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Andrew Dickinson

Conflict of Laws Across the Ditch

The Agreement between the Government of Australia and the Government of New Zealand on Trans-Tasman Court Proceedings and Regulatory Enforcement, signed on 24 July 2008, enters into force today. The provisions of the Agreement have been implemented by legislation in both jurisdictions (Trans-Tasman Proceedings Act 2010 (Cth), (NZ)), which also has effect from today.

Weighing European Private International Law in the Balance

The United Kingdom Government is currently undertaking a review of the competences of the European Union, asking what the European Union does, and how it affects government and the general public in the United Kingdom.Brass_scales_with_cupped_trays

Comparing Rome II

The Rome II Regulation returns to the spotlight in a seminar to be held at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law’s London fortress on Thursday 31 January 2012 (5:30-7:30pm).

Brussels I Recast Set in Stone

At its 3207th meeting held in Brussels, the Council of the European Union has approved the recast of the Brussels I Regulation in the form settled with the European Parliament in a first reading agreement. The accompanying press release announces as follows:

A Principled Approach to Choice of Law in Contract?

On 16 November, a Special Commission of the Hague Conference on Private International Law approved the text of the Hague Principles on the Choice of Law in International Contracts.

European Parliament Votes to Recast the Brussels I Regulation

Yesterday (20 November 2012) the European Parliament voted, in plenary session, to adopt the report of the Legal Affairs (JURI) Committee (rapporteur: Tadeusz Zwiefka) on the Commission’s Proposal (COM (2010) 748) to recast the Brussels I Regulation. A substantial majority (567-28, 6 absentions) expressed support for the Proposal, subject to the JURI Committee’s amendments. As followers of the process will be aware, the result is a mixed one for the Commission. Although its primary objective of abolishing (procedural) exequatur is supported by the Parliament, other features of the Proposal (most notably, the recommendations to restrict the substantive grounds for opposing enforcement and to harmonise rules of jurisdiction for defendants not domiciled in a Member State) have been ejected.

Canberra Calling – update

Following my earlier post about the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s review of Australian private international law rule (text reproduced below, for ease of reference), two consultation papers have now been released on the project website. The first contains a general overview of the issues covered by the project, and the second considers the possible harmonisation of the tests for staying proceedings which apply in intra-Australian and Trans-Tasman Proceedings. All those with an interest in the subject are invited to submit comments via the website or by e-mail to

Negative declarations, tort and the Brussels I Regulation

An important, if slightly unexpected, ruling from the CJEU in Case C-133/11, Folien Fischer AG and another v Ritrama SpA (25 October 2012). Disagreeing with the Advocate General, the Court has held that an action for a negative declaration seeking to establish the absence of liability in tort may fall within Art. 5(3) of the Brussels I Regulation.

Members of the British Royal Family and aristocracy have long contributed to the development of the law in England governing matters of personal privacy. As long ago as 1849, Prince Albert, the prince consort of Queen Victoria, resorted to the courts to prevent the publication of etchings and drawings by the Royal couple, including of their children (Prince Albert v Strange (1849) 2 De G & Sm 652). In a 1964 case, the Duchess of Argyll sued her formal husband, the 11th Duke, to prevent disclosure of the secrets of their marriage to national newspapers (Argyll v Argyll [1967] Ch. 302). In recent years, both Her Majesty the Queen and Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, have taken legal action in the English courts following the disclosure, or threatened disclosure, of personal information.

Collective Efforts

A new book focussing on legislation promoting cr0ss-border collective redress has been published by Oxford University Press. Edited by Duncan Fairgrieve and Eva Lein, both of the British Institute for International and Comparative Law, Extraterritorality and Collective Redress brings together analysis of the subject by contributors on both sides of the Atlantic. The long, and impressive, list of authors and topics under discussion is as follows: