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Martin George

Third Issue of 2011’s Journal of Private International Law

The latest issue of the Journal of Private International Law has just been published. The contents:

Arbitration and the Draft Revised Brussels I Regulation: Seeds of Home Country Control and of Harmonisation?

Luca G Radicati di Brozolo

Masri Settles

The extraordinarily long-running litigation in Masri v Consolidated Contractors is over – the parties have settled. Brick Court (which represented the ‘successful’ claimant) has a useful summary of the various judgments of the English courts in Masri over the last five years.

[Thanks to Tom Cleaver for the tip-off.]

Giesela Ruehl (Friedrich-Schiller University Jena and our new editor for Germany) has published her Habilitationsschrift on Statut und Effizienz: Ökonomische Grundlagen des Internationalen Privatrechts [Applicable Law and Efficiency. Economic Foundations of Private International Law]. Here’s an English description (the monograph itself is in German):

Is private international law an efficient answer to the problems of international transactions? In her recent book on the economic foundations of private international law, Giesela Rühl explores this question in great detail.

She analyses choice of law-rules on a broad comparative basis and uses economic theory to tackle fundamental conceptual issues just as well as specific problems in the private international law of contracts and torts. Focusing on the recently adopted Rome I- and Rome II-Regulations she contributes to the understanding of the developing European private international law.

Clarkson & Hill, The Conflict of Laws (4th edn OUP, 2011)

Clarkson & HillThose who teach or study in private international law will be interested to know that Chris Clarkson and Jonathan Hill have published the 4th edition of their excellent student text on The Conflict of Laws. From the blurb:

  • Covers the basic principles of the conflict of laws in a succinct and approachable style making this an ideal introductory text
  • Explains complex points of law and terminology clearly and without oversimplification, offering both an authoritative and accessible approach to a subject which has changed greatly in recent years
  • Offers comprehensive coverage for undergraduate and postgraduate courses on the Conflict of Laws.
  • Provides analysis of existing legislation in addition to considering reform proposals and theoretical issues.

As part of the University of Sydney’s Summer School Programme, there will be a Commercial Conflict of Laws course at Magdelen College, Oxford on 11-12 and 14-15 July 2011. It will be taught by Andrew Bell and Andrew Dickinson. From the website:


  • Focus on commercial disputes with a transnational dimension.
  • Determine the features which characterise transnational commercial litigation, where the forum is itself a matter of dispute.
  • Identify and apply techniques for determining the law applicable to contractual and non-contractual claims.
  • Compare and contrast the approaches to commercial private international law topics in Australia, UK and the European Union

This post is written by Adrian Briggs, Professor of Private International Law at the University of Oxford.

One should note the decision of the European Court in C-144/10 BVG v JP Morgan Chase (12th May, 2011: Third Chamber), which held that where a bank sues to enforce the obligations of a swap contract which is valid according to its governing law, and the corporate defendant raises by way of defence the contention that its constitution or constitutional law deprived it of legal power to enter into the contract, the matter is not one to which Article 22.2 of the Brussels I Regulation applies, and it does not follow that the defence must be adjudicated, or the whole action prosecuted, in the court in which the corporate entity has its seat. This is because the point of company law or company validity is to be seen as no more than incidental or ancillary to the main issue, which is a contractual one. It followed that proceedings brought  by the corporate German entity in Germany, by which it sought a declaration that it was not bound by a swaps contract which it had entered into with the bank, was not one which Article 22.2 allowed or required the German courts to hear, as Article 22.2 had no application to the proceedings.

James Fawcett (Nottingham) and Paul Torremans (Nottingham) have published the second edition of their monograph on Intellectual Property and Private International Law (2011, OUP). The blurb:

  • Offers a comparative approach of private international law and intellectual property law and assesses how these disciplines impact on and co-operate with the other
  • A new edition of a major work by top figures in the field which was the first full account in the legal literature and remains the only significant systematic treatment
  • Addresses the large number of intellectual property cases that now involve foreign law, particularly in commercial courts and which are now of increasinging significance to practitioners

New to this edition

The UK has written to the Hungarian Presidency and European Commission, confirming its intention to opt in to the revised Brussels I Regulation (see our focus group on the Green Paper and Report) and participate in the negotiations. The relevant Ministerial Statements were made in the Houses of Commons and Lords on 5th April 2011. You can also read the general debate that was had in the House of Commons by the European Committee. Unsurprising news, perhaps, but news all the same.

[Many thanks to Jean McMahon at the Ministry of Justice.]

Gerry Maher (Edinburgh) and Barry Rodger (Strathclyde) have published Civil Jurisdiction in the Scottish Courts (W. Green, 2010). Here’s the blurb:

The last comprehensive survey of the law on civil jurisdiction in Scotland, by Duncan & Dykes, was published in 1911. Given the major developments in the law since then, the legal market in Scotland has been crying out for an up-to-date account of the subject. It has taken just under a century for such a text to be published! The necessity of a modern title on civil jurisdiction is particularly apparent. Professors Gerry Maher and Barry Rodger have now presented us with this new reference tool which provides comprehensive coverage of all the areas of civil jurisdiction, including family actions, succession, insolvency and diligence.

9781849460811Hart Publishing has recently published an edited collection entitled From House of Lords to Supreme Court: Judges, Jurists and the Process of Judging, edited by James Lee (University of Birmingham), celebrating the transition from the House of Lords to the new United Kingdom Supreme Court. The book includes an essay by Adrian Briggs, entitled ‘The Development of Principle by a Final Court of Appeal in Matters of Private International (Common) Law’. Briggs analyses “what the Supreme Court might properly have contributed to the development of principle in private international law, and why it is improbable that it will get much chance to do so”.