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Private International Law and Venezuelan Academia in 2019: A Review

by José Antonio Briceño Laborí, Professor of Private International Law, Universidad Central de Venezuela y Universidad Católica Andrés Bello

In 2019 the Venezuelan Private International Law (hereinafter “PIL”) academic community made clear that, despite all the difficulties, it remains active and has the energy to expand its activities and undertake new challenges.

As an example of this
we have, firstly, the different events in which our professors have
participated and the diversity of topics developed by them, among which the
following stand out:

  • XI
    Latin American Arbitration Conference, Asunción, Paraguay, May 2019 (Luis
    Ernesto Rodríguez – How is tecnology impacting on arbitration?)
  • Conferences for the 130th
    Anniversary of the Treaties of Montevideo of 1889, Montevideo, Uruguay, June
    2019 (Eugenio Hernández-Bretón and Claudia Madrid Martínez – The recent
    experience of some South American countries not part of Montevideo Treaties in comparative
    perspective to them. The case of Venezuela).
  • OAS XLVI Course on
    International Law. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 2019 (Javier Ochoa Muñoz – Effectiveness
    of foreign judgements and transnational access to justice. Reflections from global
    governance).
  • The Role of Academia in Latin
    American Private Intertnational Law, Hamburg, Germany, September 2019 (Javier
    Ochoa Muñoz – The Legacy of Tatiana Maekelt in Venezuela and in the Region).
  • XIII ASADIP Annual Conference
    2019: Transnational Effectiveness of Law: Recognition and enforcement of
    foreign judgments, arbitral awards and other acts (Claudia Madrid Martínez –
    Transnational Efficacy of Foreign Judgments – Flexibilization of Requirements; Eugenio
    Hernández-Bretón – Transnational Effectiveness of Provisional Measures; and
    Luis Ernesto Rodríguez – New Singapore Convention and the execution of
    international agreements resulting from cross-border mediation).

However, this year’s three
most important milestones for our academic community occurred on Venezuelan
soil. Below we review each one in detail:

  1. Celebration of the 20th
    Anniversary of the Venezuelan PIL Act

The
Venezuelan
PIL Act
, the first autonomous legislative instrument on this subject in the
continent, entered into force on February 6, 1999 after a six months vacatio
legis
(since it was enacted in the Official Gazette of the Republic of
Venezuela on August 6, 1998).

This instrument has a
long history, as its origins date back to the Draft Law on PIL Norms written by
professors Gonzalo Parra-Aranguren, Joaquín Sánchez-Covisa and Roberto
Goldschmidt in 1963 and revised in 1965. The Draft Law was rescued in 1995 on
the occasion of the First National Meeting of PIL Professors. Its content was
updated and finally a new version of the Draft Law was sent by the professors
to the Ministry of Justice, which in turn sent it to the Congress, leading to
its enactment (for an extensive overview of the history of the Venezuelan PIL
Act and its content, see: Hernández-Bretón, Eugenio, Neues venezolanisches
Gesetz über das Internationale Privatrecht, IPRax 1999, 194 (Heft 03); Parra-Aranguren,
Gonzalo, The Venezuelan Act on Private International Law of 1998, Yearbook
of Private International Law
, Vol. 1 1999, pp. 103-117; and B. de Maekelt,
Tatiana, Das neue venezolanische Gesetz über Internationales Privatrecht, RabelsZ,
Bd. 64, H. 2 (Mai 2000), pp. 299-344).

To celebrate the 20th
anniversary of the Act, the Private International and Comparative Law
Professorship of the Central University of Venezuela and the “Tatiana Maekelt”
Institute of Law with the participation of 7 professors and 9 students of the
Central University of Venezuela Private International and Comparative Law
Master Program.

All the expositions
revolved around the Venezuelan PIL Act, covering the topics of the system of
sources, vested rights, ordre public, in rem rights, consumption contracts,
punitive damages, jurisdiction matters, international labour relations,
recognition and enforcement of foreign judgements, transnational provisional
measures and the relations between the Venezuelan PIL Act and international
arbitration matters. The conference was both opened and closed by the professor
Eugenio Hernández-Bretón with two contributions: “The Private International Law
Act and the Venezuelan university” and “The ‘secret history’ of the Private
International Law Act”.

