 (pp. 499-506)
Governing Law of Tort Claim – Defamation – International Adjudicatory jurisdiction for Tort Claim International Adjudicatory Jurisdiction Based on a Close Connection with an Anchor Claim

Tokyo District Court, Judgment, March 24, 2014 (pp. 506-509)
International Adjudicatory jurisdiction – Action to Oppose Enforcement of Arbitral Awards – Setoff

Tokyo District Court, Judgment, April 28, 2015 (pp. 509-512)
International Adjudicatory jurisdiction over a Tort Claim – Infringement of Intellectual Property Rights- Place of a Tort

Shizuoka District Court, Judgment, December 2, 2015 (pp. 512-517)
Applicable Law to Parental Authority – Parental Authority Under the Japanese Civil Code – Handing over a Child – Habitual Residence

Fukuoka District Court (Kokura Branch), Decision, December 4, 2015 (pp. 517-520)
Applicable Law to Maritime Lien – Applicable Law to Contractual Obligation Characteristic Performance – Vessel Auction

Kobe District Court, Decision, Janua1y 21, 2016 (pp. 520-522)
Applicable Law to Maritime Lien – Applicable Law to Contractual Obligation – Characteristic Pe1formance- Vessel Auction

Tokyo District Court, Interlocutory Judgment, February 15, 2016 (pp. 523-526)
International Adjudicatory jurisdiction over a Tort Claim – Validity of Exclusive Jurisdiction Clause-Anti-trust (Competition) Law

Tokyo District Court, Decision, September 26, 2016 (pp. 526-533)
Governing Law of Labor Contract – Application of Mandatory Provisions of the Law of the; Most Closely Connected Place to a Labor Contract – The Place Where the Work Should be Provided

More information on the Yearbook (former Annual) and the content of its past volumes is available at http://www.ilajapan.org/jyil/.

Praxis des Internationalen Privat- und Verfahrensrechts (IPRax) 2/2018: Abstracts

Conflictoflaws - mar, 04/03/2018 - 14:30

The latest issue of the „Praxis des Internationalen Privat- und Verfahrensrechts (IPRax)“ features the following articles:

H.-P. Mansel/K. Thorn/R. Wagner: European conflict of laws 2017: The Dawning of Interstate Treaties

The article provides an overview of developments in Brussels in the field of judicial cooperation in civil and commercial matters from December 2016 until December 2017. It summarizes current projects and new instruments that are presently making their way through the EU legislative process. It also refers to the laws enacted at the national level in Germany as a result of new European instruments. Furthermore, the authors look at areas of law where the EU has made use of its external competence. They discuss both important decisions and pending cases before the ECJ as well as important decisions from German courts pertaining to the subject matter of the article. In addition, the article also looks at current projects and the latest developments at the Hague Conference on Private International Law.

S. Huber/S. Geier-Thieme: Jurisdiction for Tort Claims under the European Rules of Jurisdiction in the case of Purely Economic Loss

The preliminary ruling of the ECJ in the case Universal Music concerns a situation where a person entered into an unfavourable contract with a third party due to the negligent behaviour of the alleged tortfeasor. In this context, the ECJ has clarified that the bank account, which the injured party used in order to fulfil the disadvantageous commitment, is not the decisive factor for establishing jurisdiction for a tort claim. This part of the decision is convincing. Otherwise, the claimant would be able to influence the place of jurisdiction by the simple choice between different bank accounts. The Court, however, missed the opportunity to determine the place of jurisdiction in cases of purely economic loss at the place where the primary damage occurred. The ECJ refers to the place where the injured party concluded a settlement agreement with the third party. This settlement agreement, however, only diminished the damage that had already occurred when the injured party had entered into the unfavourable contract with the third person. As such, the obligations that resulted from this contract to the detriment of the injured party constitute the primary damage. Under the rules of international private law, these obligations are situated where the debtor, i.e. the injured party, resides. It is true, that this allows the injured party to bring a claim in the courts of his home country, but such a result seems appropriate in situations as in the present case. The opposite approach of the ECJ leads to legal uncertainty and time-intensive disputes about the question of jurisdiction.

