The Influence of Islam on Banking and Finance

On 12th of October 2012, the Ernst von Caemmerer Foundation organized a symposium on „The Influence of Islam on Banking and Finance“ that took place on the premises of the Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt am Main (Germany). The conference language was English. Subject of the presentations and subsequent discussions were the latest developments in the field of Islamic Banking and its position in the international financial system. Most of the presentations held at the symposium have now been published in: Uwe Blaurock (ed.), The Influence of Islam on Banking and Finance, Nomos, Baden-Baden, Germany 2014. With regard to conflict of laws and comparative law, particularly the contributions by Thomas Prüm on „Islamic Capital Markets“, by Matthias Casper on „Sharia Boards and Sharia Compliance in the context of European Corporate Governance“ and by Herbert Kronke („Towards a Global Contract Law in Banking and Finance? Inventory and Perspectives“) deserve attention. More information is available on the publisher’s website.

Dealing with Diversity in International Arbitration

We are pleased to announce a forthcoming TDM special issue on “Dealing with Diversity in International Arbitration.”  This Special Issue will analyse discrimination and diversity in international arbitration. It will examine new trends, developments, and challenges in the use of practitioners from different geographical, ethnic/racial, religious backgrounds as well as of different genders in international arbitration, whether as counsel or tribunal members.

International arbitration has experienced substantial growth in the past two decades.   The ascendance of international arbitration as a preferred method of resolving disputes between international parties is the product of the growth of world economies and the increased participation in global commerce of emerging markets.  The rise of many states as major investment destinations and the expansion of multinational corporations into new markets have increased business opportunities, and thus the numbers of business disputes worldwide.

The high demand for arbitration (and other forms of ADR) services, in turn, has driven many governments to cultivate a pro-arbitration environment through new arbitration legislation and other mechanisms, and has led to the proliferation of international arbitral centres throughout the world but particularly in Asia (including in Singapore, Hong Kong and elsewhere).  Likewise, many global law firms have also responded to this increased demand by aggressively entering new markets and deploying significant resources to those emerging regions.

The expansion of international arbitration into new regions as well as steady growth in more established markets has not, however, been reflected in the greater participation of a greater variety of practitioner whether female or non-European/American or from different ethnic and religious backgrounds. Women are not getting the same opportunities as men, regardless of background. Of equal concern is the fact that practitioners from non-European/American backgrounds or in regions such as Africa and Asia are not getting the same opportunities as their European and American counterparts. In that regard, Islamic Finance Arbitration is a growing field where regional and religious backgrounds may play a role. Only time will tell if that area will be over represented by a homogenous type of arbitrator and counsel.

 Statistics published by arbitral institutions indicate quite strongly that, more generally, there is a severe imbalance in the vast number of appointments whether by parties or by the institution concerned. The appointment of European and American arbitrators usually account for a large chunk of the pie chart with the thinnest, barely visible slivers representing arbitrators from other regions or ethnicity. Further analysis of the numbers indicates that things are not really improving.

 This TDM Special Issue will provide international practitioners and academics with an overview of the overall position of diversity in international arbitration.

Possible topics for submission to the special issue might include:

  • Why an increase in work in the international arbitration area of practice has not lead to the commensurate growth in participation by a more diverse group of practitioners – this might include not only the male/female divide but also the African / Asian / European / American divide;
  • Does limiting the field of international arbitration players mean that the scope of the decisions made at all levels are also being limited?
  • Are legal sector reforms necessary to improve the diversity; are quotas a good thing?
  • How can the pro-arbitration culture be replicated in a pro-diversity argument;
  • Prospect of a fairer representation of participants covering gender, ethnicity, regions and religion in international arbitration;
  • Obstacles for the discriminated groups preventing them from getting on in the international arbitration area of practice and how they can be overcome;
  • Nature of and empirical study of geographical/regional, ethnic/racial and male/female diversity in international arbitration;
  • The impact of differing levels of participation in international arbitration on business dispute resolution and the effect of cultural norms on the practice of international arbitration; and
  • Influence of dispute resolution culture / traditions.

This special issue will be edited by Professor Rashda Rana SC (Barrister, Arbitrator at 39 Essex Street Chambers, President ArbitralWomen) and Louise Barrington (Independent Arbitrator and Director Aculex Transnational Inc) with the assistance of the Edition Committee including Karen Mills (Partner Karim Syah Indonesia) and Gabrielle Nater Bass (Partner Homburger Switzerland).

For further information click here.

