Lehmann on “Recognition as a Substitute for Conflict of Laws?”

Matthias Lehmann, University of Bonn, has posted ‘Recognition as a Substitute for Conflict of Laws?’, a chapter in a forthcoming book on ‘General Principles of European Private International Law’ (Stefan Leible, ed.), on SSRN. The piece weighs a whole spectre of arguments for and against an EU version of the Full Faith and Credit Clause in the US constitution. It summarizes over a decade scholarly debate in Europe, fuelled by of ECJ decisions and Commission proposals. In the end, Lehmann rejects a general rule of recognition with regard to ‘legal situations’ created in other Member States. Yet he favours obliging authorities and courts to recognise such situations where they are recorded in official documents or public registers, provided that appropriate conditions and safeguards are in place. Among the latter is a sufficient connection between the legal situation and the Member State of origin of the document or register entry as well as a well-defined public policy exception. Lehmann concludes that recognition will not replace conflict of laws, but may be a welcome second pillar for achieving harmonious solutions in a judicial area with rising mobility of its citizens. He therefore encourages the European Commission to pursue his ambitious idea of introducing a rule of recognition into EU law.

The piece can be downloaded here.