H. Dörner: “One-shotter“ versus „repeat player“ – Elucidation of Art. 13 para. 2 and Art. 11 para. 1 lit. b of the Regulation (EU) No 1215/2012

In the opinion of the European Court of Justice, the European “Regulation on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters” grants the persons referred to in Art. 13 para. 2 and 11 para. 1 lit. b an additional place of jurisdiction at their own domicile, because this group of persons is in each case the “economically weaker and legally less experienced party”. Since the granting of such a plaintiff’s legal status implies an improvement in procedural law, the idea arises that this is also supposed to compensate for deficiencies in the procedure. The author proposes to describe the relationship of the litigants and the structural inferiority of the respective plaintiffs utilizing the distinction between “one-shotter” and “repeat player” introduced by Marc Galanter. A one-shotter is an “Einmalprozessierer” who only occasionally uses the help of the courts, while the repeat player, as a “Vielfachprozessierer”, repeatedly performs similar processes in a certain area. By adopting this pair of terms, the subject matter can firstly be presented without contradiction and, in particular, the ECJ decision to be discussed here can be classified appropriately. Secondly, the diffuse construct of the “weaker party”, which depends on various variables, is attributed to a single criterion that can be verified empirically and is thus accessible to evidence, namely the extent of the parties’ process activity.

F. Koechel: Art. 26 of the Brussels I Regulation: The relevant moment for the challenge to jurisdiction and the notion of entering of an appearance

It is settled case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union that under Art. 26 of the Brussels Ibis Regulation the defendant may not challenge the jurisdiction of the court seized after he has made the submission which under national law is considered to be his first defence. In response to a request for a preliminary ruling by the Corte di Cassazione, the CJEU has now specified that the defendant may bring the challenge to the jurisdiction of the court seized even simultaneously with his first defence and in the alternative to other objections of procedure. While the CJEU defines the relevant moment for the challenge to jurisdiction autonomously, it does not introduce an autonomous notion of entering of an appearance for the purposes of Art. 26 of the Brussels Ibis Regulation but refers to the “first defence” under the law of the forum State. Therefore, the actual stage in the national proceedings until which the defendant can raise the lack of jurisdiction depends on which procedural act of the defendant is considered to be the first defence by the lex fori. The case law of German civil and labour courts on the matter is inconsistent. While civil courts already consider the defendant’s submissions in writing prior to the oral hearing as a “first defence”, the Regional Court of Aachen recently followed a more restrictive interpretation applied by labour courts, which necessarily require a submission during the contentious oral hearing. As this article argues, both civil and labour courts should consider submissions prior to the oral hearing as possible “first defences” by the defendant. Much rather than the stage of the proceedings, it is the subject of the defendant’s submission, which is decisive for its qualification as an entering of an appearance within the meaning of Art. 26 of the Brussels Ibis Regulation. The defendant should be deemed to have entered an appearance if the plaintiff and the court seized are able to objectively ascertain from the content of the submissions that it is aimed at a contested decision by the court on any question different than jurisdiction or at an amicable settlement with the participation of the court.

M. Gebauer: Can a jurisdiction agreement prevent the right of a defendant to set-off before German courts?

The decision, rendered by the German Federal Supreme Court (BGH), illustrates some of the problems that arise when the BGH is confronted with a claim of a substantive right to set-off by a German based defendant. The case involved a Chinese plaintiff seeking the purchase price of X-ray equipment delivered to a German defendant. The German defendant alleged deficiencies in the equipment and sought damages in an amount exceeding the plaintiff’s initial claim. The contract contained a jurisdiction agreement in favour of the courts of their respective domiciles. The BGH declined jurisdiction with regards to the setoff claim, despite a close connection between the alleged claim and the alleged right to set-off. The author considers a line of German jurisprudence dating back over forty years, in terms of which the BGH has consistently worked on the basis that a jurisdiction agreement in favour of the courts of the parties’ respective domiciles prevents any right of a German domiciled defendant to claim substantive set-off, in so far as the contract does not explicitly and unambiguously allow such a right. The author specifically questions the decision of the BGH in this case, together with its long-standing jurisprudence on the matter, in light of the Brussels I Regulation and wider European Union law, suggesting that the time is ripe for the matter to be re-visited by the Court of Justice of the European Union in the form of a preliminary reference.

