The HCCH 2019 Judgments Convention: Prospects for Judicial Cooperation in Civil Matters between the EU and Third Countries – Conference on 25 and 26 September 2020, University of Bonn, Germany – Final Programme


Dear CoL Readers,

While we are all deeply concerned about the still growing dimensions of the coronavirus pandemic, we did not want to give up working on the programme of our conference.

Thanks to the HCCH, the Bonn PIL colleagues and our distinguished speakers, there is now a fantastic programme we would like to bring to your attention in this post (see below).

Meanwhile, we will closely follow the instructions of the University of Bonn as well as the German local and federal governments and travel restrictions in other countries to see whether the conference can take place on site. We have not yet given up optimism in this respect. Yet, safety must be first. This is why we are setting up structures for a video conference via zoom in case we need it. We assume that all of you would agree to proceeding via zoom if necessary. We will take a final and corona risk-averse decision on this during July and keep you posted. Please do not hesitate to register with us ( if you wish to be updated by email.

Looking forward to seeing you in Bonn in September!


Brexit has become reality – one more reason to think about the EU’s Judicial Cooperation with third states:

The largest proportion of EU economic growth in the 21st century is expected to arise in trade with third countries. This is why the EU is building up trade relations with many states and other regional integration communities in all parts of the world. The latest example is the EU-MERCOSUR Association Agreement concluded on 28 June 2019. With the United Kingdom’s exit of the Union on 31 January 2020, extra-EU trade with neighboring countries will further increase in importance. Another challenge for the EU is China’s “Belt and Road Initiative”, a powerful global development strategy that includes overland as well as sea routes in more than 100 states around the globe.

The increasing volume of trade with third states will inevitably lead to a rise in the number and importance of commercial disputes. This makes mechanisms for their orderly and efficient resolution indispensable. China is already setting up infrastructures for commercial dispute resolution alongside its belts and roads. In contrast, there seems to be no elaborate EU strategy on judicial cooperation in civil matters with countries outside of the Union, despite the DG Trade’s realisation that “trade is no longer just about trade”. Especially, there is no coherent plan for establishing mechanisms for the coordination of cross-border dispute resolution and the mutual recognition and enforcement of judgments. This is a glaring gap in the EU’s policy making in external trade relations.

This is why the Bonn group of PIL colleagues – Moritz Brinkmann, Nina Dethloff, Matthias Lehmann, Philipp Reuss, and Matthias Weller – will host a conference on Friday and Saturday, 25 and 26 September 2020, at the University of Bonn that seeks to explore ways in which judicial cooperation in civil matters between the EU and third countries can be improved by the HCCH 2019 Judgments Convention as an important driver, if not game changer, of legal certainty in cross-border commercial relations.

The list of speakers includes internationally leading scholars, practitioners and experts from the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH), the European Commission (DG Trade, DG Justice), and and the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (Bundesministerium der Justiz und für Verbraucherschutz)

The Conference is co-hosted by the HCCH as one of the first European events for discussing the HCCH 2019 Judgments Convention. The Conference will be further supported by the Zentrum für europäisches Wirtschaftsrecht at the University of Bonn and The International Litigation Exchange (ILEX).

The Organizers will kindly ask participants to contribute with € 100.- to the costs of the event (includes conference dinner).


Friday, 25 September 2020, and Saturday, 26 September 2020.



Universitätsclub Bonn, Konviktstraße 9, D – 53113 Bonn


Main Auditorium (Aula), Hauptgebäude, Am Hof 21, 53113 Bonn


Registration Fee: € 100.-

To be transferred to the following account (you will receive confirmation of your registration only after payment was booked on this account):

Bonn Conference 2020

IBAN: DE71 5001 0517 0092 1751 07

BIC:    INGDDEFF (ING-Diba Bank)



Friday, 25 September 2020

1.30 p.m.     Registration

2 p.m.          Welcome note

Prof Dr Wulf-Henning Roth, University of Bonn, Director of the Zentrum für Europäisches Wirtschaftsrecht (ZEW)

Dr Christophe Bernasconi, Secretary General of the HCCH (video message)

2.10 p.m.      Part 1: Chances and Challenges of the HCCH 2019 Judgments Convention

Chairs of Part 1: Prof Dr Matthias Weller / Prof Dr Matthias Lehmann

Keynote: Hague Conference’s Perspective and Experiences

Hans van Loon, Former Secretary General of the Hague Conference on Private International Law, The Hague

  1. Scope of application

Prof Dr Xandra Kramer, Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam

  1. Judgments, Recognition, Enforcement

Prof Dr Wolfgang Hau, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich


3.30 p.m.     Coffee Break

4.00 p.m.      Part II: Chances and Challenges of the HCCH 2019 Judgments Convention

Chairs of Part 2: Prof Dr Nina Dethloff / Prof Dr Moritz Brinkmann

  1. Jurisdictional filters

Prof Dr Pietro Franzina, Catholic University of Milan

  1. Grounds for refusal

Prof Dr Francisco Garcimartín Alférez, University of Madrid


5.30 p.m.     Panel Discussion: Prospects for Judicial Cooperation in Civil Matters between the EU and Third Countries

Chairs of Part 3: Prof Dr Matthias Weller / Prof Dr Matthias Lehmann

Colin Brown, Unit Dispute Settlement and Legal Aspects of Trade Policy, DG Trade (tbc)

Andreas Stein, Head of Unit, DG JUST – A1 “Civil Justice”

Dr Jan Teubel, German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection

RA Dr Heiko Heppner, Attorney at Law (New York), Barrister and Solicitor Advocate (England and Wales), Chair of ILEX, Head of Dispute Resolution, Partner Dentons, Frankfurt

and perhaps more…


7 p.m.          Conference Dinner


Saturday, 26 September 2020

9.00 a.m.      The context of the HCCH 2019 Judgments Convention

Chairs of Part 4: Prof Dr Moritz Brinkmann / Prof Dr Philipp Reuss

  1. Lessons from the Genesis of the Judgments Project

Dr Ning Zhao, Senior Legal Officer, HCCH

  1. Relation to the HCCH 2005 Convention on Choice of Court Agreements

Prof Paul Beaumont, University of Stirling

  1. Relations to the Brussels Regime / Lugano Convention

Prof Marie-Elodie Ancel, Université Paris-Est Créteil

  1. Brexit…

Dr Pippa Rogerson, Reader in Private International Law, Faculty of Law, Cambridge


11:00 a.m.    Coffee Break

11:30 a.m.    Chairs of Part 5: Prof Dr Nina Dethloff / Prof Dr Matthias Lehmann

  1. South European Neighbouring and Candidate Countries

Ass. Prof Dr Ilija Rumenov, Ss. Cyril and Methodius University, Skopje, Macedonia


Dr Veronica Ruiz Abou-Nigm, Director of Internationalisation, Senior Lecturer in International Private Law, School of Law, University of Edinburgh

  1. China (OBOR)

Prof Zheng (Sophia) Tang, University of Newcastle

  1. International Commercial Arbitration

Jose Angelo Estrella-Faria, Senior Legal Officer UNCITRAL Secretariat, International Trade Law Division Office of Legal Affairs, United Nations, Former Secretary General of UNIDROIT


1.30 p.m.     Closing Remarks

Dr João Ribeiro-Bidaoui, First Secretary, HCCH