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Coronavirus outbreak and force majeure certificate

Due to the outbreak, China has adopted a number of public health measures, including closing schools and workplaces, limiting public gatherings, restricting travel and movement of people, screening , quarantine and isolation. At least 48 cities were locked down by 14 Feb 2020. (here) More than two thirds of China’s migrant workers were unable to return to work, (see here) leaving those firms that have restarted operation running below capacity.  

Coronavirus and the emergency measures significantly affect economic activates in China. The China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT), a quasi-governmental entity, issued 3,325 force majeure certificates covering the combined contract value of $38.5bn to exempt Chinese companies from their contractual obligations.

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Indigenous Claims to Foreign Land: Update from Canada

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By Stephen G.A. Pitel, Faculty of Law, Western University

In 2013 two Innu First Nations sued, in the Superior Court of Quebec, two mining companies responsible for a mega-project consisting of multiple open-pit mines near Schefferville, Quebec and Labrador City, Newfoundland and Labrador. The Innu asserted a right to the exclusive use and occupation of the lands affected by the mega-project. They claimed to have occupied, since time immemorial, a traditional territory that straddles the border between the provinces of Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador.  They claimed a constitutional right to the land under s. 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982.

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Mareva injunctions in support of foreign proceedings

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In Bi Xiaoqing v China Medical Technologies [2019] SGCA 50, the Singapore Court of Appeal provided clarity on the extent of the court’s power to grant Mareva relief in support of foreign proceedings.

The first and second respondents were companies incorporated in the Cayman Islands and the British Virgin Islands. The action was pursued by the liquidators of the first respondent against the appellant, a Singapore citizen, who was formerly involved in the management of the respondents and allegedly misappropriated funds from them.

Hong Kong proceedings were commenced first and a worldwide Mareva injunction was granted against, inter alia, the appellant. The terms of the Hong Kong injunction specifically identified assets in Singapore.

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By Gaurav Chaliya and Nishtha Ojha. The authors are third year students at the National Law University, Jodhpur, India.

Introduction

In 2018, around 47 entities forming the part of corporate groups were reported to be in debt which reflects the necessity of having an effective cross-border legal framework. The flexibility in the framework of cross border insolvency helps in overcoming the hurdles encountered in cross border disputes. This framework essentially girdles around the principle of coordination and cooperation and in consonance with these principles the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal [“NCLAT”] in Jet Airways case has extended these principles by providing sufficient rights to Dutch trustee and observed that

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By Stephen G.A. Pitel, Faculty of Law, Western University

Eritrean mine workers who fled from that country to British Columbia sued the mine’s owner, Nevsun Resources Ltd. They sought damages for various torts including battery, false imprisonment and negligence. They also sought damages for breaches of customary international law. Their core allegation was that as conscripted labourers in Eritrea’s National Service Program, they were forced to work in the mine in intolerable conditions and Nevsun was actively involved in this arrangement.

Nevsun moved to strike out all of the claims on the basis of the act of state doctrine. It also moved to strike out the proceedings based on violations of customary international law because they were bound to fail as a matter of law.

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Report written by Tine Van Hof, researcher at the University of Antwerp

On the 13th and 14th of February 2020, the Academy of European Law (ERA) organized a conference on ‘Recent ECtHR Case Law in Family Matters’. This conference was held in Strasbourg and brought together forty participants coming from twenty-one different countries. This report will set out some of the issues addressed at the conference.

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This note addresses the question whether there is a common law basis for the recognition of foreign declarations of parentage. It appears that this issue has not received much attention in common law jurisdictions, but it was the subject of a relatively recent Privy Council decision (C v C [2019] UKPC 40).

The issue arises where a foreign court or judicial authority has previously determined that a person is, or is not, a child’s parent, and the question of parentage then resurfaces in the forum (for example, in the context of parentage proceedings or maintenance proceedings). If there is no basis for recognition of the foreign declaration, the forum court will have to consider the issue de novo (usually by applying the law of the forum: see, eg, Status of Children Act 1969 (NZ)). This would increase the risk of “limping” parent-child relationships (that is, relationships that are recognised in some countries but not in others) – a risk that is especially problematic in the context of children born by way of surrogacy or assisted human reproduction technology.

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Can a foreign marriage be recognised in the UK if the State where it was celebrated is not recognised as a State? This was the question which the High Court of Justice (Family Division) had to answer in MM v NA: [2020] EWHC 93 (Fam).

The Court distilled two questions: was the marriage validly celebrated and if so, can it be recognised in the UK? If the answers to both questions were affirmative, the court could give a declaratory order; if one of them were negative, the parties could celebrate a new marriage in the UK.

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by José Antonio Briceño Laborí, Professor of Private International Law, Universidad Central de Venezuela y Universidad Católica Andrés Bello

In 2019 the Venezuelan Private International Law (hereinafter “PIL”) academic community made clear that, despite all the difficulties, it remains active and has the energy to expand its activities and undertake new challenges.

As an example of this we have, firstly, the different events in which our professors have participated and the diversity of topics developed by them, among which the following stand out:

  • XI Latin American Arbitration Conference, Asunción, Paraguay, May 2019 (Luis Ernesto Rodríguez – How is tecnology impacting on arbitration?)
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As reported previously, the ECtHR was asked by the French Cour de cassation for an advisory opinion on the legal parentage of children born through surrogacy arrangement. In its answer, the Court considered that the right to respect for private life (article 8 of ECHR) requires States parties to provide a possibility of recognition of the child’s legal relationship with the intended mother. However, according to the Court, a State is not required, in order to achieve such recognition, to register the child’s birth certificate in its civil status registers. It also declared that adoption can serve as a means of recognizing the parent-child relationship.

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