Author Archives: Xandra Kramer

Issue 2014.1 Nederlands Internationaal Privaatrecht

The first issue of 2014 of the Dutch journal on Private International Law Nederlands Internationaal Privaatrecht includes an analysis of the Brussels I Recast and the influence on Dutch legal practice, an article on Child abduction and the ECHR,  and two case notes; one on the Impacto Azul case and one on the Povse case.

  • Marek Zilinsky, ‘De herschikte EEX-Verordening: een overzicht en de gevolgen voor de Nederlandse rechtspraktijk’, p. 3-11. The English abstract reads:

From 10 January 2015 onwards the Brussels I Recast (Regulation No. 1215/2012) shall apply. Under the new regulation which replaces the Brussels I Regulation (Regulation No. 44/2001), the exequatur is abolished and some changes are also made to provisions on jurisdiction and lis pendens. This article gives an overview of the changes effected by the Brussels I Recast compared to the proposed changes in the Proposal for a new Brussels I Regulation (COM(2010) 748 final). The consequences of the new regulation for Dutch practice are also dealt with briefly.

  • Paul Vlaardingerbroek, ‘Internationale kinderontvoering en het EHRM’, p. 12-19. The English abstract reads:

With the Neulinger/Shuruk decision in 2009, the European Court of Human Rights caused a great deal of misunderstanding and confusion among judges and academics, because in this case the ECHR seemed to protect the abductors of children and to allow them to benefit from their misconduct. After the Neulinger case some further ECHR decisions followed that seemed to compete with the fundamental purposes of the Hague Convention on child abduction, but in this paper I will try to show that in more recent cases the European Court has mitigated the hard consequences of the Neulinger/Shuruk decision and has given a new direction in how to proceed and decide when the two conventions seem to compete.

  • Stephan Rammeloo, ‘Multinationaal concern – Aansprakelijkheid van moedervennootschap voor schulden van dochtervennootschap: nationaal IPR (‘scope rule’) getoetst aan Europees recht (artikel 49 VWEU)’, p. 20-26. Case notes European Court of Justice 20-06-2013, Case C-186/12 (Impacto Azul), The English abstract reads:

In June 2013 the CJEU delivered a preliminary ruling under Article 49 TfEU with regard to the exclusion, under national law, of an EU Member State from the joint and several liability of parent companies vis-à-vis the creditors of their subsidiaries in a crossborder context. Article 49 TfEU does not prohibit any such exclusion resulting from a self-restricting unilateral scope rule under the national Private International Law of an individual EU Member State. The interpretative ruling of the Court does not, however, affect cross-border parental liability for company group members under Private International Law having regard to contractual or non-contractual (cf. tort, insolvency) liability.

  • Monique Hazelhorst, ‘The ECtHR’s decision in Povse: guidance for the future of the abolition of exequatur for civil judgments in the European Union’, p. 27-33. Case notes European Court of Human Rights 18 June 2013, decision on admissibility, Appl. no. 3890/11 (Povse v. Austria). The abstract reads:

The European Court of Human Rights’ decision on admissibility in Povse is worthy of analysis because it sheds light on the preconditions for the abolition of exequatur for judgments in civil matters within the European Union. The abolition of this control mechanism is intended to facilitate the free movement of judgments among Member States on the basis of the principle of mutual recognition. Concerns have however been expressed about the consequences this development may have for the protection of fundamental rights. The Human Rights Court’s Povse decision provides welcome guidance on the limits imposed by the European Convention on Human Rights on the abolition of exequatur. This case note analyses the preconditions that may be inferred from the decision. It concludes that the Human Rights Court’s approach leaves a gap in the protection of fundamental rights which the accession of the EU to the Convention intends to fill.

Nagy on the law of companies and freedom of establishment

Csongor István Nagy (Budapest University of Technology and Economics) has posted The Personal Law of Companies and the Freedom of Establishment Under EU Law. The Enthronement of the Country-of-Origin Principle and the Establishment of an Unregulated Right of Cross-Border Conversion, published in the Hungarian Yearbook of International Law and European Law 2013 on SSRN.

This paper presents, from a critical perspective, the development of the CJEU’s case-law on the collision between the personal law of companies and the freedom of establishment with special emphasis on the CJEU’s recent judgment in VALE.
It is argued that this ruling treats the incorporation theory as ‘the law of the land’, putting an end to the explanation that EU law does not establish a connecting factor, the determination of which is a Member State competence, but simply precludes some plights that frustrate the freedom of establishment. Furthermore, the case-law on the personal law of companies is put in the context of the country-of-origin concept as a general and fundamental principle of EU law. It is argued that although the incorporation theory fits better the system of the internal market characterised by free movement rights, as a general proposition, the categorical application of this principle to all fields of private law suppresses conflicts analysis and, as such, is a dubious development. Conflicts problems should receive a conflicts law answer. The oversimplified application of the country-of-origin principle, though certainly warranted in the field of public law, does away with private international law problems without carefully examining and adequately solving them.
Furthermore, it is also argued that in Cartesio and VALE the CJEU seems to have created an unregulated right of cross-border conversion. In Cartesio, the Court established a right of ‘departure’, i.e. companies have the right to move their seat to another Member State in order to convert into the legal person of the receiving country, while losing their original legal personality. In VALE, the CJEU seems to have established a right of ‘arrival’, derived from the principle of non-discrimination. However, EU law prescribes only the theoretical possibility of conversion (‘departure’ and ‘arrival’), and leaves the technicalities of this conversion to national law.

Issue 2013.4 Nederlands Internationaal Privaatrecht

The fourth issue of 2013 of the Dutch journal on Private International Law Nederlands Internationaal Privaatrecht includes two contributions on the Commission Recommendation on Collective Redress and an article on the obligations of parties with regard to pleading and contesting jurisdiction under the Brussels I Regulation in the Netherlands.

Astrid Stadler, ‘The Commission’s Recommendation on common principles of collective redress and private international law issues’, p. 483-488. The abstract reads:

For its new policy on collective redress the European Commission has chosen the form of a mere ‘Recommendation’ instead of a binding directive or regulation with respect to the violation of (consumer) rights granted under EU law. The Recommendation provides some basic principles on collective redress instruments which should be taken into account by the Member States when implementing injunctive or compensatory collective redress mechanisms. There is, however, no obligation for the Member States to implement such procedural tools. Despite the attempt at establishing common principles, the European legislature thus seems to accept a heterogeneous landscape of collective redress in Europe and has missed the opportunity to provide rules on international jurisdiction, recognition and the applicable law particularly designed for cross-border mass litigation. As a consequence forum shopping becomes even more important for plaintiffs in mass damage cases.

Mick Baart, ‘Implications of Commission Recommendation 2013/39 on common principles for collective redress. Can safeguards limit the potential for abuse without compromising the realization of policy goals?’, p. 489-498. The abstract reads:

The recent publication of Recommendation 2013/39 seeks to establish a common European approach to collective redress. In response to concerns that collective procedures may introduce opportunities for abuse, the European Commission included a number of procedural safeguards. However, can these safeguards limit the potential for abuse without hindering the achievement of policy goals? This article evaluates this question from the perspective of group formation since opt-out procedures have traditionally been perceived as an important factor in abusive practices. The Recommendation accordingly considers the use of opt-in procedures to be an essential safeguard against abuse. Nonetheless, the rejection of opt-out procedures appears to entail an inherent paradox as it reduces the potential for abuse but simultaneously presents significant obstacles to the effectiveness of collective procedures. Moreover, it could have unintended consequences for questions of private international law as Member States that actively use opt-out mechanisms are not obliged to comply with a non-binding Recommendation.

Jacques de Heer, ‘De stelplicht van eiser en gedaagde in geschillen voor de Nederlandse rechter over internationale bevoegdheid op grond van de EEX-Verordening’, p. 499-507. The English abstract reads:

In cross-border contentious proceedings, the plaintiff only has a conditional obligation to show that the court in which proceedings are brought has jurisdiction. This condition follows from Article 24 of the Brussels I Regulation, which deals with jurisdiction through submission to the forum. When the defendant wishes to contest the jurisdiction of the court, he is under no immediate obligation to argue why this is so. However, if the factual arguments put forward by the plaintiff to found the jurisdiction of (for example) the Dutch court remain uncontested, this court has to consider these facts when deciding on its jurisdiction. In so deciding, the court is not bound by the jurisdictional rules of the Brussels I Regulation as mentioned by the defendant. When the defendant only raises a defence of concurrent proceedings in another Member State, he is obliged to immediately state the relevant facts.

Publication book Resolving Mass Disputes

An interesting book entitled Resolving Mass Disputes. ADR and Settlement of Mass Claims, edited by Christopher Hodges (Centre for Social-Legal Studies, Oxford/Erasmus University Rotterdam) and Astrid Stadler (University of Konstanz/Erasmus University Rotterdam) has just been published (Edward Elgar, 2013).

The blurb reads:

The landscape of mass litigation in Europe has changed impressively in recent years, and collective redress litigation has proved a popular topic. Although much of the literature focuses on the political context, contentious litigation, or how to handle cross-border multi-party cases, this book has a different focus and a fresh approach.

Taking as a starting-point the observation that mass litigation claims are a ‘nuisance’ for both parties and courts, the book considers new ways of settling mass disputes. Contributors from across the globe, Australia, Canada, China, Europe and the US, point towards an international convergence of the importance of settlements, mediation and alternative dispute resolution (ADR). They question whether the spread of a culture of settlement signifies a trend or philosophical desire for less confrontation in some societies, and explore the reasons for such a trend.

Raising a series of questions on resolving mass disputes, and fuelling future debate, this book will provide a challenging and thought-provoking read for law academics, practitioners and policy-makers.

Contributors include: I. Benöhr, N. Creutzfeldt-Banda, M. Faure, D.R. Hensler, C. Hodges, J. Hörnle, J. Kaladjzic, X. Kramer, M. Legg, R. Marcus, A. Stadler, I. Tzankova, S. Voet, Z. Wusheng.

More information is available here.

Latest issue Nederlands Internationaal Privaatrecht (2013/3)

The third issue of 2013 of the Dutch journal on Private International Law, Nederlands Internationaal Privaatrecht, includes the usual overview of important Dutch and European case law, as well as three articles on the following topics: The functioning of the European Small Claims Procedure in the Netherlands; the EU Regulation on Succession and Wills; and Child Protection Measures against the background of Article 8 ECHR.

X.E. Kramer & E.A. Ontanu, The functioning of the European Small Claims Procedure in the Netherlands: normative and empirical reflections, p. 319-328. The abstract reads:

The European small claims procedure was the first uniform adversarial procedure in the EU, introduced to increase the efficiency and to reduce the costs of cross-border small claims litigation in the Member States. The European Commission regards this procedure as an important potential contribution to access to justice in order to resolve small claims disputes. However, there are clear signs that this procedure is seldom used and the Commission seeks to improve its attractiveness. This paper focuses on the implementation and application of this European procedure in the Netherlands. Normative and empirical research has been conducted to assess how this procedure is embedded in the Dutch legal order and how it actually functions in practice and is perceived by the judiciary. The question is whether, from the Dutch perspective, this procedure meets the objectives of providing a simple, fast and low-cost alternative to existing national procedures, while respecting the right to a fair trial. The paper concludes with several recommendations for improvement.

 P. Lokin, De Erfrechtverordening, p. 329-337. The English abstract reads:

This article focuses on (EU) Regulation No. 650/2012 dealing with the jurisdiction, applicable law, recognition and enforcement of decisions and the acceptance and enforcement of authentic instruments in matters of succession and the creation of a European Certificate of Succession. Is this Regulation, which shall be applicable to the succession of persons dying on or after 17 August 2015, a step forward for the Netherlands? In light of its application in the near future, the article gives a first introduction into the new rules and concentrates on some aspects of the Regulation which require more attention, such as the determination of one’s last habitual residence and the transitional provisions when the deceased has made a choice for the applicable law prior to 17 August 2015.

R. Blauwhoff, Kinderbeschermingsmaatregelen in de Nederlandse IPR-rechtspraak in het licht van artikel 8 EVRM, p. 338-345. The English abstract reads:

Both private international law and human rights instruments may affect parental and children’s rights in cross-border situations, yet reference to both types of instrument is seldom made in Dutch legal decisions regarding parental responsibilities. Accordingly, the aim of this article is foremost to explore the relationship between both types of instruments in cases other than child abduction cases on the basis of an analysis of (Dutch) case-law, since the entry into force of the 1996 Convention on the International Protection of Children (1st of May 2011) and under reference to developments in case-law of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) with regard to Article 8 ECHR. It is ventured that courts should have greater regard for the human rights dimension underpinning private international law decisions, especially in cases where tension arises between the law of the state of the child’s present and former habitual residence. At the same time, the classic focus of the ECtHR on the accountability of national states sometimes falls short of taking into account the progress made in the field of cross-border co-operation in the ambit of the 1996 Hague Convention, especially in the area of cross-border contact arrangements.

Issue Dutch Commercial Law journal on international financing

For our readers who are able to read Dutch: The second issue of 2013 of the Dutch journal on Commercial Law, Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Handelsrecht (NTHR), is an interesting issue dedicated to developments in international financing. It includes the following five contributions:

  • J. Diamant, ‘Macht’, ‘bezit’ en ‘controle’: gedachten over het controlevereiste in de Collateral Richtlijn, p. 60-67.
  • R.M. Wibier, Financiering op basis van vorderingen: de positie van het vorderingsrecht in het Burgerlijk Wetboek, p. 68-74.
  • T.H.D. Struycken, Zekerheidsrechten in het internationale handelsverkeer, p. 75-87.
  • P.M. Veder, Zekerheidsrechten en de Insolventieverordening: op zoek naar balans, p. 88-93.
  • R.D. Vriesendorp & R. van den Sigtenhorst, Herstructureringen in de moderne financieringspraktijk: Nederland vs. de V.S., p. 94-101.

Commission Recommendations collective redress

After years of intensive debates on either sectoral instruments or a horizontal instrument, the European Commission released its long-awaited communication on collective redress on 11 June 2013. To those that have followed the discussions, it will not come as a surprise that the Commission is not proposing a harmonised horizonal EU collective procedure. Instead, it recommends a  series of common, non-binding principles for collective redress mechanisms in the Member States that – in the words of Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding – respects the very different traditions in the Member States. The press release, text of the communication and recommendations are available  here. The news item reads as follows:

The European Commission has today set out a series of common, non-binding principles for collective redress mechanisms in the Member States so that citizens and companies can enforce the rights granted to them under EU law where these have been infringed. The Recommendation aims to ensure a coherent horizontal approach to collective redress in the European Union without harmonising Member States’ systems. National redress mechanisms should be available in different areas where EU law grants rights to citizens and companies, notably in consumer protection, competition, environment protection and financial services. By recommending to Member States to put in place national collective redress mechanisms the Commission wants to improve access to justice, while ensuring appropriate procedural guarantees to avoid abusive litigation. The Recommendation complements the proposal for a Directive on antitrust damage actions (see IP/13/XXXX) harmonising procedural law issues relating to private enforcement other than collective redress.

Let the (academic) debate continue!

Thanks to Steefan Voet, University of Ghent for the ‘tip-off’.

Van Calster on European Private International Law

Geert Van Calster, Professor at the University of Leuven, authored a new text book on European Private International Law t has just been published:  Geert Van Calster, European Private International Law, Hart Publishing 2013 (382 pages). This book is a valuable addition to the existing text books on European Private International Law. It focuses on those instruments and developments that are most important in the commercial area.

The blurb reads:

Usable both as a student textbook and as a general introduction for legal professionals, European Private International Law is designed to reflect the reality of legal practice throughout the EU. The private international law of the Member States is increasingly regulated by the EU, making private international law ever less ‘national’ and ever more EU based. Consequently, EU law in this area has penetrated national law to a very high degree, making it an essential area of study and an area of increasing importance to practising lawyers throughout the EU. This book provides a thorough overview of core European PIL, including the Brussels I, Rome I and Rome II Regulations (jurisdiction, applicable law for contracts and tort), while additional chapters deal with PIL and insolvency, freedom of establishment and corporate social responsibility.

More information is available here.

Language Implications of Harmonisation and Cross-Border Litigation

An issue of the theme-based peer-reviewed e-journal Erasmus Law Review (free access) dedicated to the topic ‘Law and Language; Implications for Harmonisation and Cross-Border Litigation’ has just been published. It includes five contributions, preceded by a short introduction.

Simone Glanert, Europe Aporetically: A Common Law Without a Common Discourse.

In response to the European Union’s avowed ambition to elaborate a uniform European private law, some critics have maintained that uniformisation is illusory on account of the disparities between the governing legal languages within the different Member States. This objection has, in its turn, given rise to an argument according to which uniformisation could be ensured through the emergence of a common discourse. It has been said that such outcome is possible even in the absence of a common language. For the proponents of this claim, the theory of communicative action developed by Jürgen Habermas offers significant support. By way of reaction to the common-discourse thesis, this paper proposes to explain why it cannot be sustained and why one cannot usefully draw inspiration from Habermas’s thinking in order to promote a uniform private law within the European Union.

Astrid Stadler, Practical Obstacles in Cross-Border Litigation and Communication between (EU) Courts.

In cross-border civil litigation the use of different official court languages causes severe problems when – at least one of the parties – is not familiar with the official language of the court, since the parties’ constitutional right to a fair trial depends very much on the communication with the court. As a consequence, interpreters must often be used during the trials and hearings and legislatures have to decide to what extent legal documents should be translated. The article takes the position that the European legislature sometimes underestimates the language problem and does not always provide sufficient safeguards for the parties’ right to be heard (in a language they can understand). In particular, the defendant’s procedural rights often require a translation of documents in cross-border service of process and must take precedence over procedural economy. European regulations also tend to emphasise the cooperation between courts in different Member States without taking into consideration that there is often no common language and that many judges will not have the language skills to communicate with their colleagues. The use of standard forms available in the 23 official languages is no perfect solution for all situations.

Elena Alina Ontanu & Ekaterina Pannebakker, Tackling Language Obstacles in Cross-Border Litigation: The European Order for Payment and the European Small Claims Procedure Approach.

In cross-border litigation, language differences are one of the main obstacles preventing parties from taking action and defending their rights. The Regulations creating a European Order for Payment Procedure (EOP) and establishing a European Small Claims Procedure (ESCP) have introduced the first EU-wide procedures, the goals of which are to simplify, speed up, and reduce the costs of cross-border litigation; they also include an attempt to reduce language obstacles. However, the simplification they propose must not sacrifice parties’ right of access to justice and fair trial. This paper addresses the question as to the way language obstacles in cross-border litigation are tackled by the EOP and the ESCP. It further seeks to determine the extent to which these instruments balance the aim to simplify the procedures by reducing language obstacles and the parties’ right to a fair trial and access to justice.

Christoph A. Kern, English a Court Language in Continental Courts.

Most recently, several countries on the European continent have admitted, or are discussing to admit, English as an optional court language. This article provides some information about the background of these recent initiatives, projects and reforms, clarifies the idea on which they are based and explores the purposes they pursue. It then identifies in a theoretical way the various possible degrees of admitting English as a court language and the surrounding questions of practical implementation. These general issues are followed by a presentation of the initiatives, projects and reforms in France, Switzerland and Germany. Not surprisingly, the idea of admitting English as a court language has not only found support, but has also been criticised in legal academia and beyond. Therefore, the article then attempts to give a structured overview of the debate, followed by some own thoughts on the arguments which are being put forward. It concludes with an appeal not to restrict the arguments in favour of admitting English as a court language to merely economic aspects, but also to give due weight to the fact that admitting English may facilitate access to justice and may result in bringing back cases to the public justice system.

Isabelle Bambust, Albert Kruger & Thalia Kruger, Constitutional and Judicial Language Protection in Multilingual States: A Brief Overview of South Africa and Belgium.

The purpose of this contribution is to provide a very modest comparison of judicial language protection in South Africa and in Belgium. First of all, the authors sketch briefly the historical context and the constitutional status of languages in both countries. It is difficult to argue that one always has a right to use his or her own language. However, the use of language has clear links to constitutional rights such as the right to a fair trial. The authors then consider the rules on the use of languages in court generally and in criminal proceedings particularly. Belgium has strict rules on the use of language, and these rules are based on strong principles of territoriality and monolingualism. South Africa, on the other hand, has 11 official languages, not linked to territories, but in practice these languages do not all enjoy the same protection. The pragmatic approach by the South African courts is indicated with reference to the case law.

Issue 2012.4 Netherlands Private International Law on Family Law

The fourth issue of 2012 of the Dutch journal on Private International Law, Nederlands Internationaal Privaatrecht, includes seven articles dedicated to the topic ‘Party autonomy in international family law.’

Maarja Torga, Party autonomy of the spouses under the Rome III Regulation in Estonia – can private international law change substantive law?, p. 547-554. The abstract reads:

At the moment Estonia is preparing to join Council Regulation (EU)No. 1259/2010 of 20 December 2010 implementing enhanced cooperation in the area of the law applicable to divorce and legal separation (hereafter: Rome III Regulation). Article 5 of the Rome III Regulation gives limited party autonomy to the spouses in divorce matters. However, regardless of the applicable law chosen by the parties, under Article 13 of the Rome III Regulation the Estonian courts would not have to grant a divorce if Estonian substantive law does not deem the marriage in question to be valid for the purpose of divorce proceedings. The present article evaluates the discretion of the Estonian judges to rely on Article 13 of the Rome III Regulation and the alternative courses of action for the spouses in order to avoid the application of the said provision. By using the Rome III Regulation as an example, the author takes the position that the extension of party autonomy in one field of Estonian private international law should lead to a gradual expansion of party autonomy in other fields of Estonian law, which at the moment is rather conservative in its treatment of non-traditional forms of marriage.

