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Trey Childress

Professor Hannah Buxbaum has recently published an important report (see here), prepared for the International Academy of Comparative Law’s International Congress, on forum selection clauses.  Below is the abstract.

Deference to Foreign Sovereign Submissions

Following up on my previous post here, the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari on January 12, 2018 in Animal Science Products, Inc. v. Hebei Welcome Pharmaceutical Co. (No. 16-1220).  The grant was limited to the following question presented:

Whether a court may exercise independent review of an appearing foreign sovereign’s interpretation of its domestic law (as held by the Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eleventh, and D.C. Circuits), or whether a court is “bound to defer” to a foreign government’s legal statement, as a matter of international comity, whenever a foreign government appears before the court (as held by the opinion below in accord with the Ninth Circuit).

For some of my thoughts on this question, offered well in advance of this case, see here.

Annual Survey of American Choice-of-Law Cases

Symeon Symeonides has posted on SSRN his 31st annual survey of American choice-of-law cases. The survey covers appellate cases decided by American state and federal courts during 2017. It can be found here  The table of contents is reproduced below.

Symeonides has also posted his annual Private International Law Bibliography for 2017. It can be found here


31st Choice-of-Law Survey Table of Contents


Part I. Jurisdiction

  1. The Supreme Court Speaks (Again)
  2. Foreign Sovereign Immunity
  3. The Terrorism Exception
  4. The Noncommercial Tort Exception
  5. The Expropriation Exception
  6. Jurisdiction Over Non-Recognized States
  7. The Fukushima Nuclear Accident
  8. The Political Question Doctrine

Part II. Extraterritoriality (or Non) of Federal Law

Deference to Foreign Sovereign Submissions

As previously reported here, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued a decision in 2016 reversing a $147.8 million price-fixing judgment against two Chinese manufacturers of Vitamin C. The plaintiffs alleged that the Chinese manufacturers engaged in price fixing and supply manipulation in violation of U.S. antitrust laws. In its first ever appearance as an amicus before a U.S. court, the Chinese government filed a formal statement asserting that Chinese law required the Chinese manufacturers to set prices and reduce the quantities of Vitamin C sold abroad. Relying on this statement, the Second Circuit held that because the Chinese manufacturers could not comply with both Chinese law and the U.S. antitrust laws, principles of international comity compelled dismissal of the case.

Professor S.I. Strong has just posted a new paper on international procedural law.  From the abstract:

General principles of law have long been central to the practice and scholarship of both public and private international law. However, the vast majority of commentary focuses on substantive rather than procedural concerns. This Article reverses that trend through a unique and innovative analysis that provides judges, practitioners and academics from around the world with a new perspective on international procedural law.

The Duke Journal of Comparative & International Law has just published a symposium issue on the importance of international law and comparative law for the American Law Institute’s new Conflict of Laws Restatement project.  Professors Ralf Michaels and Christopher Whytock have a Foreword entitled Internationalizing the New Conflict of Laws Restatement.  Here is the Table of Contents for the complete issue:

International Conflict of Laws and the New Conflict of Laws Restatement

Donald Earl Childress III

Determining the Territorial Scope of State Law in Interstate and International Conflicts: Comments on the Draft Restatement (Third) and on the Role of Party Autonomy

Hannah L. Buxbaum

AALS Section on Conflict of Laws Call for Papers – 2018 AALS Annual Meeting

The AALS Section on Conflict of Laws invites papers for its program entitled “Crossing Borders: Mapping the Future of Conflict of Laws Scholarship” at the AALS Annual Meeting, January 3-6, 2018, in San Diego.

TOPIC DESCRIPTION: Now more than ever, the challenges created by conflicting laws are figuring prominently in multiple areas of legal scholarship.  In subjects as diverse as state and federal regulation, technology and intellectual property, and commercial arbitration, scholars using a variety of methodological approaches are finding innovative ways to study conflict of laws problems.  This panel discussion will explore these emerging trends in conflicts scholarship, and their implications for future work in the field.  The Section Executive Committee welcomes papers that are theoretical, doctrinal, policy-oriented, or empirical.

Chuck Kotuby and Luke Sobota recently published General Principles of Law and International Due Process:  Principles and Norms Applicable in Transnational Disputes (Oxford University Press). The book updates Bin Cheng’s seminal book on general principles from 1953. The book also collects and distills these principles in a single volume as a practical resource for lawyers and scholars. According to Judge James Crawford, “This book explores how general principles of law are being applied, providing a timely update to Bin Cheng’s classic work. It focuses on the application of the principles to private conduct–an astute response to the evolution of international process over the past half-century. The result is a work that will benefit both academics and practitioners.”

Conflict of Laws and Silicon Valley

See here for a fascinating post by Professor Marketa Trimble (UNLV Law).  From the post:

Now that conflict of laws has caught up with Silicon Valley and is forcing internet companies to rethink the problems that occupy this fascinating field of law, conflict-of-laws experts should catch up on the internet: they should better educate themselves about internet technology; they should prepare law students for a practice in which the internet is a common, and not a special or unusual, feature; and they should prevent conflict of laws from becoming a fragment of larger trade negotiations in which multifaceted, intricate, and crucial conflict-of-laws policy considerations can easily be overlooked or ignored.

Conflict of Laws and the Internet

Professor Marketa Trimble (UNLV School of Law) has a fascinating post on the Technology and Marketing Law Blog.  She notes that “After years of what seemed to the outside world to be a period of denial, internet companies now appear to have awakened to the idea–or at least to have acknowledged the idea–that conflict of laws does play a crucial role on the internet.”  See this link for more.