Third Issue of 2011’s Journal of Private International Law

The latest issue of the Journal of Private International Law has just been published. The contents:

Arbitration and the Draft Revised Brussels I Regulation: Seeds of Home Country Control and of Harmonisation?

Luca G Radicati di Brozolo

In this article I discuss the provisions on arbitration of the European Commission’s December 2010 draft recast of Reg (EC) 41/2001 against the backdrop of the earlier proposals on the inclusion of arbitration within the scope of the Regulation. The analysis focuses principally on the functioning and implications of the lis pendens mechanism laid down by Article 29(4) of the draft, pointing out the analogy between the role conferred on the law and forum of the seat of the arbitration and the mechanism of home country control that is at the heart of European Union law. The article also analyses the reasons and positive consequences of the Commissions’ restraint in not extending the scope of the Regulation to other arbitration-related issues, especially the circulation of judgments dealing with the validity of arbitration agreements and awards. The article’s conclusion is that the Commission’s proposal is well balanced. Whilst it does not solve all problems relating to conflicts between court proceedings and arbitration within the EU, it addresses the most pressing one, that of concurrent court and arbitration proceedings. Moreover, it does so in terms which, in contrast to the use of anti-suit injunctions in aid of arbitration, are reconcilable with the basic tenets of European Union law. Its approach is indisputably favourable to the development of arbitration and does not jeopardise the acquis in terms of arbitration law of the more advanced member States.

European Public Policy (with an Emphasis on Exequatur Proceedings)

Jerca Kramberger Škerl

After addressing the historical role of the public policy defence in private international law, the author defines European public policy and researches its protection in the case-law of the Court of Justice of the EU and the European Court of Human Rights.

The paper further discusses the possible differences and contradictions between the fundamental values of the European Convention on Human Rights and EU law in the context of giving effect to foreign judgments. Regulations already abolishing the exequatur are assessed from the human rights point of view. The relationship between European public policy and the fundamental values arising from public international law is also treated.

Finally, the author evaluates the impact of the adoption of the Lisbon treaty and the process of revision of the Brussels I Regulation on the protection of European public policy in the EU Member states.

Reflections on the Mexico Convention in the Context of the Preparation of the Future Hague Instrument on International Contracts

José Antonio Moreno Rodriguez and María Mercedes Albornoz

The Hague Conference is creating a soft law instrument on international contracts, whicis expected to promote a general admission of the principle of party autonomy. Even if it is nowadays accepted in developed countries, this principle still needs consolidation in other regions of the world, like Latin America. In this context, the importance of the modern solutions adopted by the Mexico Convention on the law applicable to international contracts is outstanding. It is not only that the Mexico Convention clearly accepts party autonomy, but it is also well-known even outside the American continent, for its reception of lex mercatoria –an achievement that we do not find in the European Rome I Regulation. This article carries out an analysis of the main provisions of the Mexico Convention, in order to highlight some of the reflections it should provoke during the preparation of the Hague instrument.

Where Does Economic Loss Occur?

Matthias Lehmann

It is well-known that rules of private international law for torts often refer to the place where the damage has occurred. Locating this place poses serious difficulties if no physical object has been harmed, but only economic or “financial” loss has been suffered. These cases are of tremendous practical importance. The contribution provides an in-depth analysis of the problem and compares solutions adopted by EU and Swiss courts. Finally, the author suggests an original step-by-step approach as to how to determine the place of economic loss.

International Litigation Trends in Environmental Liability: A European Union–United States Comparative Perspective

Carmen Otero García-Castrillón

At times where environmental concerns take a predominant role and corporate social responsibility is at the forefront of various legal debates, the fact that the laws and/or the judicial proceedings -to establish it and to order remedies- in the country of damage could be inadequate or even non-existent, makes it appropriate to reflect on the opportunities provided by the international litigation system of the European Union (EU) as compared to the system of the United States (US). Responding to the recent case law, this paper reflects on the international environmental litigation trends from a private international law perspective, analysing the jurisdiction and conflict of laws issues that, within this field, interact with a number of international civil liability conventions. In this regard, the complex determination of the applicable law and the liability limitations in the EU do not prevent the conclusion that, due to recent jurisdiction and applicable law trends in the US, international environmental litigation may be turning to the eastern side of the Atlantic.

Intellectual Property Rights Infringements in European Private International Law: Meeting the Requirements of Territoriality and Private International Law

Sophie Neumann

The article tends to compare and analyse the private international law solutions adopted by the European legislator and their possible justification for the infringement of intellectual property rights against the background of territoriality of intellectual property rights and against the background of the different methodological approaches adopted, on the one hand, by the Rome II Regulation for the applicable law and, on the other hand, by the Brussels I Regulation for jurisdiction. The thesis to be analysed is that the respective solutions concerning the infringement of intellectual property rights can be read both in an intellectual property perspective against the background of territoriality and in a private international law perspective against the background of a more “genuine” private international law interests’ analysis. Both perspectives are affected by territoriality and therefore often lead, notwithstanding the methodological differences, to the same result in practice.

Dual Nationality = Double Trouble?

Thalia Kruger and Jinske Verhellen

The occurrence of dual nationality is increasing, due to several reasons. This article investigates the considerations private international law uses to deal with dual nationality, especially in civil law countries, where nationality is an important connecting factor and is sometimes even used for purposes of jurisdiction. Four such considerations are identified: preference for the forum nationality, the closest connection, the influence of EU law, and the principle of choice by the parties. When analysing the applications of these four considerations in issues of jurisdiction, applicable law and the recognition of foreign authentic acts or judgments, one sees that not all conflicts are real. The authors argue that false conflicts (for instance where jurisdiction can be based on the common nationality of the spouses under the Brussels IIbis Regulation) need no resolution. Both nationalities can carry equal weight in these cases. For real conflicts (for instance application of the law of the common nationality of the spouses under Art. 8c of the Rome III Regulation), a broad closest-connection test should be maintained, rather than a preference for the forum nationality (which relies heavily on arguments of State sovereignty). A closest-connection test based on objective factors is the most reliable in ensuring an outcome respectful of legal certainty.

International Surrogacy Arrangements: An Urgent Need for Legal Regulation at the International Level

Katarina Trimmings and Paul Beaumont

Recent developments and research in the area of reproductive medicine have resulted in various treatment options becoming available to infertile couples. One of them is the use of a surrogate mother. Over the last two decades, surrogacy has become an increasingly popular method of reproductive technology.

Surrogacy targets the same clientele as its counterpart, adoption. It follows that with an increasingly limited global market for adoption, surrogacy will continue expanding. It is no exaggeration to say that the modern world has already witnessed the development of an extensive international surrogacy market. This market, although initially largely unnoticed, has recently attracted a great deal of interest by the media.

A source of worry, however, is the completely unregulated character of global surrogacy. Addressing this issue, this paper seeks to outline a potential legislative framework for a private international law instrument that could regulate cross-border surrogacy arrangements.

Review Article

A review article by Sirko Harder of K Boele-Woelki, T Einhorn, D Girsberger and S Symeonides (eds), Convergence and Divergence in Private International Law: Liber Amicorum Kurt Siehr

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