 Ilaria Viarengo, The role of party autonomy in cross-border divorces, p. 555-561. The abstract reads:

The Rome III Regulation allows spouses to choose the law applicable to their divorce. This choice represents a relevant change for a field which is traditionally regulated by provisions from which the parties cannot derogate. First of all, the article analyses the reasons that justify optio juris in the case of international divorce. The article furthermore examines the optio juris functioning and, in particular, it focuses on ways of assuring the full awareness of the parties and limitations to the choice. Although the Netherlands does not take part in the adoption of the Rome III Regulation, there are scenarios in which Dutch citizens might be affected by it, given that the Regulation has a ‘universal’ character. Finally, the article examines the role of the parties’ will in determining the law which is applicable to the financial consequences of the divorce and in particular in the conclusion of prenuptial agreements.

Janeen M. Carruthers, Party autonomy and children: a view from the UK, p. 562-568. The abstract reads:

This article examines the extent to which children, in proceedings affecting their transnational legal affairs, are entitled to express their views, and in what manner, at what time, and to what effect. Attention is paid to international standards set out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, and to particular rules contained in international instruments such as Brussels II bis and the 1980 Hague Abduction Convention, and in unharmonised areas such as international family relocation. The influence which children increasingly may exert through the expression of their will is distinguished from the device of party autonomy as that concept generally is understood in private international law. The article shows that implementation of the policy of respecting children’s views varies among legal systems, rendering important the matter of forum.

Anna Wysocka, How can a valid profession iuris be made under the EU succession Regulation? p. 569-575. The abstract reads:

In the near future, the Succession Regulation will unify international succession law in the EU. Containing rules which have a universal nature, starting from August 17, 2015 it will almost entirely replace international succession rules which are currently in force in the Member States. The Succession Regulation allows for a professio iuris, which may be made even now as long as it complies with certain requirements. Which laws may be designated as applicable? In what form should a professio iuris be made? Which law applies to the material validity of the professio iuris? Must the choice of law be clearly expressed or may it be tacit? May it be modified or revoked? What if the professio iuris turns out to be invalid? The above questions are answered by comparing the provisions of the Succession Regulation with the Hague Convention, as well as domestic laws of countries currently allowing for professio iuris.

Csongor István Nagy, What functions may party autonomy have in international family and succession law? An EU perspective, p. 576-586. The abstract reads:

The article examines, from an EU perspective, what functions and considerations may justify party autonomy in the fields of international family and succession law. The article argues that in family and succession law the main function of party autonomy should be to tackle the uncertainties related to the applicable law (predictability), to protect vested rights and to ensure the operation of the country-of-origin principle. It is also submitted that this function is less relevant regarding matters connected to legal systems that contain uniform choice-of-law rules, like the Member States of the EU. Furthermore, the article also argues that in the EU the mutual recognition of the choice-of-law rules of the Member States may also justify party autonomy, especially in family and succession law.

Maria Hook, Party autonomy – yes or no? The ‘commodification’ of the law applicable to matrimonial property relations, p. 587-596. The abstract reads:

The party autonomy principle has met with some success in matrimonial property law, having been embraced, albeit with restrictions, by most civil law countries, but eschewed by the relevant statutory regimes of common law countries such as England and Australia. This article argues that the rationale for extending party choice to matrimonial property disputes is in need of re-examination. In particular, it submits that insufficient attention has been paid to the mechanism behind the party autonomy rule – the choice of law contract – and proposes a contractual framework of evaluation, founded on the choice of law agreement as a self-sufficient contract. This framework is used to determine whether, in the area of matrimonial property law, objective choice of law rules are mandatory in nature – that is, whether they seek to give effect to public policies that ought not be the subject of party choice. By importing contractual theory into the choice of law process, this article hopes to offer a principled alternative to the traditional, often narrowly-focused approach that has been taken to party autonomy in this area.

Sagi Peari, Choice-of-law in family law: Kant, Savigny and the parties’ autonomy principle, p. 597-604. The abstract reads:

This article offers an explanation for the emerging popularity of the parties’ autonomy principle in the area of family law. It will be argued that Friedrich Carl von Savigny’s divergence from Kant in the area of family law is what underlies the reluctance of different jurisdictions to implement the parties’ autonomy principle in this area. Accordingly, the adoption of this principle in the area of family law reflects a complete reversion of Savigny’s choice-of-law theory to its Kantian roots.