On 28 February 2018, the European Commission published the draft Withdrawal Agreement between the EU and the UK, based on the Joint Report from the negotiators of the two parties on the progress achieved during the first phase of the Brexit negotiations.

The draft includes a Title VI which specifically relates to judicial cooperation in civil matters. The four provisions in this Title are concerned with the fate of the legislative measures enacted by the EU in this area (and binding on the UK) once the “transition of period” will be over (that is, on 31 December 2020, as stated in Article 121 of the draft).

Article 62 of the draft provides that, in the UK, the Rome I Regulation on the law applicable to contracts and the Rome II Regulation on the law applicable to non-contractual obligations will apply, respectively, “in respect of contracts concluded before the end of the transition period” and “in respect of events giving rise to damage which occurred before the end of the transition period”.

Article 63 concerns the EU measures which lay down rules on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of decisions. These include the Brussels I bis Regulation on civil and commercial matters (as “extended” to Denmark under the 2005 Agreement between the EC and Denmark: the reference to Article 61 in Article 65(2), rather than Article 63, is apparently a clerical error), the Brussels II bis Regulation on matrimonial matters and matters of parental responsibility, and Regulation No 4/2009 on maintenance.

According to Article 63(1) of the draft, the rules on jurisdiction in the above measures will apply, in the UK, “in respect of legal proceedings instituted before the end of the transition period”. However, under Article 63(2), in the UK, “as well as in the Member States in situations involving the United Kingdom”, Article 25 of the Brussels I bis Regulation and Article 4 of the Maintenance Regulation, which concern choice-of-court agreements, will “apply in respect of the assessment of the legal force of agreements of jurisdiction or choice of court agreements concluded before the end of the transition period”(no elements are provided in the draft to clarify the notion of “involvement”, which also occurs in other provisions).

As regards recognition and enforcement, Article 63(3) provides that, in the UK and “in the Member States in situations involving the United Kingdom”, the measures above will apply to judgments given before the end of the transition period. The same applies to authentic instruments formally drawn up or registered, and to court settlements approved or concluded, prior to the end of such period.

Article 63 also addresses, with the necessary variations, the issues surrounding, among others, the fate of European enforcement orders issued under Regulation No 805/2004, insolvency proceedings opened pursuant to the Recast Insolvency Regulation, European payment orders issued under Regulation No 1896/2006, judgments resulting from European Small Claims Procedures under Regulation No 861/2007 and measures of protection for which recognition is sought under Regulation No 606/2013.

Article 64 of the draft lays down provisions in respect of the cross-border service of judicial and extra-judicial documents under Regulation No 1393/2007 (again, as extended to Denmark), the taking of evidence according to Regulation No 1206/2001, and cooperation between Member States’ authorities within the European Judicial Network in Civil and Commercial Matters established under Decision 2001/470.

Other legislative measures, such as Directive 2003/8 on legal aid, are the object of further provisions in Article 65 of the draft.


By the Permanent Bureau of the Hague Conference on Private International Law 

Get your registration now to have the chance to hear from leading Experts and to discuss with them the opportunities for, and challenges to, private international law and the evolution of the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH).

Our Experts, including Professor Jürgen Basedow, who will deliver the keynote, Lord Collins of Mapesbury, The Hon Diana Bryant AO QC, Professor Richard Fentiman, Professor Horatia Muir-Watts, Professor José Moreno Rodríguez, Justice Fausto Pocar and Professor Burkhard Hess, to name only a few, will discuss a wide range of issues, including:

  • global trends in private international law and its importance to globalisation and an “open society”;
  • the general role of private international law in an increasingly connected world;
  • the importance of private international law into facilitating the protection of human rights (with a particular focus on family issues and child protection) and to promoting trade, commerce and investment; and
  • the relationship between public and private international law and what, if any, consequences may be the result of a possible convergence.

In addition, the Experts will explore how the HCCH can continue to be the pre-eminent global international organisation that develops innovative private international law solutions.

The draft programme for this global Conference, including all speakers, can be accessed on the Conference website located at: http://www.hcch125.org/programme.php.

The Conference is held in conjunction with the HCCH’s 125th Anniversary. It will take place from 18 to 20 April 2018 in Hong Kong, and is organised by the HCCH with the generous support of the Department of Justice of the Hong Kong SAR.

See you in Hong Kong!




(Sharing from GAVC LAW)

In 2018 we celebrate the 50th year since the adoption of the 1968 Brussels Convention on jurisdiction and the enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters. The 1968 attempt to facilitate the free movement of judgments in the EU, helped lay the foundations for the exciting developments in European private international law which have occurred since. Many of the outstanding issues in what is now the Brussels I Recast (also known as EEX-bis; or Brussels Ibis) continue to have an impact on other parts of European civil procedure.