  • Private International
    and Comparative Law Master Program’s Yearbook

On
the occasion of the XVIII National Meeting of Private International Law
Professors, the Private International and Comparative Law Master’s Degree Program
of the Central University of Venezuela launched its website and the first issue of its yearbook. This
specialized publication was long overdue, particularly in the Master’s Program
context which is focused on educating and training researchers and professors
in the areas of Private International Law and Comparative Law with a strong theoretical
foundation but with a practical sense of their fields. The Yearbook will allow
professors, graduates, current students and visiting professors to share their
views on the classic and current topics of Private International Law and
Comparative Law.

This
first issue included the first thesis submitted for a Master’s Degree on the
institution of renvoi, four papers spanning International Procedural
Law, electronic means of payment, cross-border know-how contracts and
International Family Law, sixteen of the papers presented during the
Commemoration of the Twentieth Anniversary of the Venezuelan Private
International Law Act’s entry into force, and two collaborations by Guillermo
Palao Moreno and Carlos Esplugues Mota, professors of Private International Law
at the University of Valencia (Spain), that shows the relation of the Program
with visiting professors that have truly nurtured the students’ vision of their
area of knowledge.

The
Call of Papers for the 2020 Edition of the Yearbook is now open. The deadline
for the reception of contributions will be April 1st, 2020 and the
expected date of publication is May 15th, 2020. All the information
is available here.
The author guidelines are available here. Scholars
from all over the world are invited to contribute to the yearbook.

  • Libro Homenaje al Profesor Eugenio Hernández-Bretón

On
December 3rd, 2019 was launched a book to pay homage to Professor Eugenio
Hernández-Bretón. Its magnitude (4 volumes, 110 articles and 3298) is a mirror
of the person honored as we are talking about a highly productive and prolific
lawyer, professor and researcher and, at the same time, one of the humblest
human beings that can be known. He is truly one of the main reasons why the
Venezuelan Private International Law professorship is held up to such a high
standard.

The
legacy of Professor Hernández-Bretón is recognized all over the work. Professor
of Private International Law at the Central University of Venezuela, Catholic
University Andrés Bello and Monteávila University (he is also the Dean of the
Legal and Political Sciences of the latter), Member of the Venezuelan Political
and Social Sciences Academy and its President through the celebration of the Academy’a
centenary, the fifth Venezuelan to teach a course at The Hague Academy of
International Law and a partner in a major law firm in Venezuela (where he has
worked since his law school days) are just some of the highlights of his
career.

The
contributions collected for this book span the areas of Private International
Law, Public International Law, Comparative Law, Arbitration, Foreign
Investment, Constitutional Law, Administrative Law, Tax Law, Civil Law,
Commercial Law, Labor Law, Procedural Law, Penal Law, General Theory of Law,
Law & Economics and Law & Politics. The book closes with six studies on
the honored.

The
contributions of Private International Law take the entire first volume. It
includes the following articles:

  • Adriana
    Dreyzin de Klor – El Derecho internacional privado argentino aplicado a partir
    del nuevo Código Civil y Comercial (The Argentine Private International Law
    applied from the new Civil and Commercial Code).
  • Alfredo
    Enrique Hernández Osorio – Objeto, contenido y características del Derecho
    internacional privado (Purpose, content and characteristics of Private
    International Law).
  • Andrés
    Carrasquero Stolk – Trabajadores con elevado poder de negociación y Derecho
    applicable a sus contratos: no se justifica restricción a la autonomía de las
    partes (Workers with high bargaining power and applicable law to their
    contracts: no restriction to party autonomy is justified).
  • Carlos
    E. Weffe H. – La norma de conflicto. Notas sobre el método en el Derecho
    internacional privado y en el Derecho internacional tributario (The conflict
    norm. Notes on the method in Private International Law
    and in International Tax Law).
  • Cecilia
    Fresnedo de Aguirre – Acceso al derecho extranjero en materia civil y
    comercial: cooperación judicial y no judicial (Access to foreign law in
    civil and commercial matters: judicial and non-judicial cooperation
    ).
  • Claudia
    Madrid Martínez – El rol de las normas imperativas en la contratación
    internacional contemporánea (The role of peremptory norms in contemporary
    international contracting).
  • Didier
    Opertti Badán – Reflexiones sobre gobernabilidad y Derecho internacional
    privado (Reflections on governance and Private International Law).
  • Fred
    Aarons P. – Regulación del internet y el derecho a la protección de datos
    personales en el ámbito internacional (Internet regulation and the right to
    personal data protection at international level).
  • Gerardo
    Javier Ulloa Bellorin – Interpretación del contrato: estudio comparativo entre
    los principios para los contratos comerciales internacionales del UNIDROIT y el
    derecho venezolano (Contract interpretation: comparative study between the
    UNIDROIT Principles on International Commercial Contracts and Venezuelan law).
  • Gilberto
    Boutin I. – El recurso de casación en las diversas fuentes del Derecho
    internacional privado panameño (Cassational complaint in the various sources of
    Panamanian Private International Law).
  • Guillermo
    Palao Moreno – La competencia judicial internacional en la nueva regulación
    europea en materia de régimen económico matrimonial y de efectos patrimoniales de
    las uniones registradas (International jurisdiction in the new European
    regulation on the economic matrimonial regime and the property effects of
    registered partnerships).
  • Héctor
    Armando Jaime Martínez – Derecho internacional del trabajo (International Labor
    Law).
  • Javier
    L. Ochoa Muñoz – El diálogo de las fuentes ¿un aporte del Derecho internacional
    privado a la teoría general del Derecho? (The dialogue
    of sources: a contribution from private international law to the general theory
    of law?
  • Jorge
    Alberto Silva – Contenido de un curso de Derecho internacional regulatorio del
    proceso (Content of a course on international law regulating the process).
  • José
    Antonio Briceño Laborí – La jurisdicción indirecta en la ley de derecho
    internacional privado.
  • José
    Antonio Moreno Rodríguez – Los Principios Unidroit en el derecho paraguayo (The
    UNIDROT Principles in Paraguayan law).
  • José
    Luis Marín Fuentes – ¿Puede existir una amenaza del Derecho uniforme frente al
    Derecho interno?: ¿podríamos hablar de una guerra anunciada? (Can there be a threat to national law from uniform law? Could we talk
    about an announced war?).
  • Jürgen
    Samtleben – Cláusulas de jurisdicción y sumisión al foro en América Latina (Jurisdiction
    and submission clauses in Latin America).
  • Lissette
    Romay Inciarte – Derecho procesal internacional. Proceso con elementos de extranjería
    (International Procedural Law. Trial with foreign elements).
  • María
    Alejandra Ruíz – El reenvío en el ordenamiento jurídico venezolano (Renvoi
    in the Venezuelan legal system).
  • María
    Mercedes Albornoz – La Conferencia de La Haya de Derecho Internacional Privado
    y el Derecho aplicable a los negocios internacionales (The Hague Conference on
    Private International Law and the applicable Law to International Business).
  • María
    Victoria Márquez Olmos – Reflexiones sobre el tráfico internacional de niños y
    niñas ante la emigración forzada de venezolanos (Reflections on international
    child trafficking in the face of forced migration of Venezuelans).
  • Mirian
    Rodríguez Reyes de Mezoa y Claudia Lugo Holmquist – Criterios atributivos de
    jurisdicción en el sistema venezolano de Derecho internacional privado en
    materia de títulos valores (Attributive criteria of jurisdiction in the
    Venezuelan system of Private International Law on securities trading matters).
  • Nuria
    González Martín – Globalización familiar: nuevas estructuras para su estudio (Globalization
    of the family: new structures for its study).
  • Peter Mankowski – A very
    special type of renvoi in contemporary Private International Law. Article 4 Ley de Derecho
    Internacional Privado of Venezuela in the light of recent
    developments.
  • Ramón
    Escovar Alvarado – Régimen aplicable al pago de obligaciones en moneda
    extranjera (Regime applicable to the payment of obligations in foreign
    currency).
  • Roberto
    Ruíz Díaz Labrano – El principio de autonomía de la voluntad y las relaciones
    contractuales (The party autonomy principle and contractual relations).
  • Stefan
    Leible – De la regulación de la parte general del Derecho internacional privado
    en la Unión Europea (Regulation of the general part of Private International
    Law in the European Union).
  • Symeon c. Symeonides – The Brussels
    I Regulation and third countries.
  • Víctor
    Gregorio Garrido R. – Las relaciones funcionales entre el forum y el ius en el
    sistema venezolano de derecho internacional privado (The functional relations
    between forum and ius in the Venezuelan system of private international law.

As we see, the contributions
are not just from Venezuelan scholars, but from important professors and
researchers from Latin America, USA and Europe. All of them (as well as those included
in the other three volumes) pay due homage to an admirable person by offering
new ideas and insights in several areas of law and related sciences.

The book will be
available for sale soon. Is a must have publication for anyone interested in
Private International Law and Comparative Law.