Conference: Migrant Children in the 21st Century (Cagliari, 11-12 December 2014)

The University of Cagliari will host on 11-12 December 2014 a two-day conference on children-related legal aspects of immigration: “Migrant Children in the 21st Century“. All sessions will be held in English, and an entire session will be devoted to private international law issues. Here’s the programme (available as a .pdf file):

Section I - The special vulnerabilities of migrant children (11th December, 15h00-18h00)

Chairman: Massimo Condinanzi (Univ. of Milano)

  • Adriana Di Stefano (Univ. of Catania): Gender perspectives on child migration and international human rights law: a critical approach;
  • Valerie Karr (Univ. of Massachussets Boston): Children with disabilities and asylum policies;
  • Flavia Zorzi Giustiniani (Univ.  Telematica Nettuno, Roma): The protection of internally displaced children;
  • Federico Lenzerini, Erika Piergentili (Univ. of Siena): Exploitation of migrant children in economic activities;
  • Alessandra Annoni (Univ. of Catanzaro): The protection of trafficked children in Europe.

Section II - Substantive guarantees for migrant children (12th December, 10h00–13h00)

Chairman: Riccardo Pisillo Mazzeschi (Univ. of Siena)

  • Roberto Virzo (Univ. of Sannio and LUISS, Rome): International legal instruments and the protection of migrant children at sea;
  • Eleanor Drywood (Univ. of Liverpool): Migrant children and family reunification: do the rights of the child ever prevail over immigration control?
  • Emanuela Pistoia (Univ. of Teramo): What protection for children of migrant workers deported from EU Member States?
  • Francesca De Vittor (Univ. Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan): Migrant children’s right to education. The gap between recognition of principle and effective protection;
  • Federico Casolari (Univ. of Bologna): The right of migrant children to political life.

Section III - The protection of best interest of migrant children through private international law (12th December,15h00-18h00)

Chairman: Roberto Baratta (Univ. of Macerata)

  • Aude Fiorini (Univ. of Dundee): Establishing habitual residence of migrant children;
  • Thalia Kruger (Univ. of Antwerp): The civil aspects of international child abduction;
  • Paul R. Beaumont, Katarina Trimmings (Univ. of Aberdeen): Legal parentage and reproductive technologies;
  • Maria Caterina Baruffi (Univ. of Verona): Recognition and enforcement of measures concerning right of access;
  • Laura Carpaneto (Univ. of Genoa): Recognition of protection measures affecting migrant children.

(Many thanks to Ester di Napoli, Univ. of Cagliari, for the tip-off)

Private International Law in the 20th century

In December 2012, the Institute of Private International and Foreign Private Law of the University of Cologne hosted a symposium to commemorate the 100th birthday of Gerhard Kegel and the 80th birthday of Alexander Lüderitz. The invited speakers, Klaus Schurig (University of Passau), Karsten Otte (University of Mannheim), and Haimo Schack (University of Kiel) focused on the development of methods of private international law in the 20th century, which has been strongly influenced by the works of both academics, on how these methods may be used to explain conflict-of-laws problems in the 21st century and how they can serve as the fundament of modern methodology of private international law.

The essays by the symposium’s speakers have now been published under the title ‘Internationales Privatrecht im 20. Jahrhundert: Der Einfluss von Gerhard Kegel und Alexander Lüderitz auf das Kollisionsrecht’, edited by Heinz-Peter Mansel. In addition to these essays, which include thoughts on Kegel’sInteressenlehre’ as well as a comprehensive discussion of the renvoi doctrine, the book contains a short introduction to the works of Kegel and Lüderitz, synopses of the oral discussions that followed the talks at the symposium, and complete bibliographies of both Kegel and Lüderitz.

Recent Case Law of the ECtHR in Family Law Matters

The ERA (Trier) proposes a conference on recent case law of the ECtHR in family law matters, in Strasbourg, 18-19 February 2015. 

Participants will have the opportunity to attend a hearing of the Grand Chamber.

The spotlight is centered on Article 8 (respect for family life) in conjunction with Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination) and Article 12 (right to marry).

Key topics

To be understood taking into account that case law of the ECtHR concentrates not only on the legal implications but also on social, emotional and biological factors.

  • International child abduction 
  • Balancing the children’s rights, parents’ rights and public order
  • Adoption
  • Surrogacy parenthood
  • Recognition of parent-child relations as a result of surrogacy
  • Child custody and access rights within parental authority
  • Recognition of marriage and civil unions in same-sex relationships

Who should attend?