Co-organised by Leuven Law’s Institute of Private International Law and Jura Falconis, KU Leuven’s student law review, this event will consider, capita selecta wise, the application and implications of the Convention and its successors. It will also discuss the future direction of EU private international law both for civil and commercial matters, and for issues outside of commercial litigation. At a time when in most Member States the majority of commercial transactions have some kind of international element, this is a timely refresher for practitioners, judges, students and scholars alike.

Registration and program are here.


Morning program. Chaired by professor Jinske Verhellen (U Gent)

10:00 – 10:30 
Registration and welcome

10:30 – 10:35 
Opening by Jura Falconis

10:35 – 11:00
Les grands courants of 50 years of European private international law
Professor Geert Van Calster (KU Leuven)

11:00 – 11:30
Regulatory competition in civil procedure between the Member States
Professor Stéphanie Francq (UC Louvain)

11:30 – 12:00 
The application of Brussels I (Recast) in the Member States
Professor Burkhard Hess (Max Planck Institute Luxembourg)

12:00 – 12:15

12:15 – 13:00

Afternoon program. Chaired by professor Karen Vandekerckhove (European Commission’s Directorate General for Justice and Consumers, UC Louvain)

13:00 – 13:30
Brussels calling. The extra-EU application of European private international law
Professor Thalia Kruger (U Antwerpen)

13:30 – 14:00
The (not so symbiotic?) relation between the Insolvency and the Brussels I regimes
Arie Van Hoe (NautaDutilh, U Antwerpen)

14:00 – 14:30
Alternative Dispute Resolution and the Brussels Regime
Professor Stefaan Voet (KU Leuven)

14:30 – 15:00
Brussels I Recast and the Hague Judgments Project
Professor Marta Pertegas (U Antwerpen)

15:00 – 15:15

15:15 – 15:45
Coffee break

15:45 – 16:10
Provisional measures under the Brussels regime
Professor Arnaud Nuyts (ULB)

16:10 – 16:30
Brussels falling. The relationship between the UK and the EU post Brexit
Dr Helena Raulus (UK Law Societies’ Brussels office)

16:30 – 16:50
The current European Commission agenda for the development of European private international law
Dr Andreas Stein (European Commission’s Directorate General for Justice and Consumers)

16:50 – 17:15
The CJEU and European Private International Law
Ilse Couwenberg (Judge in the Belgian Supreme Court/Hof van Cassatie)

17:15 – 17:30
Close of conference
Professor Geert Van Calster (KU Leuven)

17:30 – 18:30


The European Commission has published a public consultation on the modernisation of judicial cooperation in civil and commercial matters in the EU (Revision of Regulation (EC) 1393/2007 on service of documents and Regulation (EC) 1206/2001 on taking of evidence).

As indicated in the survey, the aim of this public consultation is to collect stakeholders’ views in relation to the practical operation of the current legal framework of cross-border judicial cooperation in civil and commercial matters, with particular focus on the service of documents and taking of evidence. The consultation should help identify possible problems in connection with the operation of the co-operation mechanisms set by the two Regulations and of their relevance in terms of the establishment of a European area of justice. The consultation will also collect views on possible solutions to the problems identified. For further information, click here.

The public consultation will be open until Friday 2 March 2018. In my view, this is a very interesting and user-friendly survey and thus, I would encourage all of you who have any practical experience with these Regulations or just general interest in them to complete it.


On 15 June 2018 Prof. Dr. Susanne Augenhofer, LL.M. (Yale) will host the 4th round of the Yale-Humboldt Consumer Law Lectures. The Lectures take place in the Senatssaal of Humboldt-University and start at 2pm. This year’s speakers are:

  • Prof. Robert C. Post, Sterling Professor of Law, Yale Law School
  • Prof. Judith Resnik, Arthur Liman Professor of Law, Yale Law School
  • Prof. Reva Siegel, Nicholas de B. Katzenbach Professor of Law, Yale Law Schoo

Participation in the event is free of charge, but requires registration at https://yhcll2018.eventbrite.de by June 1, 2018.


The Max Planck Institute Luxembourg invites young researchers to actively participate in a colloquium on the “Current Challenges for EU Cross-Border Litigation in a Changing Procedural Environment”. The colloquium will precede a larger conference hosted together with the Court of Justice of the European Union on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Brussels Convention on jurisdiction and the enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters. All candidates are requested to submit their abstract by 15 April 2018.

The 1968 Brussels Convention and its progeny have mainly been designed in reference to a classic cross-border case, with two opposing parties connected to different Member States. The 2012 recast of the Brussels Regulation remains largely indebted to this original setup. Time is already catching up with the Brussels Ibis Regulation, however. Today, the Brussels Regime is challenged by societal and technological changes, pushing the rules to their limits. Recent cases adjudicated by the Court of Justice in the field of data protection and competition law show that the current Regime does not entirely provide a satisfactory framework. Notable issues entail the plurality of parties, both as claimants and defendants, and considerations of public interest. Similar concerns can be raised in relation to consumer law and shareholder protection litigation. Against this backdrop, one can notice the emergence of online platforms that collect claims in order to facilitate cross-border litigation in these areas. At its 50th anniversary, can the Brussels Regime still provide an adequate response to today’s challenges?

