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Written by Stephan Walter, Research Fellow at the Institute for German and International Civil Procedure Law, University of Bonn, Germany

Claims brought by creditors of Greek state bonds against Greece in connection with the 2012 haircut do not fall under the substantive scope of the Brussels Ibis Regulation because they stem from the exercise of public authority. Hence, they cannot be regarded as civil and commercial matters in the sense of Article 1(1) Brussels Ibis Regulation. This is the essence of the CJEU’s Kuhn judgment (of 15 November 2018, Case C-308/17, ECLI:EU:C:2018:911), which was already discussed on this blog.

In said blog post, it was rightly pointed out that the judgment could be nothing but a Pyrrhic victory for Greece. Not least the – now possible – application of national (sometimes exorbitant) jurisdictional rules was considered to have the potential to backfire. This was, however, only the case, if Greece was not granted immunity in the first place. In short: the fallout of the CJEU’s judgment was hardly predictable.

The Experts’ Group on Parentage / Surrogacy of the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH) has answered in the affirmative.

At its fifth meeting earlier this year, the Experts’ Group agreed that it would be feasible to develop both:

  • a general private international law instrument on the recognition of foreign judicial decisions on legal parentage; and

Sweden: New rules on non-recognition of underage marriages

Written by Prof. Maarit Jänterä-Jareborg, Uppsala University, Sweden

On 1 January 2019, new restrictions came into force in Sweden’s private international law legislation in respect of marriages validly concluded abroad. The revised rules are found in the Act (1904:26 p. 1) on Certain International Relationships on Marriage and Guardianship, Chapter 1 § 8a, as amended by SFS 2018:1973. The content of the new legislation is, briefly, the following: no marriage shall be recognised in Sweden if the spouses or either one of them was under the age of 18 years at the time of the marriage. By way of exception, this rule may be set aside once both parties are above 18 years of age, if there are exceptional reasons to recognise the marriage. 

A revised Draft Explanatory Report (version of December 2018) on the HCCH Draft Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Civil or Commercial Matters is available in both English and French on the Hague Conference website.

After the Romans: Private International Law Post Brexit

Written by Michael McParland, QC, 39 Essex Chambers, London

On 10 December 2018 the Ministry of Justice published a draft statutory instrument with the pithy title of “The Law Applicable to Contractual Obligations and Non-Contractual Obligations (Amendment etc) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018”. This indicates the current intended changes to retained EU private international law of obligations post Brexit.

The renaissance of the Blocking Statute

Written by Markus Lieberknecht, Institute for Comparative Law, Conflict of Laws and International Business Law (Heidelberg)

Quite a literal “conflict of laws” has recently arisen when the EU reactivated its Blocking Statute in an attempt to deflect the effects of U.S. embargo provisions against Iran. As a result, European parties doing business with Iran are now confronted with a dilemma where compliance with either regime necessitates a breach of the other. This post explores some implications of the Blocking Statute from a private international law perspective.

Guest post by Dr. Stefano Dominelli of the University of Milan

In recent times, the European Commission has investigated the possibility of amending Regulation 1393/2007 on the service of judicial and extra-judicial documents between Member States. Such instrument has already settled some issues practitioners encountered under the application of the previous legal framework, in particular related to the administrative cooperation regime, the linguistic exception to service, and direct service by registered mail – or equivalent measure.

The European Law Institute (ELI) has launched in 2017 a project on The Protection of Adults in International Situations.

The adults to which the project refers are persons aged 18 or more who are not in a position to protect their interests due to an impairment or insufficiency of their personal faculties.

Blockchain Networks and European Private International Law

Written by Anton S. Zimmermann, Institute for Comparative Law, Conflict of Laws and International Business Law (Heidelberg)

Blockchain technology and its offspring have recently attracted considerable attention in both media and scholarship. Its decentralised nature raises several legal questions. Among these are, for example, the challenges that blockchain technology poses to data protection laws and the threats it creates with regard to the effective enforcement of legal claims.

Written by Veerle Van Den Eeckhout

On 23 November 2018 the Dutch Supreme Court referred a question for preliminary ruling to the CJEU in a case with regard to labour conditions of Hungarian truck drivers, particularly with regard to the Posting of Workers Directive, 96/71/EC (see here for the Dutch version, see here for the decision of the same day).

The preliminary question will certainly attract the attention of many who have a particular interest in the specific theme of labour conditions of mobile East European workers – a theme in which rules of Private International Law matter.