Judicial Application of the 1980 HCCH Convention in Morocco

The question of the accession (or reluctance to accede) of Muslim countries to the 1980 HCCH Convention has attracted the interest of scholars from Muslim countries and abroad. Scholars who have addressed this issue have come to different (sometimes contradictory) conclusions, especially when it comes to the influence of classical Islamic rules and principles on the attitudes and policies of Muslim states. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon that the available studies on this subject do not take into account the actual judicial practice of Muslim jurisdictions and focus more on the (theoretical) compatibility (or not) of Islamic rules and principles underlying the 1980 HCCH Convention. This post briefly presents some decisions dealing with the issue of cross-border child abduction under the 1980 HCCH Convention in a Muslim state, Morocco, but without going into too much into details or assessment, as this deserves to be done properly in a dedicated article.


Overview of the 2023 Amendments to Chinese Civil Procedure Law

Written by NIE Yuxin, Wuhan University Institute of International Law

1. Background

China’s Civil Procedure Law was enacted in April 1991 by the Fourth Session of the Seventh National People’s Congress. Since then, it had undergone four revisions in 2007, 2012, 2017, and 2021. However, no substantial revisions were made to the provisions concerning foreign-related civil litigation. The latest amendments to the Civil Procedure Law in 2023, referred to as the new CPL, involve 26 amendments, including 14 modified articles and 15 new additions. Notably, 19 changes deal with the special provisions on cross-border procedures.


China Adopts Restrictive Theory of Foreign State Immunity

Written by Bill Dodge, the John D. Ayer Chair in Business Law and Martin Luther King Jr. Professor of Law at UC Davis School of Law.

On September 1, 2023, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress promulgated the Foreign State Immunity Law of the People’s Republic of China (FSIL) (English translation here). When the law enters into force on January 1, 2024, China will join those countries—a clear majority—that have adopted the restrictive theory of foreign state immunity. For the law of state immunity, this move is particularly significant because China had been the most important adherent to the rival, absolute theory of foreign state immunity.

In two prior posts (here and here), I discussed a draft of the FSIL (English translation here). In this post I analyze the final version of the law, noting some of its key provision and identifying changes from the draft, some of which address issues that I had identified. I also explain why analysts who see China’s new law as a form of “Wolf Warrior Diplomacy” are mistaken. Contrary to some suggestions, the FSIL will not allow China to sue the United States over U.S. export controls on computer chips or potential restrictions on Tiktok. Rather, the FSIL is properly viewed as a step towards joining the international community on an important question of international law. (more…)


New article published in African Journal of International and Comparative Law

A new conflict of laws article was just published today on the African Journal of International and Comparative Law. It is titled: CSA Okoli, A Yekini & P Oamen, “The Igiogbe Custom as a Mandatory Norm in Conflict of Laws: An Exploration of Nigerian Appellate Court Decisions.”

The abstract reads as follows:

Under the Igiogbe custom of the Bini Kingdom of Edo State Nigeria, the eldest surviving son exclusively inherits the ancestral home of his deceased father. This custom is a mandatory norm in conflict of laws. Litigation on the custom has been described as a matter of life and death. There is a widely shared view among academic writers, practitioners, and judges that this customary law is absolute. Contrary to this popular view, this work argues that the Igiogbe custom can be displaced by statute and other customary or religious laws. To substantiate this position, this article examines all the reported appellate court decisions on the Igiogbe custom and other connected principles. It is often taken for granted that every Bini man is subject to customary law, thereby leading to the overriding application of the Igiogbe custom. Recent developments in case law suggest otherwise. There is a conflict of personal law question that is often ignored in most litigation concerning the Igiogbe. Careful consideration of this question can potentially lead to the application of other systems of succession law (statutory, religious, and other customary laws) other than the Igiogbe custom. Besides, these conflict of laws techniques and constitutional human rights norms can be used to strike the appropriate balance between competing interests and reasonable legitimate expectations of the deceased and their heirs.

Call for papers: 2024 NGPIL Conflict of Laws’ Essay Prize

Originally posted in the NGPIL website

The Nigeria Group on Private International Law “(NGPIL”) invites submissions for the annual NGPIL Conflict of Laws’ Competition. The winner will be awarded for the best essay on any aspect of Nigerian conflict of laws. Entries will be accepted from the following: an undergraduate and/or postgraduate scholar studying in Nigeria, or any Nigerian lawyer five years call or below practising and residing in Nigeria. The essay should be unpublished at the time of submission. Submitted essays should be in the English language. Submitted essays should also be within five to eight thousand words. Competitors may be citizens of any nation, age or gender but must be an undergraduate and/or postgraduate scholar studying in Nigeria, or any lawyer below five years post-call experience practising and residing in Nigeria.

The first prize is  150,000 Naira (NGN), and the winner of the competition will be encouraged to publish the paper in any high-quality peer reviewed journal on private international law (conflict of laws). The second prize is  90,000 Naira (NGN), and third prize is  60,000 Naira (NGN). The prize is sponsored by and will be awarded by NGPIL.

Submissions to the Prize Committee must be received no later than January 15, 2024. Entries should be submitted by email in Word or pdf format. The winner will be announced no later than 2 months after the deadline. Decisions of the NGPIL on the winning essay and on any conditions relating to this prize are final. Submissions and any queries should be addressed by email to All submissions will be acknowledged by e-mail.

Previous Winners

Oluwabusola Fagbemi (Winner for the 2022/2023 session)

Solomon Adegboyo (Winner for the 2021/2022 session)

Out Now: Torsten Kindt, Transnationale Verträge im nationalen Recht

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a significant portion of international commerce is organized around instruments and structures that do not emanate from national states and laws but from private entities. Traditionally, most legal scholars addressing this phenomenon could be sorted into one of two camps: those who want to limit the notion of ‘law’ to the state and see instances of private ordering primarily as social, rather than legal phenomena; and those who consider national law already as a abstract concept with limited and decreasing importance for the reality of international business. Torsten Kindt belongs to neither of those two camps. With his recently published book, based on his doctoral thesis, he attempts to fill the gap left between the two seemingly irreconcilable positions, with a special focus on the transnational dimension of private ordering.


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