Two conferences on private international law have been announced for Brazil. From March 13-16, the University of Brasilia will organize a conference on the topic of “Challenges to Private International Law in contemporary society” (Program here.) Prior to that, I will teach a graduate mini-course on comparative law and private international law on March 11-13. Sign-up information for both is on the linked sites.
The Hague Conference has posted its annual report 2018, in traditional pdf and even more traditional paper format. Much space is taken up by reminiscences of the 125th anniversary , including the publication of several speeches. Beyond that are reports of other events, as well as general information, some more useful (new ratifications and accessions in 2018), some perhaps less so (the number of followers on twitter).
Symeon Symeonides‘ Annual Survey of American Choice-of-Law Cases for 2018, now in its 32nd year, has been posted on SSRN. A summary of the contents is reproduced below. If you are interested in the Survey, you can download it by clicking here.
If you are interested in the Private International Law Bibliography for 2018, you can download it from SSRN by clicking here.
The American Association of Law Schools will hold its annual conference in New Orleans this year, from January 2-6. In this conference, the meeting of the Conflict of Laws Interest Group will be on Friday January 4, 8:30-10:15. (Yes, early.) The topic is the new Hague Judgments Convention (the draft Convention is here.) Speakers will include Louise Ellen Teitz (Rhode Island University) with a view from the Hague, Trey Childress (Pepperdine/State Dept) with a view from the State Department, and John Coyle (UNC) with a view from academia. I will chair. The remarks will be published later in the Duke Journal of Comparative and International Law, but if you are at the AALS Conference, please do come and discuss there!
For the second time, the Society of Legal Scholars (SLS) conference, held this September at Queen Mary University of London, ran a conflict of laws section (more papers on conflict of laws given in other sections here, look for “conflict of laws”). Michael Douglas provides a charming report. Hopefully this is a sign of increased appreciation of conflict of laws as a scholarly discipline.
Michael Douglas and Nicholas Loadsman, The Impact of the Hague Principles on Choice of Law in International Commercial Contracts, Melbourne Journal of International Law, Vol. 19, No. 1, 2018. Also available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3230515.
In England, almost all married Muslim women have had a nikah, a religious celebration. By contrast, more than half of them have not also gone through a separate civil ceremony, as required under UK law. The often unwelcome consequence is that, under UK law, they are not validly married and therefore insufficiently protected under UK law: they cannot claim maintenance, and they cannot get a divorce as long as the marriage is viewed, in the eyes of the law, as a nullity.
France is a state. France.com, by contrast, is a domain name, and it was, until recently, owned not by the French state but instead by a Californian company, France.com, Inc. That conflict is now being litigated in a fascinating dispute reminiscent of the early days of the internet.
A saga that has kept Malaysians engaged for years has finally founds its conclusion. A woman, named (rather improbably, at least for European observers) Indira Gandhi, was fighting with her ex husband over custody. The ex-husband had converted to Islam and had extended the conversion to their three children, with the consequence that the Syariah courts gave him sole custody. What followed was a whole series of court decisions by civil courts on the one hand and Syariah courts on the other, focusing mainly on the jurisdictional question which set of courts gets to decide matters of religious status and which law—Islamic law or civil law—determines the question. The Malaysian Federal Court now quashed the conversion as regards the children, thereby claiming, at least for children, a priority of the Constitution and the jurisdiction of civil courts.