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Ralf Michaels

The Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law in Hamburg is starting a new virtual workshop series in private international law. The first speaker, Matthias Lehmann from Bonn University, will present (in German) on Tuesday, June 2, at 11:00-12:30 via zoom. His topic: Covid-19 and Private International Law (see also here and here). Open to everyone, including doctoral and predoctoral students!

More information (in German) and the link for signing up are here.

A French Décret, allows, for the time of the state of emergency, notarization by a French notary without a need for parties to be physically present. Explanation and analysis is here and (briefly) here. Importantly, the possibility is also open to non-residents of France.  Notaries in France had, unsurprisingly, warned of the risk of fraud, but the Conseil d’Etat approved of the decret.

Austria has a similar rule in sec. 90a of its Notary Act. In Germany, this is not (yet?)possible: Art. 40(1) of the German Notarisation Act requires physical presence of the parties; the greatest distance allowed is, apparently, the way to the parking lot. Estonia has introduced an e-notary for notarisation from abroad, but this is available only in Estonian embassies.

Amazingly, despite the severe crisis in Venezuela, the Master’s Program in Private International Law and Comparative Private Law at the Universidad Central de Venezuela has managed to publish its second Yearbook, with two theses and several impressive shorter pieces by students as well as two new pieces and two “classics” by professors.  (Report on the first yearbook last year is here.)


by Ralf Michaels and Jakob Olbing

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Updated: June 3, 2020

The coronavirus has created a global crisis that affects all aspects of life everywhere. Not surprisingly, that means that the law is affected as well. And indeed, we have seen a high volume of legislation and legal regulations, of court decisions, and of scholarly debates. In some US schools there are courses on the legal aspects of corona. Some disciplines are organizing symposia or special journal issues to discuss the impact of the pandemic on the respective discipline.

from Raphael de Barros Fritz, Hamburg

The assessment of a court’s jurisdiction based on Art. 7 (2) of the Brussels Ibis Regulation in cases involving exclusively financial damages has been a continuous challenge (cf., e.g., ECJ, 12.09.2018, Case C-304/17 (Löber); ECJ, 16.06.2016, Case C-12/15 (Universal); ECJ, 28.01.2015, Case C-375/13 (Kolassa)). Against this background, the Advocate General’s opinion in the Volkswagen emissions scandal case (Campos Sánchez-Bordona, Opinion of Advocate General delivered on 02.04.2020, Case C-343/19 (Volkswagen)) sets forth some important guidelines when determining a court’s jurisdiction pursuant to Art. 7 (2) of the Brussels Ibis Regulation.

Hague Academy Postpones Summer Courses 2020

The Hague Academy has canceled its summer courses for 2020 and will hold them in the summer of 2021. The announcement, including a video message from the Secretary-General, is here. Moving the program online was rejected because students would not get the special experience of being in the Hague. The promise of other videos to posted on a new website will be only insufficient comfort.

The only prior time that the courses were canceled was World War II. It is sad news for countless students who were looking forward to the courses, for the (excellent) scholars who have prepared their courses, and for the discipline of private international law, which benefits from this regular event. The decision against bringing together students from all the world to one physical space seems eminently rational, and has been made with enough time for participants to adapt plans. The decision against holding the courses online may raise more mixed responses.

Legal Harmonization in Africa

Africa Silhouette Clip Art

After Chukwuma Okoli’s, recent post, on this blog, on African Private International Law, Lise Theunissen, who is currently a legal intern at the Hague Conference, now has a blogpost at afronomicslaw on the harmonization of Private International Law in the African Union. Add to that Justin Monsenepwo’s recent articles on legal unification at OHADA  and on the impact of the Hague Principles of Choice of Law on OHADA, and you start gaining the impression that interest in African private international law is growing – a good thing, undoubtedly.

The project on Gender and Private International Law (GaP) at the Hamburg Max Planck Institute, jointly organized by Ivana Isailovic and Ralf Michaels, will end the academic year with a bang! After the inaugural workshop (see Asma Alouane’s report here) and three successful reading sessions in the fall, there will be a whole day workshop with three themes and six fabulous conveyors who will enable a truly crossdisciplinary event.
A call for applications to take part is here. The deadline has been extended to February 15. Note that some travel and accommodation money is available for emergent scholars!

written by Claudia Madrid Martínez

On 28 April 2017, the government of Nicolás Maduro deposited with the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (OAS), a document whereby he expressed his “irrevocable decision to denounce the Charter of the Organization of American States (OAS) pursuant to Article 143 thereof, thereby initiating Venezuela’s permanent withdrawal from the Organization.”

Before the two years of the transition regime that the OAS Charter provides for cases of retirement from the Organization (art. 143), on 8 February 2019, Juan Guaidó, president of the National Assembly and interim president of the Republic, wrote to the OAS to “reiterate and formally express the decision of the Venezuelan State to annul the supposed denunciation of the OAS Charter, for Venezuela to be able to remain a member state of the Organization.”

ASADIP Annual Conference 2019: Report

written by Veronica Ruiz Abou-Nigm

ASADIP (American Association of Private International Law)

13th Annual Conference – Punta del Este, URUGUAY, 21-22 November 2019

TRANSNATIONAL EFFECTIVENESS OF LAW: Recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments, arbitral awards and other acts

On 21 and 22 November 2019, the 13thASADIP Annual Conference took place in Punta del Este (Uruguay) with the participation of more than 30 international speakers from several jurisdictions and over 130 attendees, mostly from the Latin American region, but also from North America and Europe. The theme of the conference was the Transnational Effectiveness of Law:Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments, Arbitral Awards and other Acts;