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Jan von Hein

Maximilian Schulze, an assistant of Dr. Susanne Gössl, LL.M. (Tulane), University of Bonn, has kindly provided us with the following report.

The Centre for European Policy (CEP) in Freiburg (Breisgau) is the European-policy think tank of the German non-profit foundation “Stiftung Ordnungspolitik”. It has just released its policy brief on the Proposal COM(2018) 96 of 12 March 2018 for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the law applicable to the third-party effects of assignments of claims. The CEP’s main conclusion reads as follows:

The 2nd Dialogue on International Family Law

On 10 and 11 May 2019, the 2nd Dialogue on International Family Law took place at the University of Marburg (Germany). The dialogue serves as a forum for the exchange between high-level practitioners and academics active in the field of international family law; it is organised on an annual basis by Professors Christine Budzikiewicz (Marburg) and Bettina Heiderhoff (Münster), Dr. Frank Klinkhammer, a judge at the German Federal Supreme Court and an honorary professor in Marburg, and Dr. Kerstin Niethammer-Jürgens, a renowned family lawyer in Potsdam/Berlin. This year’s meeting focused on the well-being of the child in international family law, the pending revision of the Brussels IIbis Regulation and conflict of laws with regard to matrimonial property.

The latest issue of the Zeitschrift für Europäisches Privatrecht (ZEuP 2/2019) features a very interesting article by the former president of the Groupe Européen de Droit International Privé (GEDIP), Christian Kohler, on “Comparative Law in Action at the Court of Justice of the European Union – European Conflict of Laws in Theory and Practice” (p. 337). In this autobiographical essay, Kohler traces his professional career from studying at the Free University of Berlin under the supervision of his academic teacher, the legendary Wilhelm Wengler, to becoming General Director at the European Court of Justice while also being part of European academia as an honorary professor for private international law, European civil procedural law and comparative law at the University of Saarbrücken. In particular, Kohler elucidates the practical working of the CJEU and the very important role that comparative legal research plays in preparing the Court’s rulings. Although, seen from the outside, the influence of comparative considerations is frequently not discernible in the Court’s decisions themselves – which, following the French style in this regard, contain neither footnotes nor lengthy doctrinal discussion –, Kohler vividly describes the enormous amount of work that was put into building a world-class legal library in Luxembourg and the intense use that the Advocates General and their scientific staff make of its resources. A fascinating read – highly recommended!

This year’s annual meeting of the German branch of the International Law Association will take place in Frankfurt/Main on 7 June 2019. The current topic will be the question whether there is a renaissance of soft law in international law. The confirmed speakers include Professors Michael Stürner (University of Konstanz), Mahulena Hofmann (University of Luxembourg) and Jürgen Bast (University of Gießen). The speakers will address the subject both from a public and a private international law perspective, with a special focus on the harmonisation of private law, on space law and on the UN Global Compact on Migration. For further information and registration, please click here.

The Max Planck Institute Luxembourg has launched a call for applications for PhD scholarships in 2020. Advanced doctoral students working in comparative procedural law, international procedural law and adjudication are invited to apply by 31 May 2019. While proficiency in English is compulsory, the call is also open to doctoral candidates writing their thesis in a language other than English.

The latest issue of the „Praxis des Internationalen Privat- und Verfahrensrechts (IPRax)“ features the following articles:

R. Wagner: Twenty Years of Judicial Cooperation in Civil Matters

Prof. Dr. Marc-Philippe Weller and Markus Lieberknecht, Heidelberg University, have kindly provided us with the following blog post which is a condensed abstract of the authors’ article in the Juristenzeitung (JZ) 2019, p. 317 et seqq. which explores the topic in greater detail and includes comprehensive references to the relevant case law and literature.

In one of the most controversial German judgments of 2018, the Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt held that the air carrier Kuwait Airways could refuse transportation to an Israeli citizen living in Germany because fulfilling the contract would violate an anti-Israel boycott statute enacted by Kuwait in 1964. The Israeli citizen had validly booked a flight from Frankfurt to Bangkok with a layover in Kuwait City. However, Kuwait Airways hindered the Israeli passenger from boarding the aircraft in Frankfurt. According to the judgment of the Frankfurt Court, Kuwait Airways acted in line with the German legal framework: specific performance of the contract of carriage was deemed to be impossible because of the Kuwait boycott statute.

Preparing for Brexit, part 3

After April Fools’ Day in the House of Commons, stepping up preparations for a no-deal Brexit has become more important than ever. Insofar, it should be noted that not only the EU Commission has been active in this regard (see our earlier posts here and here), but that national legislators are bracing for the fallout from a hard Brexit as well. On 29 March 2019, the German law on Brexit-related measures in the field of taxation entered into force. In spite of its bland title, this law goes far beyond tax law and includes transitory provisions in a number of important areas of business law, ranging from banking to insurance and securities law. Most articles provide that German authorities may order that British companies will be treated like EU companies for a transition period no longer than 21 months in case of a hard Brexit. By such an extension, the German legislature hopes to buffer the economic shocks that may arise in the absence of a withdrawal agreement.

Preparing for Brexit, part 2

The European Commission has just released some new factsheets and Q&A documents regarding the consequences of a no-deal Brexit here. Inter alia, the information given concerns the rights of consumers (including the applicable law and the enforcement of judgments), of EU citizens living in the UK, of UK citizens living in the EU, and the position of EU students enrolled at UK universities. However, the date for a hard Brexit mentioned in the documents is still 29 March 2019, which is in any event no longer accurate after last week’s summit (see our previous post here).