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Jan von Hein

The Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality of the European Parliament has, on 18 April 2018, adopted an opinion entitled “Towards an EU external strategy against early and forced marriages – next steps” (2017/2275(INI), PE616.622v03-00).

The Department of Legal Studies of the Central European University (CEU) in Budapest and Jeantet & Partners (Paris) are organising a conference on: “The New Hungarian Arbitration Act – Views from Hungary and Abroad” on 17 May, 2018, 12:30pm – 6:30pm.

Written by Bastian Brunk, research assistant and doctoral student at the Institute for Comparative and Private International Law at the University of Freiburg (Germany)

On April 24, the Supreme Court of the United States released its decision in Jesner v Arab Bank (available here; see also the pre-decision analysis by Hannah Dittmers linked here and first thoughts after the decision of Amy Howe here) and, in a 5:4 majority vote, shut the door that it had left ajar in its Kiobel decision. Both cases are concerned with the question whether private corporations may be sued under the Alien Tort Statute (ATS).

Two recent judgments of European courts have highlighted the difficulty in finding the right balance between the cultural assimilation of Muslim immigrants demanded by national laws on citizenship and the necessary degree of tolerance towards foreign laws and customs. In a widely reported decision of 11 April 2018, the French Council of State (Conseil d’Etat) ruled that a naturalisation of an Algerian-born woman could be revoked because she had refused to shake hands with a male public servant during the naturalisation ceremony.

In 2018, the Australian Branch of the International Law Association (ILA) will be hosting the biennial ILA conference. The conference, which is being held in Sydney, Australia, from 19-24 August 2018, is a major international event that will bring together hundreds of judges, academics, practitioners and officials of governments and international organisations from all around the globe. To register please follow this link. Please note that he early bird rate is available until 31 May 2018. The draft conference programme is now available on the ILA website here.

It has not been yet noted on this blog that the CJEU has recently settled a classic problem of characterisation that has plagued German courts and academics for decades (CJEU, 1 March 2018 – C-558/16, Mahnkopf, ECLI:EU:C:2018:138). The German statutory regime of matrimonial property is a community of accrued gains, i.e. that each spouse keeps its own property, but gains that have been made during the marriage are equalised when the marriage ends, i.e. by a divorce or by the death of one spouse. According to § 1371(1) of the German Civil Code (Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch – BGB), the equalisation of the accrued gains shall be effected by increasing the surviving spouse’s share of the estate on intestacy by one quarter of the estate if the property regime is ended by the death of a spouse; it is irrelevant in this regard whether the spouses have made accrued gains in the individual case. How is this claim to be characterized?

Today, the EU Commission presented its long awaited proposal for a directive on representative actions for the protection of the collective interests of consumers (COM (2018) 184/3). The proposal and other related documents are available here. The directive shall appply to domestic and cross-border infringements (Article 2(1), 2nd sentence). With regard to the latter group of cases, the directive “is without prejudice to the Union rules on private international law, in particular rules related to court jurisdiction and applicable law” (Article 2(3)). However, Article 16 sets out some rules relevant for cross-border representative actions. It ensures the mutual recognition of the legal standing of qualified entities designated in advance in one Member State to seek representative action in another Member State. Moreover, it enables qualified entities from different Member States to act jointly within a single representative action in front of a single forum competent under relevant Union and national rules. The pertinent provision reads as follows:

Béligh Elbalti, Associate Professor at Osaka University, Graduate School of Law and Politics, has kindly informed us that the forthcoming volume of the Japanese Yearbook of International Law (Vol. 60, 2017) will feature the following articles and case notes relating to private international law.

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