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.
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.
On December 21, 2017, the Japanese Supreme Court rendered a decision on the Hague Abduction Convention. The Court upheld a lower court decision in favor of the Japanese mother, even though she had turned back on her promise to return the kids from a visit to Japan, and even though that same court had earlier issued a return order in favor of the American father. The matter had received international press attention, and even a Congressional subcommittee hearing.
For a long time, Japan refused to extend application of its antitrust laws to foreign cartels, even those with an impact on the Japanese market. Following a 1990 Study Group Report recommending adoption of the effects doctrine, the Japanese Fair Trade Commission has increasingly applied Japanese antitrust law extraterritorially, as Marek Martyniszyn reports in a helpful recent article. Now the Japanese Supreme Court has upheld a series of judgments from the Tokyo High Court, thereby effectively adopting the effects doctrine. The doctrine appears to go very far: according to the report, the cartel had reached its price-fixing agreement in Southeast Asia, and affected products had been purchased by Southeast Asian units and subcontractors rather than the Japanese companies themselves.