Lawyers specialised in family law, human rights lawyers, judges dealing with family law matters, ministry officials, representatives of NGOs and child’s rights organisations.


For further information click here.



Rudolf Hübner on Foreign Law in German Courts

Rudolf Hübner has authored a book on foreign law in German courts (“Ausländisches Recht vor deutschen Gerichten Grundlagen un153464_a3f45649e8d europäische Perspektiven der Ermittlung ausländischen Rechts im gerichtlichen Verfahren”. The volume is in German and has been published by Mohr Siebeck. The official abstract reads as follows:

The ascertainment of foreign law is a classical procedural problem: it is difficult and therefore error-prone. In order to deal with this problem properly, an accurate adjustment of procedural economics and legal certainty, as well as the procedural rights of the parties and the procedural objective to deliver judgments in accordance with substantive law, is indispensable.

More information is available on the publisher’s website.

Journal of Private International Law 10th Anniversary Conference at the University of Cambridge, 3-5 September 2015 – Call for Papers

Building on the very successful conferences held in Aberdeen (2005), Birmingham (2007), New York (2009), Milan (2011) and Madrid (2013), we are pleased to announce that the Journal of Private International Law will be holding its 10th anniversary conference at the University of Cambridge on 3-5 September 2015. We now invite abstracts for the conference. Please submit an abstract if you would like to make a presentation at the conference and you are willing to produce a final paper that you will submit for publication in the Journal. Abstracts should be up to 500 words in length and should clearly state the name(s) and affiliation(s) of the author(s). They can be on any subject matter that falls within the scope of the Journal – see – and can be offered by people at any stage of their career, including postgraduate students.   Presentation at the conference will depend on whether your abstract is selected by the Editors of the Journal (Professors Jonathan Harris of King’s College, London and Paul Beaumont of the University of Aberdeen) and by the conference organisers in the University of Cambridge (Professor Richard Fentiman, Dr Louise Merrett and Dr Pippa Rogerson). The subsequent article should be submitted to the Journal. Publication in the Journal will be subject to the usual system of refereeing by two experts in the field.

There will be a mixture of plenary (Friday) and parallel panel sessions (Thursday afternoon and Saturday morning). Please indicate on the abstract whether you are willing to present in either or are only willing to do so in one or the other. A willingness to be flexible maximises our ability to select your paper.

The Conference will be held in the Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge. See for further information.

Speakers will not be expected to pay a conference fee but will be expected to pay their expenses to get to Cambridge. Conference accommodation is available in Gonville & Caius College at the speaker’s own expense (see Details about accommodation and the conference dinner on the Thursday evening will follow but bed and breakfast in a single room in the College will be about £70 per night.

Please send your abstract to the following email address by Friday 20 February 2015: (

Conference Report: Minimum Standards in European Procedural Law

As reported earlier on this blog, Matthias Weller (EBS Law School) and Christoph Althammer (University of Regensburg) hosted a conference on “Minimum Standards in European Pocedural Law” in Wiesbaden on November 14 and 15. Here is a brief report.

By Jonas Steinle, LL.M., Doctoral Student and Fellow at the Research Center for Transnational Commercial Dispute Resolution, EBS Law School, Wiesbaden, Germany)

The European Area of Justice has developed dynamically in the last years through the implementation of a wide range of different legal instruments, and a core technique of these instruments is mutual recognition. The number of Member States has also increased. This leads to the fundamental question whether and to what extent there should be a (larger) core of harmonized European procedural law in the future as one cornerstone for strengthening the mutual trust in the judicial systems of the Member States in order to better justify mutual recognition. European Procedural law can only be (further) developed if there is some sort of common ground (Leitbild)amongst the Member States in procedural issues. Once such common ground is sufficiently established, national procedural laws can be measured against this standard, and the more a national law or rule departs from the common ground, the more it is put under pressure for justification. This approach mirrors the test applied by the European Court of Human Rights when it comes to controlling national rules for which there is not yet a clear autonomous standard apparent from the guarantees under the European Convention on Human Rights.

The conference, organized by Prof. Matthias Weller (EBS University Wiesbaden) and Prof. Christoph Althammer (University of Regensburg) and hosted by the Research Center for Transnational Commercial Dispute Resolution ( at the EBS Law School in Wiesbaden, dealt with a number of perspectives for and on such common ground.

