Praxis des Internationalen Privat- und Verfahrensrechts (IPRax) 4/2020: Abstracts


The latest issue of the „Praxis des Internationalen Privat- und Verfahrensrechts (IPRax)“ features the following articles:

E. Schollmeyer: The effect of the entry in the domestic register is governed by foreign law: Will the new rules on cross-border divisions work?

One of the most inventive conflict-of-law rules that secondary law of the European Union has come up with, can be discovered at a hidden place in the new Mobility Directive. Article 160q of the Directive assigns the determination of the effective date of a cross-border division to the law of the departure Member State. The provision appears as an attempted clearance of the complicated brushwood of the registration steps of a cross-border division of a company. This article explores whether the clearance has been successful.

F. Fuchs: Revolution of the International Exchange of Public Documents: the Electronic Apostille

The Apostille is of utmost importance for the exchange of public documents among different nations. The 118 states currently having acceded to the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961 Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents issue, altogether, several millions of Apostilles per year in order to certify the authenticity of public documents emanating from their territory. Some years ago, the electronic Apostille was implemented, which allows states to issue their Apostilles as an electronic document. Interested parties may verify the authenticity of such an electronic document via electronic registers which are accessible on the internet. Whereas Germany has not yet acceded to that new system, 38 other jurisdictions already have done so.

G. Mäsch: Third Time Lucky? The ECJ decides (again) on the place of jurisdiction for cartel damages claims

In three decisions now the ECJ has dealt with the question of where the “place of the causal event” and the “place where the damage occurred” are to be located in order to determine, based on the ubiquity principle enshrined in Article 7(2) of the Brussels Ibis Regulation, the place of jurisdiction for antitrust damages (tort) claims. In this paper the overall picture resulting from the ECJ decisions in CDC Hydrogen Peroxides, flyLAL-Lithuanian Airlines and now Tibor-Trans is analysed. The place of the “conclusion” of a cartel favoured by the ECJ to determine the place of the causal event is not only unsuitable in the case of infringements of Art. 102 TFEU (abuse of a dominant market position), but also in cases of infringement of Art. 101 TFEU (prohibition of cartels). The same criticism applies to the ECJ’s localisation of the place where the damage occurred at the place where the competition is impaired and the victim of the cartel or the abuse of the dominant market position (claimant) sustained the financial loss. In this paper it is suggested to dock the place of the causal event to the actual seat(s) of the cartel offender(s) and the place where the damage occurred exclusively to the affected market.

J. Kleinschmidt: Jurisdiction of a German court to issue a national certificate of succession (‘Erbschein’) is subject to the European Succession Regulation

The European Succession Regulation provides little guidance as to the relationship between the novel European Certificate of Succession and existing national certificates. In a case concerning a German “Erbschein”, the CJEU has now clarified an important aspect of this relationship by holding that jurisdiction of a Member State court to issue a national certificate is subject to the harmonised rules contained in Art. 4 et seq. ESR. This decision deserves approval because it serves to avoid, as far as possible, the difficult problems ensuing from the existence of conflicting certificates from different Member States. It remains, however, an open question whether the decision can be extended to national certificates issued by notaries.

K. Thorn/K. Varón Romero: The Qualification of the Lump-Sum Compensation for Gains in the Event of Death Pursuant to Section 1371 (1) of the German Civil Code (BGB) in Accordance with the Regulation (EU) No. 650/2012

In “Mahnkopf” the CJEU had to decide whether the material scope of application of the Regulation (EU) No. 650/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4/7/2012 on jurisdiction, applicable law, recognition and enforcement of decisions and acceptance and enforcement of authentic instruments in matters of succession and on the creation of a European Certificate of Succession also covers national provisions which, like Section 1371 (1) of the German Civil Code (BGB), grant the surviving spouse a lump-sum compensation for gains after the death of the other spouse by increasing his or her inheritance. Hence, this was a question of the qualification of Section 1371 (1) BGB, which had been discussed controversially in Germany for a long time and had only been clarified on a national level in 2015. The CJEU decided in favour of a qualification under inheritance law at the level of Union law, and thus took a view which contradicts that of the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) for national conflict of laws. The authors agree with the result of the CJEU but criticise the methodical approach to the implementation of the functional qualification. The article identifies the new questions and problems that will now have to be clarified by the German courts as a result of the CJEU decision and in this context analyses two recent decisions of Higher Regional Courts. The authors note that in the context of Section 1371 (1) BGB, the question of the (temporal) scope of application of the Regulation is likely to become more important in the future, asotherwise, in their opinion, the BGH case law will still have to be considered. Accordingly, in the opinion of the authors, for future German jurisdiction much will depend on whether the BGH adapts its previous case law to that of the CJEU.

