Latest Issue of “Praxis des Internationalen Privat- und Verfahrensrechts” (4/2010)

Recently, the July/August issue of the German law journal “Praxis des Internationalen Privat- und Verfahrensrechts” (IPRax) was published.

Here is the contents:

  • Christoph Thole: “Anscheinsbeweis und Beweisvereitelung im harmonisierten Europäischen Kollisionsrecht – ein Prüfstein für die Abgrenzung zwischen lex causae und lex fori” – the English abstract reads as follows:

The harmonisation of European private international law has been heavily debated. However, the new Rome Regulations (Rome I and II) have not been fully scrutinized with respect to the distinction between procedural law and substantive law and its implications for the applicability of the lex fori-principle. This article focuses on two well-known issues of civil procedure law – prima facie evidence and obstruction of evidence. It examines the difficult question of how to deal with these legal institutes in private international law under the regime of the Rome Regulations.

  • Götz Schulze: “Moralische Forderungen und das IPR” – the English abstract reads as follows:

Moral claims articulate ethical positions of values which are hardly considered in the judicial discourse. This article first shows the moral implications of judicial claims in the field of the substantive civil law, which can be denominated as “minima moralia” of the civil law. Furthermore, moral claims exist as a social phenomenon. Their characteristic is the indeterminableness in claiming for an intrinsically pursued purpose which is regarded to be a good one. In Private International Law the ethical axiom of mutual recognition obtains a specific meaning. There, recognition refers to the claim of the other for being recognised. Thereby the other in Private International Law can be both, the individual and the state. The claims for identity of states and individuals are shaped by the law. The law of a state has to be acknowledged as a cultural achievement. Therefore, if there is a strong link to the facts, legal ethics demand an application of foreign law as a question of respecting state and individual. Beyond cosmopolitically conceived legal ethics demand to amend the applied law by cultural virtues. The judicial “gateways” for such ethical aspects are the general clauses like the good faith. Thus, the “moral-data”-doctrine of Jayme obtains a legitimation by legal ethics. Furthermore, ethical virtues may gain recognition in non-governmental treaties such as the Washington-Conference-Principles on Nazi-Confiscated Art. For provisions that articulate moral claims without comprehending an enforceable legal consequence Jayme has developed the term “narrative norms”. They allow to balance contradicting moral positions and claims by finding a compromise instead of strict all-or-nothing-results. This can be shown on the basis of the ruling in the Sachs-case, which has dealt with the restitution of Nazi-Confiscated art-posters (Kammergericht Berlin on 28 January 2010).

  •  Rolf Wagner/Ulrike Janzen: “Das Lugano-Übereinkommen vom 30.10.2007” – the English abstract reads as follows:

The revised Lugano Convention has entered into force on 1 January 2010 between the EU, Norway and Denmark. Switzerland will probably join the Convention in 2011. The aim of the Lugano revision was to achieve parallelism between the provisions of Regulation (EC) No. 44/2001 (“Brussels I”) and the Lugano Convention, as it had existed between the Lugano Convention of 1988 and the Brussels Convention of 1968. In addition, as the ECJ has decided the Lugano Convention falls entirely within exclusive Community competence, the EU Member States (except Denmark) are no longer Contracting Parties to the Convention. This article explains the history and the concept of the “new” Lugano Convention. Further on it aims at exposing the differences between the “old” and the “new” Lugano Convention as well as the latter’s relationship with Regulation No. 44/2001.

  • Christian Schmitt: “Reichweite des ausschließlichen Gerichtsstandes nach Art. 22 Nr. 2 EuGVVO” – the English abstract reads as follows:

This article analyzes the scope of exclusive jurisdiction pursuant to Art. 22 no. 2 of the Brussels I-Regulation („Brussels I“). Besides investigating whether Art. 22 no. 2 of Brussels I is merely applicable to formal organ decisions, it mainly deals with the question whether preliminary questions have to be considered in determining the matter in dispute. The ratio of Art. 22 no. 2 Brussels I is to avoid contradictory decisions about the existence of the company and the effectiveness of its organ’s decisions. Taking into consideration this ratio and the established case law by the ECJ which leads to a restrictive interpretation of the provisions of Art. 22 of Brussels I, this article comes to the conclusion that Art. 22 no. 2 of Brussels I is not applicable to cases in which the effectiveness of the organ’s decision is merely a preliminary question.

