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

It contains several casenotes and one article, authored by Professor Andrea Bonomi (Lausanne University): « La compétence internationale en matière de divorce. Quelques suggestions pour une (improbable) révision du règlement Bruxelles IIbis ».

A full table of contents is available here.


On 14 December 2017  the CJEU has ruled on the scope of the Regulation (EC) No 805/2004  European Enforcement Order for uncontested claims – Case C-66/17.

As stated by the CJEU, ‘Article 4(1) and Article 7 of Regulation (EC) No 805/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 April 2004 creating a European Enforcement Order for uncontested claims must be interpreted as meaning that an enforceable decision on the amount of costs related to court proceedings, contained in a judgment which does not relate to an uncontested claim, cannot be certified as a European Enforcement Order.’

In other words, given the definition of an uncontested claim, a EEO can be issued only in relation to a condemnatory decision, not in relation to a declaratory one.

Facts and main proceedings

Mr and Mrs Chudas had brought a declaratory action before a Polish court of first instance to establish whether they had acquired the right of ownership over a motor vehicle. The DA Deutsche Allgemeine Versicherung Aktiengesellschaft (Germany) was summoned to appear in the proceedings as defendant, but did not appear.

The court delivered a default judgment, in which it held that Mr and Mrs Chuda? had acquired the right of ownership over the motor vehicle and ordered DA Deutsche Allgemeine Versicherung Aktiengesellschaft to pay the costs of the proceedings. Mr and Mrs Chudas then initiated the procedure in order to have to the costs of the proceedings certified as a European Enforcement Order.

The District court had doubts as to whether the type of decision felt within the substantive scope of the Regulation No 805/2004 and referred following question to the Court of Justice for a preliminary ruling.

Question for a preliminary ruling

[24] ‘Should Article 4(1) of Regulation … No 805/2004 …, read in conjunction with Article 7 of that regulation, be interpreted as meaning that a European Enforcement Order certificate may be issued in respect of a decision concerning reimbursement of the costs of proceedings contained in a judgment in which a court has established the existence of a right?’

Main considerations

According to the CJEU,

[31] Article 4(1) of that regulation defines a ‘judgment’ as encompassing any judgment given by a court or tribunal of a Member State, including ‘the determination of costs or expenses by an officer of the court’. Second, an enforceable decision on the amount of costs related to the court proceedings amounts, in principle, to a ‘claim’ within the meaning of the definition of that term provided by Article 4(2) of the regulation.

[32]  However, as has been noted in paragraph 29 of the present judgment, under the specific provisions governing costs related to court proceedings laid down in Article 7 of Regulation No 805/2004, a decision on the amount of such costs cannot be certified as a European Enforcement Order independently of a judgment on an uncontested claim. In so far as the decision on those costs is intrinsically linked to the outcome of the principal action, which alone justifies the certification of a judgment as a European Enforcement Order, the definitions laid down in Article 4 of that regulation cannot affect the applicability of the regulation.


An international seminar on new procedural legislation in civil and family matters will be held from 13 to 15 February 2018 in Toluca, Mexico. This seminar is being supported by the Conferencia Nacional de Gobernadores (Conago – National Conference of Governors) and there is no registration fee. There will be speakers from Argentina, Mexico, Spain and Germany.

This seminar will showcase two important Mexican initiatives: the draft National Law on Private International Law and the future National Code of Civil and Family Procedure. The former is an initiative of the Mexican Academy of Private International and Comparative Law (Amedip) and other stakeholders. The latter is the result of a groundbreaking reform by the Mexican Congress passed last year which intends to put in place one single code of procedure in civil and family matters in all Mexican states (32) (to replicate the recent experience in criminal matters). This is particularly interesting given that Mexico is a federal State and each state has competence to legislate on matters of civil procedure and as a result, has passed its own code.

For more information, click here for the seminar’s programme or contact


Bilingual Moot Court Conflict of Laws Sciences Po

Thanks to Horatia Muir Watt and Hélène van Lith for this post

PAX MOOT  – Bilingual Moot Court Conflict of Laws/Droit International Privé – 6th EDITION

Sciences Po – Law School / école de droit

Sciences Po Law School is delighted to announce the 6th edition of the inter-university Private international law Moot Competition. Sciences Po Law School has been organizing a bilingual moot court on Private International Law in the past 5 years. This 6th edition will be going global and will be called the PAX Moot.