P. Mankowski: Recognition and free circulation of names ‘unlawfully’ acquired in other Member States of the EU

The PIL of names is one of the strongholds of the recognition principle. The touchstone is whether names “unlawfully” acquired in other Member States of the EU must also be recognised. A true recognition principle implies that any kind of révision au fond is interdicted. Yet any check on the “lawfulness” or “unlawfulness” of acquiring a certain name abroad amounts to nothing else than a révision au fond.

M. Gernert: Termination of contracts of Iranian business relations due to US sanctions and a possible violation of the EU Blocking Regulation and § 7 AWV

US secondary sanctions are intended to subject European economic operators to the further tightened US sanctions regime against Iran. In contrast, the socalled Blocking Regulation of the European Union is intended to protect European companies from such extraterritorial regulations and prohibits to comply with certain sanctions. In view of the great importance of the US market and the intended uncertainty in the enforcement of US sanctions, many European companies react by terminating contracts with Iranian business partners in order to rule out any risk of high penalties by US authorities. This article examines if and to what extent the Blocking Regulation and § 7 AWV influence the effectiveness of such terminations.

B. Rentsch: Cross-border enforcement of provisional measures – lex fori as a default rule

Titles from provisional measures are automatically recognised and enforced under the Brussels I-Regulations. In consequence, different laws will apply to a title’s enforceability (country of the rendering of the provisional measure) and ist actual enforcement (country where the title is supposed to take effect). This sharp divide falls short of acknowledging that questions of enforceability and the actual conditions of enforcement are closely entangled in preliminary measure proceedings, especially the enforcement deadline under Sec. 929 para. 2 of the German Code of Civil Procedure (ZPO). The European Court of Justice, in its decision C-379/17 (Societ  Immobiliare Al Bosco Srl) refrained from creating a specific Conflicts Rule for preliminary measures and ruled that the deadline falls within the scope of actual enforcement. This entails new practical problems, especially with regard to calculating the deadline when foreign titles are involved.

A. Spickhoff: “Communication torts” and jurisdiction at the place of action

Communication torts in more recent times are mostly discussed as “internet torts”. Typically, such torts will be multi-state torts. In contrast, the current case of the Austrian Supreme Court concerns the localisation of individual communication torts. The locus delicti commissi in such cases has been concretised by the Austrian Supreme Court according to general principles of jurisdiction. The locus delicti commissi, which is characterised by a falling apart of the place of action and place of effect, is located at the place of action as well as at the place of effect. In the event of individual communication torts, the place of effect is located at the victim’s place of stay during the phone call or the message arrival. The place of action has to be located at the sending location. On the other hand, in case of claims against individual third parties, the place of effect is located at the residence of the receiver. The Austrian Supreme Court remitted the case to the lower court for establishing the relevant facts for jurisdiction in respect of the denial of the plaintiff’s claim. However, the court did not problematise the question of so-called “double-relevant facts”. The European Court of Justice, in line with the judicial practice in Austria and Germany, has accepted a judicial review of the facts on jurisdiction only with respect to their conclusiveness.

R. Rodriguez/P. Gubler: Recognition of a UK Solvent Scheme of Arrangement in Switzerland and under the Lugano Conventions

In recent years, various European companies have made use of the ability to restructure their debts using a UK solvent scheme of arrangement, even those not having their seat in the UK. The conditions and applicable jurisdictional framework under which the scheme of arrangement can be recognised in jurisdictions outside the UK are controversial. In Switzerland doctrine and jurisprudence on the issue are particularly scarce. This article aims to clarify the applicable rules of international civil procedural law as well as the requirements for recognition of a scheme of arrangement in Switzerland. It is held that recognition should be generally granted, either according to the 2007 Lugano Convention or, in a possible “no-deal Brexit” scenario, according to the national rules of private international law, or possibly even the 1988 Lugano Convention.

T. Helms: Foreign surrogate motherhood and the limits of its recognition under Art. 8 ECHR

On request of the French Court of Cassation the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights has given an advisory opinion on the recognition of the legal parent-child relationship between a child born through a gestational surrogacy arrangement abroad and its intended mother who is not genetically linked to the child. It held that Art. 8 ECHR requires that domestic law provides a possibility of recognition of a legal parent-child relationship with the intended mother. But it falls within states’ margin of appreciation to choose the means by which to permit this recognition, the possibility to adopt the child may satisfy these requirements.