  • Marius Kohler/Markus Buschbaum:” Die „Anerkennung“ öffentlicher Urkunden? – Kritische Gedanken über einen zweifelhaften Ansatz in der EU-Kollisionsrechtsvereinheitlichung” – the English abstract reads as follows:

On October 14th, 2009 the European Commission presented a proposal for a Regulation on jurisdiction, applicable law, recognition and enforcement of decisions and authentic instruments in matters of succession and the creation of a European Certificate of Succession. The proposed Regulation is aimed at unifying and simplifying the rules governing successions, increasing their predictability and providing more effective guarantees for the rights of heirs and/or legatees and other persons linked to the deceased, as well as creditors of the succession. In this context, the proposal is also aimed at guaranteeing that authentic instruments in matters of succession can move freely in the European Union. To this end the European Commission proposes to simply transfer the well-known concept of recognition as is used to enable the cross-border circulation of judicial decisions to authentic instruments. Kohler/Buschbaum seize upon this approach which they criticize as being inapt and even harmful to the objective of strengthening the free circulation of authentic instruments. In particular, it turns out that the approach chosen by the Commission would even serve to circumvent the – harmonised – provisions of Private International Law on validity and legal effects of the legal acts underlying authentic instruments. A French version of the article is available under www.iprax.de.

  • Paul Oberhammer: “Im Holz sind Wege: EuGH SCT ./. Alpenblume und der Insolvenztatbestand des Art. 1 Abs. 2 lit. b EuGVVO” – the English abstract reads as follows:

Three decades after the ECJ decision in the case Gourdain ./. Nadler, the ECJ has rendered three decisions relating to the scope of application of the Brussels I Regulation and the Insolvency Regulation with respect to litigation emerging from insolvency proceedings in 2009 (Seagon ./. Deko Marty Belgium, SCT Industri ./. Alpenblume and German Graphics ./. van der Schee). The contribution discusses the procedural history, the relevant issues and future effects of the ECJ’s decision SCT Industri ./. Alpenblume in detail.

  • Moritz Brinkmann: “Der Aussonderungsstreit im internationalen Insolvenzrecht – Zur Abgrenzung zwischen EuGVVO und EuInsVO” – the English abstract reads as follows:

In German Graphics, a German title retention seller tried to enforce in the Netherlands an order for the adoption of protective measures by a German court against the trustee of the Dutch buyer. On a reference by the Hoge Raad, the ECJ clarified that Art. 25 II EuInsVO must be interpreted as meaning that the words “provided that that Convention is applicable” imply that it is necessary to determine whether a judgment falls inside the scope of application of the EuGVVO. Thus, the case raised once more the question of the scope of the exception provided for in Art. 1 II lit. b) EuGVVO, this time in a recognition and enforcement context. The court held that a seller’s claim based on his reservation of title does not fall under Art. 1 II lit. b) EuGVVO.

In his comment, Moritz Brinkmann argues that the court’s reasoning in German Graphics is convincing with respect to title reservation clauses. Here, the seller tries to recover a piece of property that is not part of the buyer’s estate. Such a claim is independent of the buyer’s insolvency and is not related to the insolvency proceedings. The mere fact that the order has to be enforced against the trustee is irrelevant. Title reserveration clauses, however, must be carefully dinstinguished from situations where the claimant is the owner of the asset in question by virtue of a fiduciary transfer of ownership for security purposes. Under such circumstances tha claim of the secured creditor – who is technically the owner – might nevertheless be characterized as a claim falling under Art. 1 II lit. b) EuGVVO. The author, furthermore, shows the consequences of the ECJ’s decision for the validity of choice of court clauses.

  • Jan von Hein: “Die Produkthaftung des Zulieferers im Europäischen Internationalen Zivilprozessrecht” – the English abstract reads as follows:

The most recent decision of the ECJ on Article 5 No 3 of the Brussels I-Regulation, Zuid-Chemie v. Philippo’s, deals with the interpretation of the provision in a case involving product liability. The ECJ held that the place where the harmful event occurred’ designates the place where the initial damage occurred as a result of the normal use of the product for the purpose for which it was intended. Jan von Hein agrees with the decision, but criticises the lack of harmonisation of Art. 5 (3) of Brussels I with the new provision on the law applicable to claims for product liability in Article 5 of the Rome II-Regulation. He examines in detail whether and to which extent a harmonious interpretation of the two provisions is possible. He comes to the conclusion that the diverging policies and methodological foundations underlying Art. 5 No. 3 Brussels I, which follows the traditional principle of ubiquity, on the one hand, and Art. 5 Rome II, which is a variation of the cascade system of connecting factors pioneered by the Hague Convention on Product Liability, on the other, will inevitably lead to scenarios where jurisdiction and the applicable law do not coincide.

  • Bettina Heiderhoff: “Einzelheiten zur öffentlichen Zustellung” – the English abstract reads as follows:

The due and timely serving of documents, especially those instituting proceedings (writ of summons), is an essential element of judicial proceedings. However, when the address of the recipient (respondent to the claim) is unknown, most European legal systems allow service by publication. In the two cases at hand, the courts had to deal with the prerequisites of such a service by publication. The German Federal High Court (BGH) decided that service by publication may be excluded when the claimant has not invested enough effort in to discovering the address of the defendant. From a general perspective, this attitude seems convincing as it is important that fictitious forms of service be avoided whenever possible. It seems less convincing, however, that, through the introduction of the requirement of “sufficient effort”, the rules on service by publication (and, in particular, foreign rules) are softened and legal certainty and predictability are reduced.

  • Reinhold Geimer: “Zurück zum Reichsgericht: Irrelevanz der merger-Theorien – Kein Wahlrecht mehr bei der Vollstreckbarerklärung”

The article analyses a judgment given by the German Federal Court of Justice (BGH, 2 July 2009, IX ZR 152/06) confirming the predominant opinion according to which an exequatur decision given by a third state cannot be declared enforceable in other states. In derogation from a previous judgment (BGH, 27 March 1984 – IX ZR 24/83) according to which the principle of the inadmissibility of double exequatur does not apply in case of the application of the doctrine of merger, the BGH now held that also in these cases there was no reason to derogate from this principle and thus returned to the approach adopted already by the Supreme Court of the German Reich.

  • Maximilian Seibl: “Kollisionsrechtliche Probleme im Zusammenhang mit einem Mietwagenunfall im Ausland – Anknüpfungsgrundsätze, Haftungsbeschränkung und grobe Fahrlässigkeit” – the English abstract reads as follows:

Traffic accidents abroad prove to be one of the most relevant matters in the area of International Tort Law. As the Convention of 4 May 1971 on the law applicable to traffic accidents has not been signed by Germany the question as to which law governs such cases must be answered by the general International Tort Law provisions, i.e. by the Regulation (EC) No. 864/2007 (Rome II) or, in older cases, by Art. 40 EGBGB. The Federal Court of Justice of Germany (BGH) had to decide on a case in which two medical students had spent three months in South Africa together in order to pass practical education required for their studies. During their stay they had commonly rented a car. Both of them had assumed that the insurance modalities in South Africa in case of an accident were comparable to those in Germany, so that they had not contracted private insurance offered by the car rental company. In fact there was only the so-called “South African Road Accident Fund” which offered victims of car accidents compensation to the amount of 25.000 South African Rand (ca. 3.000 e) at that time. Since one of the students was not accustomed to driving on the left, she caused an accident after turning into a National Road resulting in severe injuries to the other. The BGH held that according to Art. 40 (2) EGBGB German law as the lex domicilii communis was applicable in the case. As the application of this rule can lead to a situation where strict liability applies to the keeper of the car while there is no insurance available, there is a controversy in German literature as to whether or not this rule should be applied if rented cars are involved. However, in this case the BGH provided a solution in the area of substantive law by assuming the existence of a tacit nonliability clause, which generally proves to meet the interests of the parties involved better than a modification of the Private International Law provision. In respect to classification the question as to whether or not such a clause can actually be assumed to have been concluded is a question of the law applicable to the contract, which was German law in the case. On the other hand it is up to the applicable tort law to decide as to whether or not such a clause is effective. Since German law, however, was also applicable in respect to tort matters, there was no problem concerning a possible restriction on the effectivity of the tacit clause in the present case. As a result the driver in the case would only have been liable if she had acted with gross negligence. On principle, the standards of conduct derive from local data whose applicability does not depend on the respective International Tort Law provision. However, in case a lex domicilii communis exists, the standards of conduct in respect to the relation of passengers in the same car must be taken from this law, insofar it makes no difference whether the tortuous act was committed inland or abroad. Since the condition for gross negligence according to German law had not been met in the case, the BGH found for the defendant.

  • Anna Radjuk: “Grenzen der Anwendung des ausländischen Rechts in Russland” – the English abstract reads as follows:

In Russia, International Private Law was recently newly codified into the Russian Civil Code. Among others, new provisions with regard to the imperative norms and public policy were implemented. The present article investigates the impact of the imperative norms and public policy on the freedom of choice of law both in theory and practice from the time of the new codification.

  • Christian Hoppe: “Englisch als Verfahrenssprache – Möglichkeiten de lege lata und de lege ferenda”

The article presents a current attempt in Germany to admit – in certain cases – English as the language of procedure. Two German states (“Bundesländer”), North Rhine-Westphalia and Hamburg have presented a legislative proposal according to which special chambers for international commercial matters should be introduced which should, according to the proposal, litigate in English.

  • Erik Jayme/ Carl Friedrich Nordmeier on a seminar held on 12 November 2009 at the “Pontifícia Unversidade Católica” in Rio de Janeiro on international maintenance law: “Neue Wege im Internationalen Unterhaltsrecht: Parteiautonomie und Privatisierung des ordre public Seminar in Rio de Janeiro”
  • Erik Jayme on a conference held in Heidelberg on living wills and private international law: “Patientenverfügung und Internationales Privatrecht Tagung im Italienzentrum der Universität Heidelberg”

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