The inter-university PAX Moot will include teams from universities in Europe and beyond. We thank the following institutions for their support and willingness to open the competition to their students: Sorbonne University Paris I, London School of Economics, HEC, Heidelberg University, Luxembourg University, Cambridge University, University College London (UCL), King’s College London, University of Antwerp, Erasmus University, Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Sciences Po Law School. Participation is also open to US exchange students from Harvard, Columbia, Duke, Northwestern, Northeastern, Duke and Penn law schools. Registration is (still) possible until January 31th 2018.

The concept and goal of the PAX Moot is to study and apply private international law for the resolution of cross border disputes through a concrete problem “the Case” and to train law students and practitioners of tomorrow in arguing and analysing complex global legal questions in international litigation.

The Jury of the PAX Moot consists of panels of Moot Court Judges. In previous years, it has comprised at least three professional judges, faculty professors, practicing lawyers, or members of the Hague Conference of Private international law.

The hypothetical case concerns a cross border climate change dispute and includes a number of complex transnational legal questions in Private International Law will be made available to participants on January 31th 2018.

The PAX Moot will consist in oral arguments only and will take place in two rounds: A General Eliminatory Round to be held in Paris at the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and a Final Round will be held in The Hague, symbolising the “legal capital of the world” and home of The Hague Conference of Private International Law, which also marks its 125th anniversary.

The PAX MOOT Prize for the best and winning Mooters consist of an internship with the international commercial litigation departments of renowned law firms such as Nauta Dutilh, Amsterdam.

Inquiries can be addressed to Dr. Hélène van Lith by email at


On February 26th, a workshop on the organization of databases on European civil procedural law will take place at the Max-Planck-Institute (MPI) Luxembourg. The workshop is part of a research project in which the MPI is participating together with major European Universities (Complutense, Milan, Rotterdam, Wroclaw), coordinated by Prof. Jan von Hein, Freiburg (the so called IC2BE project: Informed Choices in Cross-Border Enforcement). The final aim of the project is to assess the working in practice of the “second generation” of EU regulations on procedural law for cross-border cases, i.e., the European Enforcement Order, Order for Payment, Small Claims (as amended by Regulation (EU) 2015/2421) and the Account Preservation Order Regulations. In this framework, we intend to create a data base of national case law. With the input of experts from the Commission and the CJEU on the one hand, and from potential users of the data base on the other, the workshop will explore the possible content and design of such a data base.

As part of the knowledge dissemination strategy, we would like to open the workshop to practitioners (or senior academics) interested in the application of the above mentioned Regulations to apply for an invitation to the workshop. A selection will be made based on a short CV/explanation for being professionally interested in the topics discussed. The invitation would cover the travel expenses and one night accommodation in Luxembourg.

Date: Monday 26th February 2018, from (approx.) 9.30 am to 5 pm. A dinner will take place the day before for those arriving on Sunday 25th.

Venue: Max Planck Institute Luxembourg

Contact person:

Deadline for applications: 1st February.




Deference to Foreign Sovereign Submissions

Following up on my previous post here, the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari on January 12, 2018 in Animal Science Products, Inc. v. Hebei Welcome Pharmaceutical Co. (No. 16-1220).  The grant was limited to the following question presented:

Whether a court may exercise independent review of an appearing foreign sovereign’s interpretation of its domestic law (as held by the Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eleventh, and D.C. Circuits), or whether a court is “bound to defer” to a foreign government’s legal statement, as a matter of international comity, whenever a foreign government appears before the court (as held by the opinion below in accord with the Ninth Circuit).

For some of my thoughts on this question, offered well in advance of this case, see here.



It has not yet been mentioned on this blog that the Münchener Kommentar zum Bürgerlichen Gesetzbuch, Vols. 11 and 12, is now available in its seventh edition (2018). This work is a standard treatise not only on German private international law, but on European PIL as well. The new edition contains detailed commentaries on the Rome I, II and III Regulations (by Abbo Junker, Munich; Dieter Martiny, Hamburg/Frankfurt [Oder], Ulrich Spellenberg, Bayreuth, Peter Winkler von Mohrenfels, Rostock), the Hague Protocol on Maintenance (Ansgar Staudinger, Bielefeld) and the European Succession Regulation (Anatol Dutta, Munich). It also contains an introduction to the new EU Regulations on Matrimonial Property and Registered Partnerships (by Dirk Looschelders, Düsseldorf). The relevant Hague Conventions on the Protection of Children and Adults are commented on as well (by Bettina Heiderhoff, Münster, Ansgar Staudinger, Bielefeld and Volker Lipp, Göttingen). The seventh edition is the second one prepared by Jan von Hein (Freiburg/Germany) as volume editor, who has updated the commentary on the general principles of European and German PIL.

