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The renaissance of the Blocking Statute

Written by Markus Lieberknecht, Institute for Comparative Law, Conflict of Laws and International Business Law (Heidelberg)

Quite a literal “conflict of laws” has recently arisen when the EU reactivated its Blocking Statute in an attempt to deflect the effects of U.S. embargo provisions against Iran. As a result, European parties doing business with Iran are now confronted with a dilemma where compliance with either regime necessitates a breach of the other. This post explores some implications of the Blocking Statute from a private international law perspective.

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Guest post by Dr. Stefano Dominelli of the University of Milan

In recent times, the European Commission has investigated the possibility of amending Regulation 1393/2007 on the service of judicial and extra-judicial documents between Member States. Such instrument has already settled some issues practitioners encountered under the application of the previous legal framework, in particular related to the administrative cooperation regime, the linguistic exception to service, and direct service by registered mail – or equivalent measure.

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The European Law Institute (ELI) has launched in 2017 a project on The Protection of Adults in International Situations.

The adults to which the project refers are persons aged 18 or more who are not in a position to protect their interests due to an impairment or insufficiency of their personal faculties.

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Blockchain Networks and European Private International Law

Written by Anton S. Zimmermann, Institute for Comparative Law, Conflict of Laws and International Business Law (Heidelberg)

Blockchain technology and its offspring have recently attracted considerable attention in both media and scholarship. Its decentralised nature raises several legal questions. Among these are, for example, the challenges that blockchain technology poses to data protection laws and the threats it creates with regard to the effective enforcement of legal claims.

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Written by Veerle Van Den Eeckhout

On 23 November 2018 the Dutch Supreme Court referred a question for preliminary ruling to the CJEU in a case with regard to labour conditions of Hungarian truck drivers, particularly with regard to the Posting of Workers Directive, 96/71/EC (see here for the Dutch version, see here for the decision of the same day).

The preliminary question will certainly attract the attention of many who have a particular interest in the specific theme of labour conditions of mobile East European workers – a theme in which rules of Private International Law matter.

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This blog post presents a condensed version of Dr Mukarrum Ahmed’s (Lancaster University) article in the December 2018 issue of the Journal of Private International Law. The blog post includes specific references to the actual journal article to enable the reader to branch off into the detailed discussion. The journal article is a companion publication to the author’s recent book titled The Nature and Enforcement of Choice of Court Agreements: A Comparative Study (Oxford, Hart Publishing 2017).

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By Prof. Dr. Peter Mankowski, University of Hamburg

The Greek State financial crisis has sent waves of political turmoil throughout the Eurozone and is certainly going to continue. It has provided much enrichment for International Procedural Law, yet not for the creditors of Greek State bonds. ‘Haircut’ has become an all too familiar notion and part of the Common Book of Prayers of State bonds. Some creditors, particularly from Germany and Austria, were not content with having their hair cut involuntarily and put it to the judicial test. Greece has thrown every hurdle in their way which she could possibly muster: service, immunity, lack of international jurisdiction. The service issue was sorted out by the CJEU in Fahnenbrock (Joined Cases C-226/13 et al., ECLI:EU:C:2015:383), already back in 2015. The German BGH and the Austrian OGH took fairly different approaches, the former granting immunity to Greece because of the haircut, the latter proceeding towards examining the heads of international jurisdiction under the Brussels Ibis Regulation. Quite consequently, the OGH referred some question concerning Art. 7 (1) Brussels Ibis Regulation to the CJEU.

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Legal Aid Reform in the Netherlands: LASPO 2.0?

Written by Jos Hoevenaars, Erasmus University Rotterdam (postdoc researcher ERC project Building EU Civil Justice)

Early November, the Dutch Minister of Legal Protection Sander Dekker presented his plans for the overhaul of the Dutch system for subsidized legal aid. In his letter of 9 November 2018 to Parliament Dekker cites the increasing costs of subsidized legal aid over the past two decades (42% in 17 years) as one of the primary reasons underlying the need for reform.

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Current policy discussions on ADR/ODR in France: towards greater regulation for the Legaltech?

By Alexandre Biard, Erasmus University Rotterdam (postdoc researcher ERC project Building EU Civil Justice)

In April 2018, the French government published a new draft legislation aimed at reforming and modernizing the French Justice system (Projet de loi de programmation 2018-2022 et de réforme pour la Justice). Among other things, the proposal is likely to trigger some significant changes in the French ADR/ODR landscape, and may have important consequences for the future development of the legaltech. The proposal is currently discussed before the French Parliament and Senate. The following elements should be noted:

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By Friederike Henke, Advocaat & Rechtsanwältin at Buren in Amsterdam

The international demand for English language dispute resolution is increasing as the English language is commonly used in international trade and contracts as well as correspondence, not only between the trading partners themselves, but also by international parties, their legal departments and their advisors. Use of the English language in legal proceedings is expected to save time and money for translations and language barriers in general.

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