On 26 September, the MPI Luxembourg will host a colloquium to look ahead to the current and future challenges for cross-border litigation in a changing European procedural environment. Young professors, post-docs and advanced PhD students who are interested in contributing to the discussions, are invited to submit an abstract of max. 1,000 words, together with their CV, to BrusselsConvention50@mpi.lu by 15 April 2018. The selected candidates will be expected to write a paper and give a presentation during the colloquium; and to prepare and present a poster during the conference that follows. Organised in collaboration with the CJEU on 27-28 September, the conference will bring together members of the CJEU and renown procedural law scholars to look back on 50 years of European civil procedure and discuss the impact and importance of the Brussels Regime for European integration.

The candidates’ papers will then be included in the conference proceedings, along with the contributions of members of the CJEU and procedural law scholars. All travel and accommodation expenses will be covered by the MPI Luxembourg.

Submit an abstract


By Georgia Antonopoulou and Erlis Themeli, Erasmus University Rotterdam

(PhD candidate and postdoc researchers ERC project Building EU Civil Justice)

On February 7, 2018 the French Minister of Justice inaugurated the International Commercial Chamber within the Paris Court of Appeals following up on a 2017 report of the Legal High Committee for Financial Markets of Paris (Haut Comité Juridique de la Place Financière de Paris HCJP, see here). As the name suggests, this newly established division will handle disputes arising from international commercial contracts (see here). Looking backwards, the creation of the International Commercial Chamber does not come as a surprise.  It offers litigants the option to lodge an appeal against decisions of the International Chamber of the Paris Commercial Court (see previous post) before a specialized division and thus complements this court on a second instance.

According to the press release, litigants will have the possibility to conduct proceedings not only in English, but also in other foreign languages. The parties can submit documents in a foreign language without official translation and hearings can be held in a foreign language as well. However, a simultaneous translation of the oral hearing will take place. In addition, the parties may submit their briefs in a foreign language accompanied by a French translation. Finally, the court will render its decisions in French accompanied by a translation in the relevant foreign language. Contrary to the respective German and Dutch legislative proposals, which allow for the conduct of proceedings, including the decisions of the court, entirely in English, the French initiative appears more modest setting multiple translation requirements.

However, France is one more domino piece affected by the civil justice system competition in the European Union. In light of Brexit, the list of European Union Member States opting for the creation of international commercial courts is growing. The legislative proposal for the establishment of Chambers for International Commercial Disputes in Germany (Kammern für Internationale Handelssachen) was the first -though unsuccessful- attempt. Nevertheless, the recent ‘Frankfurt Justice Initiative’ came to revive the seemingly dormant German debate (see previous post). Not far away from Germany, the Netherlands is launching the Netherlands Commercial Court (NCC), which is expected to open its doors in the second half of 2018. Finally, in October 2017, the Belgian Minister of Justice announced the government’s initiative to establish a specialized court in commercial matters, called the Brussels International Business Court (BIBC) (see previous post).

Competing Member States try to attract cross-border litigation, and thus increase the work of the local legal community and related services. As accepted in the press release of this latest French initiative, a good competitive court is a positive signal to foreign investors. It should be reminded that this is not the first time that competitive activities erupt. A few years ago, competing Member States were focused on publishing brochures to highlight the best qualities of their jurisdictions. This time, competitive activities seem to be more vigorous and seem to better address the needs of international litigants. Only time will show how dynamic competition will unfold, and who the winners will be.


The next Biennial Conference of the German Society for International Law (DGfIR) will take place from 20 to 22 March 2019 at the University of Vienna. The conference will deal with the topic Corporate Accountability and International Law. Speakers are Professors Tanja Domej (Zürich), Oliver Dörr (Osnabrück), Anatol Dutta (Munich), Peter Hilpold (Innsbruck), Stefan Huber (Tübingen), Nico Krisch (Geneva), Giesela Rühl (Jena) and Silja Vöneky (Freiburg i. Br.). Further information will soon be available here.


On 4-6 April 2018 the Loyola University Andalusia in Seville (Spain) will host a conference to celebrate the 60th birthday of the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards.

Jointly organized by The United Nations Commission for International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), the Loyola University Andalusia, the University of Zaragoza and the Spanish Club of Arbitration (CEA) the conference analyses key issues and future challenges of the Convention and provides a unique opportunity to meet with professionals and academics from around the world.

Registration is now open via the conference website.

The program is available here and here.



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.