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Ralf Michaels

Annual Survey of American Choice-of-Law Cases for 2018

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.

New Paper on the Hague Principles and Australia

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.

Who Owns France.com?

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.

For a limited time (one week), the Elgar Encyclopedia of Private International Law is accessible for free online. Check it out. And then ask your library to buy it.

As reported on this blog, the French Cour de Cassation decided last year that the réserve héréditaire, the portion of the decedent’s estate that is reserved for the legal heirs, is not part of the French ordre public with regard to the Succession Regulation. Now, the Société de Législation Comparée is organizing a conference in Paris on March 15,  to discuss the consequences from the decision. Under the Presidency of Dominique Hascher, there will be presentations by Andrea Bonomi, Professor in Lausanne, and Delphine Vincent, notary in Paris. Hugues Fulchiron, Professor in Lyon, will comment. Registration required. Another website here.

The Apostille Handbook was originally published in the official languages of the Hague Conference, English and French, and is also available in Greek, Spanish, and Vietnamese.  All language versions are available here.