W.-H. Roth: Drittstaatliche Eingriffsnormen und Rom I-Verordnung

The application of overriding mandatory provisions of states other than the forum is one of the much-discussed topics in academia, whereas its practical relevance, as yet, seems to be rather limited In the negotiations on the Rome I-Regulation a compromise with the United Kingdom led to Art. 9 (3), allowing for the application of such overriding mandatory provisions only under the very restrictive conditions set forth therein. In its Nikiforidis judgment the Court of Justice of the European Union stresses the exceptional character of Art. 9 vis-à-vis party autonomy and its relevance for legal certainty. Art. 9 (3) is attributed exhaustive character which prevents Member States to take any way around. In contrast, Member States are not precluded to take overriding mandatory rules into account as a matter of fact if provided for by the substantive law applicable to the contract (according to the general rules of the Rome I- Regulation). The principle of sincere cooperation (Art. 4 (3) EUT) does not lead to a different conclusion. It does not authorise the Member States to circumvent the preconditions set forth by Art. 9 Rome I-Regulation. The judgment of the Court is criticised for dealing with this fundamental principle just in a rather formal manner.

M. Makowsky: Land registration of fractional ownership in cases of a foreign matrimonial property regime

Land acquisition by spouses with a foreign matrimonial property regime plays an increasing role in practice. Yet, the land registration often causes difficulties, if the spouses wish the registration of sole or fractional ownership although the matrimonial property regime (regularly) provides for joint property. In this context, the decision of the Higher Regional Court of Munich confirms that the land registry must obtain knowledge of the applicable foreign law ex officio. Contrary to the Court’s opinion, however, an interim order, which obliges the applicant to obtain a legal opinion, should not be regarded as generally inadmissible by law. According to the predominant view, the land registry may only refuse the registration of sole or fractional ownership, if it is convinced that this would make the land register inaccurate with regard to the matrimonial property regime. In case of mere doubts regarding the foreign law, the registration is nonetheless subject to prior clarification. The opposing view of the Court is not convincing. Furthermore, the Higher Regional Court correctly affirms that the acquisition of sole or fractional ownership is possible under the Polish statutory matrimonial property regime. Contrary to the view of the Court, however, the land registry does not have to register sole or fractional ownership only because, in the abstract, the law provides for such an acquisition.

Seatrade: Ships as waste.

GAVC - mar, 04/03/2018 - 09:09

Rechtbank Rotterdam held on 15 March last that 4 ships owned and operated by the Sea Trade concern had to be regarded as waste when they left the port at Rotterdam cq Hamburg (they were eventually beached in a variety of destinations). Not having been notified as waste, their shipment was considered illegal and the concern as well as some of its employees consequently convicted. (Illegal waste shipments being a criminal offense).

The court decided not to refer to the CJEU on the application of the waste definition to ships, as it considered the issue to be acte clair. The court’s review of the legal framework is included in Heading 4.3.4. As such, the analysis does not teach us much about the difficulty of applying the waste definition to international maritime logistics, in particular ship disposal. The court found at a factual level that the owners’ intention to dispose of the ships was clearly established when the ships left the EU, with, it suggested, the facts proving that the intention to dispose was at that moment of such an intensity as to trigger the waste definition.

The court does flag its appreciation for the difficulties. Not only is eventual disposal of hardware such as ships a possibility from the moment of their purchase. Such intention may also be withdrawn, reinstated, modified, at various moments of the ships’ life, fluctuating with market circumstances. Particularly given the criminal nature of the legal discipline here, I find that a very important driver to tread very cautiously and to look for firmer objective factors to establish intent.

Most probably to be continued on appeal.

Geert.

(Handbook of ) EU Waste law, 2nd ed. 2017, para 1.20 ff. Disclosure: I acted as court expert.

 

 

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