Out now: Zeitschrift für vergleichende Rechtswissenschaft (ZVglRWiss) 120 (2021) No. 4


The most recent issue of the German Journal of Comparative Law (Zeitschrift für Vergleichende Rechtswissenschaft) features the following articles on private international and comparative law:


Jürgen Samtleben: Internationales Privatrecht in Guatemala

Guatemala’s rules on private international law of Guatemala are found in the Law of Judicial Organization of 1989. But conflict-of-law questions are also regulated in other laws. All these legislative texts are based on older laws, since Guatemala has a rich legal tradition on this subject. It is only against the background of this tradition that one can understand the meaning of the laws actually in force. The article discusses the different aspects of Guatemalan private international law, which today is generally based on the principle of domicile. The law of 1989 introduces two innovations which are worth emphasizing: the application of foreign law ex officio and the principle of party autonomy for international contracts.


Christoph Wendelstein: Eigenes und Fremdes im Kollisionsrecht

The article sheds light on the relationship between the conflict of laws and the substantive laws (potentially) called upon to apply. In doing so, the question is addressed whether the substantive law influences the conflict of laws. The focus is on the question of characterisation, which traditionally represents a kind of crystallization point between conflict of laws and substantive law. If the conflict of laws rules apply to foreign substantive law, the question may arise as to whether this completely displaces the own domestic substantive law or whether it is still relevant in some way. This refers to the ordre public and the overriding mandatory provisions (Eingriffsnormen), which are also object of the study. The focus lies on their functioning.


Jean Mohamed: Die aktienrechtliche actio pro socio im globalen Kontext – Zur Abgrenzung von materiellem Recht und Verfahrensrecht im anglo-amerikanischen Rechtskreis am Beispiel der derivative action in New York

The German procedure for the admission of corporate claims (derivative claims), a special institution based on stock corporation law for the so-called actio pro socio, has taken a long journey all the way to New York at present. In keeping with the verse by Frank Sinatra: “If I can make it here, I’ll make it anywhere”, the subject is whether an international movement of the shareholder action – i. e. claims of the corporation asserted in the shareholder’s own name – may be imminent. In the New York proceeding Zahava Rosenfeld, derivatively as a shareholder of Deutsche Bank AG and on behalf of Deutsche Bank AG v. Paul Achleitner et al., the conflict of laws matches the German system known in § 148 of the German Stock Corporation Act with the New York’s (and the US) concept of the related derivative suit, also known as derivative action or derivative claim. Given the potential risks involved, it seems highly relevant from a legal, academic, and political point of view to discuss and model this quite complex but so far barely studied issue. In the following, the global procedural rules of derivative actions will therefore be discussed.


David B. Adler: Extraterritoriale US-Discovery für Schieds- und Gerichtsverfahren im Ausland

For decades, 28 U.S.C. § 1782(a) has offered a powerful tool for parties to obtain discovery through U.S. courts for use in foreign proceedings. Referring to the statute’s twin goals to provide “efficient assistance to participants in international litigation and encourag[e] foreign countries by example to provide similar assistance to our courts”, U.S. courts have time and again demonstrated that they are willing to readily grant respective discovery requests from foreign applicants. While the U.S. Supreme Court has answered various questions regarding the applicability and scope of § 1782(a) in its Intel Corp. v. Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. decision, two key issues remained undecided. The first issue U.S. courts have been grappling with, and which has been an ongoing topic of interest among international arbitration practitioners and scholars for several decades, is whether the statute allows parties of foreign private arbitration proceedings to seek discovery via § 1782(a), or if § 1782(a) is limited to parties that seek support for a foreign court or administrative proceedings. The second issue concerns the extraterritorial reach of § 1782(a). Courts have issued diverging rulings on whether Section 1782 allows an applicant to seek the production of documents that are located outside the U.S. and on whether § 1782(a) contains a per se bar to its extraterritorial application. This article analyzes the recent appellate decisions of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second, Fourth and Sixth Circuit – which are the first appellate rulings since Intel to weigh in on these issues in detail. This article further discusses whether there should be a per se bar to the extraterritorial application of Section 1782 and explains the broad implications that the recent appellate courts’ decisions on both issues have for foreign litigants and entities that are subject to the United States’ jurisdiction.