Back in April we reported about the Opinion delivered by AG Campos Sánchez-Bordona in the case Vorarlberger Landes- und Hypotheken-Bank, C-301/20, which revolves around the effects produced by an European Certificate of Succession and its certified copy, time-wise (first and third questions) as well as ratione personae, by reason of the person concerned (second question). At the request of the Court, the Opinion covered only the third preliminary question. In today’s judgment, the Court addresses all three questions.
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This Thursday AG Campos Sánchez-Bordona delivered his Opinion in an Austrian case pertaining to the interpretation of the Succession Regulation and in particular to its Articles 69 (Effects of the European Certificate of Succession) and 70 (Certified copies of the Certificate), namely in the case Vorarlberger Landes- und Hypotheken-Bank, C-301/20.
The case concerns a refusal of a municipality in Sofia to issue a Bulgarian birth certificate to a child of two female same sex mothers of Bulgarian and UK nationality who entered into a civil marriage in Gibraltar, UK. The child was born in Spain, where a birth certificate was issued on which it was recorded that mothers of the child were both a Bulgarian national, designated ‘Mother A’, and a UK national, designated ‘Mother’, both persons being female. The municipality refused to issue the requested birth certificate because the applicants did not point out who was the biological mother, intending most probably to issue the certificate only for one mother. Bulgaria is one of the few EU Member States without access to either same sex marriage or any type of civil partnership.
The Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry is issuing ‘force majeure certificates’, like some of their homologues in other countries, as discussed earlier in this blog. Although this practice has existed in Russia since 1993, the number of requests for the certificates has recently increased. The requests come not only from Russian companies but also from foreign entities. While the increase is understandable in these times of the coronavirus pandemic, under Russian law, the ‘force majeure certificate’ can (only) form a part of evidence in possible future disputes, as its impact on the outcome of the dispute is ultimately defined by the (Russian or foreign) courts or arbitration tribunals.
The Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) is issuing ‘force majeure certificates’, like some of their homologues in other countries. Although this practice exists in Russia since 1993, the CCI has recently noticed an increase in the number of requests for the certificates, due to the coronavirus pandemic. The requests come not only from Russian companies but also from foreign entities. What could be the practical value of the certificate in a contractual dispute relating to the consequences of the pandemic?
The legal basis for the CCI’s competence to issue the ‘force majeure certificates’ is laid down in the law ‘On the chambers of commerce and industry in the Russian Federation’ of 7 July 1993. Article 1 of the law defines the CCI as a non-state non-governmental organisation created to foster business and international trade. Along with other competences, the CCI may act as an ‘independent expert’ (art. 12) and may provide information services (art. 2) in matters relating to international trade. One of the services is the issuing of ‘force majeure certificates’. The Rules for issuing the certificates are defined by the CCI’s governing council. These Rules entrust the CCI’s legal department with assessing requests and advising whether the certificate should be issued. The advice is given on the basis of the documents that a party submits to substantiate their request, following the Rules.
Coronavirus outbreak and force majeure certificate
Due to the outbreak, China has adopted a number of public health measures, including closing schools and workplaces, limiting public gatherings, restricting travel and movement of people, screening , quarantine and isolation. At least 48 cities were locked down by 14 Feb 2020. (here) More than two thirds of China’s migrant workers were unable to return to work, (see here) leaving those firms that have restarted operation running below capacity.
Coronavirus and the emergency measures significantly affect economic activates in China. The China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT), a quasi-governmental entity, issued 3,325 force majeure certificates covering the combined contract value of $38.5bn to exempt Chinese companies from their contractual obligations.
BUAK Bauarbeiter-Urlaubs- u. Abfertigungskasse v GRADBENIŠTVO KORANA
The CJEU published last week a judgment on a request for a preliminary ruling by the Vienna Labour and Social Security Court. The facts of the case are presented under recitals 21-31. The Austrian court referred the following question to the Court:
Jens Kleinschmidt (Max Planck Institute for Comparative and PIL, Hamburg) has Optionales Erbrecht: Das Europäische Nachlasszeugnis als Herausforderung an das Kollisionsrecht (The European Certificate of Succession: An Optional Instrument as a Challenge for Private International Law) posted on SSRN.
This Thursday, the Court of Justice delivered its judgment in the case UM, C-277/20, where it clarifies whether a donation mortis causa may fall within the scope of the notion of “agreement as to succession” in the sense of the Succession Regulation.
The latest issue of the „Praxis des Internationalen Privat- und Verfahrensrechts (IPRax)“ features the following articles:
B. Heiderhoff: International Product Liability 4.0
While the discussion on how liability for damages caused by autonomous systems, or “artificial intelligence”, should be integrated into the substantive law is well advanced, the private international law aspect has, so far, been neglected. In this contribution, it is shown that unilateral approaches – such as the EU Parliament has suggested (P9_TA-PROV(2020)0276) – are unnecessary and detrimental. It is preferable to develop a classical conflict of laws rule with connecting factors, which mirror the assessments of the substantive law. It is shown that a mere reinterpretation of the existing Article 5 Rome II Regulation might lead to legal insecurity, and that an addition of the provision is preferable. In particular, the notion of marketing, and its importance as a connecting factor, should be revised.
The Faculty of Law, Brawijaya University, Indonesia is organizing a one-day international online seminar on Private International Law in Islamic Countries – Developments and Challenges. The main purpose of the seminar is to examine and discuss the current situation of private international law in Islamic countries especially from the point of view of the influence of religion (Sharia/Islamic law) on the regulation of private international relationships.
Participation is free but online registration (here) is kindly requested to receive the link to the conference, which will be emailed shortly before the event.
After registering, attendees will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. The event will also be live streamed via YouTube (here). E-certificate for attendance will also be issued for attendees to prove that they joined the online seminar.
Details about the forthcoming seminar are as follows:
Date: 24 August 2021