From reviews of the 6th edition (2015):

„A battle cruiser of private international law has been set on a new course“ (IPRax 2015, 387).

„…a truly indispensable work“ (Ludwig Bergschneider, FamRZ 2015, 1364).

Further information is available on the publisher’s website here.


A working paper authored by Prof. Dr. Dres. h.c. Burkhard Hess, where he contests with strong arguments the suitability of the Lugano Convention (2007) to serve as a bridge between the UK and the EU after Brexit, has just been published at the MPI Luxembourg Working-Paper Series. 

In the current discussion on the post-Brexit judicial cooperation in civil and commercial matters, many consider the ratification of the 2007 Lugano Convention (LC) by the United Kingdom as a suitable avenue for an alignment of the UK with the current regime of European co-operation. Similarly, the UK government has already shown some sympathy for this option. So far, the European Commission has not endorsed any official position.

At first sight, the 2007 Lugano Convention appears an ideal tool for maintaining the core of the existing system of judicial cooperation between the EU and the UK: Although the LC has not been amended to reflect the latest changes (and improvements) introduced with the Brussels Ibis Regulation, it nevertheless provides for the essential provisions of the Brussels regime on jurisdiction, pendency and recognition and enforcement. In addition, Protocol No 2 to the LC requires the courts of non EU Member States only to “pay due account” to the case-law of the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) on the Brussels I Regulation. Hence, Protocol No 2 might provide an acceptable way for British courts to respect the case-law of the ECJ – without being bound by it – in the post-Brexit scenario.

However, as I am going to argue in this posting, the 2007 Lugano Convention is not the appropriate instrument to align judicial cooperation between the United Kingdom and the European Union after Brexit. In the first part, I will briefly summarize the functioning of Protocol No 2 of the LC, as demonstrated by the practice of the Swiss Federal Tribunal. The second part will address the cultural divergences between the continental and the common private international and procedural laws by making use of two examples related to the Brussels I Regulation: the scheme of arrangement, on the one hand, and anti-suit injunctions, on the other hand. As I will explain in my conclusions, only a bilateral agreement between the European Union and the United Kingdom can offer a solution which is suitable and acceptable for both sides.

To continue reading click here.


The Apostille Handbook was originally published in the official languages of the Hague Conference, English and French, and is also available in Greek, Spanish, and Vietnamese.  All language versions are available here.


On December 21, 2017, the Japanese Supreme Court rendered a decision on the Hague Abduction Convention.  The Court upheld a lower court decision in favor of the Japanese mother, even though she  had turned back on her promise to return the kids from a visit to Japan, and even though that same court had earlier issued a return order in favor of the American father. The matter had received international press attention, and even a Congressional subcommittee hearing.

Japan had long refused to join the Hague Convention, and when it did, in 2014, critical observers already expected that courts would find ways to undermine it. Those observers see themselves vindicated.

Colin Jones reports critically on the decision; he has previously written on Japan’s joining the Convention and on reluctance to enforce it. Useful background from the Law Library of Congress is here.

Japanese accession to the Convention has been a frequent scholarly topic, both in Japan and elsewhere. Yuko Nishitani, who had already written about “International Child Abduction in Japan” in (2006) 8 Yearbook of  Private International Law 125-143, and who wrote a long report (in Japanese) for the Japanese Ministry in 2010, provided a brief  analysis in 2011.  Dai Yokomizo discussed the accession in (2012) Revue critique 799; Jun Yokohama did so in the Mélanges van Loon (2013, pp 661-72).  Vol. 57 (2014) of the Japanese Yearbook of International Law contains articles by Tatsuki Nishioka and Takako Tsujisaka, Masayuki Tanamura, Masako Murakami, Martina Erb-Klünemann, and Nigel Vaughan Lowe.  Takeshi Hamano helpfully explains the Japanese reluctance with regard to the Japanese ideology of the family. Outside of Japanese authors, Barbara Stark and Paul Hanley wrote most recently in the United States; the topic is also addressed in several student  notes. The accession was also discussed by Bengt Schwemann (in German) and Francisco Barberán Pelegrín (in Spanish).