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.

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