The conference started with three reports on the German (Prof. Christoph Althammer), French (Prof. Frédérique Ferrand, University Jean Moulin, Lyon) and English legal system (Prof. Matthias Weller) as to their various forms of minimum standards and guiding principles. As a starting point, Christoph Althammer gave some insights into the German traditional procedural standards (Prozessmaximen) as classic legislative driven requirements and how they are derived from superior rules of law. Frédérique Ferrand, on the other hand, discussed the particular role of the Court of Cassation (Cour de Cassation) in the French civil procedure system. Matthias Weller highlighted the strong pressure on the parties for going into mediation rather than litigating their claims at state courts and in general punitive elements. As a conclusion of the first day of the conference, Prof. Thomas Pfeiffer (University of Heidelberg) presented a synthesis on the various national reports.

On the second day of the conference, Prof. Michael Kubiciel (University of Cologne) and Prof. Andreas Glaser (University of Zurich) provided insights in minimum standards in criminal procedural and administrative law as a point of comparison. These presentations were followed by two reports on areas of strongly Europeanized procedural rules, first by Prof. Friedemann Kainer (University of Mannheim) on European influences and standards in competition law, in particular in private enforcement litigation, and Prof. Mary-Rose McGuire (also University of Mannheim) on litigation in intellectual property law. It became clear that a strong “effet utile” from European substantive law influences in many ways procedural law but sometimes generates specific solutions that may not count as a general European standard.

As a final presentation, Prof. Burkhard Hess (Max Planck Institute Luxembourg for International, European and Regulatory Procedural Law) summarized the outcome of the various perspectives during the second day of the conference by making reference inter alia to the acquis communautaire and he provided a far-reaching perspective on the future of European procedural law.

After the various sessions there were intense debates amongst many prominent international civil procedure law experts in the audience. All presentations will be published with Mohr Siebeck. A follow-up event is being planned.

International Conference: Settlement of International Trade Disputes in the Region of Central Asia and Caucasus: Public and Private Mechanisms

The Kiel Centre for Eurasian Economic Law (KEEL) at the Institute of East European Law of the University of Kiel in cooperation with the Academy of Public Administration under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Al-Farabi Kazakh National University and the Ural State Law University will host an International Conference on the topic “Settlement of International Trade Disputes in the Region of Central Asia and Caucasus: Public and Private Mechanisms“.

The conference will take place on 28-29 November at the Parliamt (Landtag) of Schleswig-Holstein in Kiel and will be held in English and Russian with simultaneous translation.

For more information, the full programme as well as registration please visit the following page: Conference in Kiel.

ADR & ODR in the EU- Joint Conference ERA&MPI Luxembourg

2015 will be a landmark year for the debate on ADR & ODR. The Directive on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) will have to be transposed into national legislation by 9 July 2015; the Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) platform will become operational six months later.

The conference, jointly organized by the ERA and the MPI Luxembourg and taking place in Trier, will discuss at an early stage the existing proposals for transposing the requirements of the ADR Directive into national law.

Key topics

  • In-depth analysis of the legal and practical issues regarding the implementation of the Consumer Alternative Dispute Resolution Directive

  • Forthcoming changes after the entry into force of the Regulation on Consumer Online Dispute Resolution

Speakers: Karin Basenach, Director, European Consumer Centre Luxembourg; Juan Bueso, Legal Adviser, European Consumer Centre Ireland, Dublin; Alessandro Bruni, Attorney-at-Law, Professional Mediator and Arbitrator, Rome; Dr Pablo Cortés, Attorney-at-Law, Senior Lecturer, School of Law, University of Leicester; Christoph Decker, DG Justice and Consumers, European Commission, Brussels; Marie Luise Graf-Schlicker, Ministerial Director, Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, Berlin; Professor Burkhard Hess, Director, Max Planck Institute for; International, European and Regulatory Procedural Law, Luxembourg; Professor Christopher Hodges, Professor of Justice Systems, University of Oxford;Ulrike Janzen, Head of Division, Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, Berlin; Nathalie Jouant, Attachée, DG Economic Regulation – Consumers & Entreprises Unit, FPS Economy, Brussels; Augusta Maciuleviciute, Senior Legal Officer and Consumer Redress Leader, BEUC, Brussels; Dr Rafa? Morek, Adjunct Professor, University of Warsaw, Of Counsel, K&L Gates LLP, Warsaw; Nicole Nespoulous, DG Competition Policy, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control, Ministry of Finance, Paris; Marie-Josée Ries, Director, DG Internal Market, Ministry of Economy, Luxembourg.

Click here to see the program , here for practical further information.

 Language: English
 Organisers: Dr Angelika Fuchs, ERA with the support of Professor Burkhard Hess, Max Planck Institute Luxembourg
Event number: 115D31