HCCH Monthly Update: May 2023

Conventions & Instruments

On 12 May 2023, Canada deposited its instrument of accession to the 1961 Apostille Convention. This accession marked a historical milestone: the 1000th treaty action relating to an HCCH Convention or Protocol. The 1961 Apostille Convention, which now has 125 Contracting Parties, will enter into force for Canada on 11 January 2024. More information is available here.

On 16 May 2023, North Macedonia signed the 2019 Judgments Convention. The Convention, which currently has 28 Contracting Parties, will enter into force in September 2023, and for North Macedonia only after the deposit of an instrument of ratification (pursuant to Art. 28(2) of the Convention). More information is available here.

On 16 May 2023, Singapore deposited its instrument of accession to the 1965 Service Convention. The Convention, which now has 81 Contracting Parties, will enter into force for Singapore on 1 December 2023 subject to the Article 28 procedure. More information is available here.

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Last minute registration welcome: “The HCCH 2019 Judgments Convention: Cornerstones – Prospects – Outlook”, 9 and 10 June 2023, University of Bonn

Just a quick note to assure you that last minute registration is welcome. All information is available here.

Friendly reminder: Lecture on Private International Law and Voices of Children, organized in cooperation with ConflictofLaws.net

This is a friendly reminder to our co-organised event on next Thursday, free admissions can be registered here.

Online event

When making decisions, adults should think about how their decisions will affect children. Recent years have witnessed, in private international law cases and legislation, the protection of children is increasingly mingled with gender, indigenous issues, refugees, violence, war, surrogacy technology, etc. This is evidenced by the US Supreme Court 2022 judgment Golan v. Saada, the Australian case Secretary, Department of Communities & Justice v Bamfield, the 2023 German Constitutional Court decision, the Chinese Civil Codethe Australia Family Law (Child Abduction Convention) Amendment (Family Violence) Regulations 2022, and developments at the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH Children Conventions) and the United Nations (Convention on the Rights of the Child and its additional Protocols).

On this International Children’s Day, let us join this CAPLUS webinar in cooperation with conflictoflaws.net and American Society of International Law Private International Law Interest Group to hear voices of children in private international law.

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Recent Article from Uniform Law Review

Just late yesterday, Uniform Law Review  published an interesting article that is of significance and relevance to comparative law and conflict of laws. It is titled EE Clotilde, “The reception of OHADA Law in anglophone Cameroon: appraisals and proposals” The abstract reads as follows:

This article assesses the extent to which the law under the Organisation pour l’Harmonisation en Afrique du Droit des Affaires (OHADA) has been received in anglophone Cameroon after 26 years of existence, with specific focus on the Fako judicial division.1 With regard to the tenets of qualitative research, it is observed that, from the viewpoint of the legal reception technique, it is indisputable that OHADA law has been infused into the English-speaking legal system in Cameroon through legal techniques of transposition. Through the use of interviews and questionnaires as our research tools, it is revealed that this reception remains limited because most judicial actors still find it difficult to implement legislation that they have not yet mastered. Linguistic issues and the difficulties faced in accessing the Common Court of Justice and Arbitration based in Ivory Coast in Abidjan on OHADA-related matters are serious obstacles to its effective implementation. This situation has been worsened by the poor articulation of clichés that tend to radically oppose OHADA law compared to common law principles. This article tries to deconstruct the ideas received as it shows some of the similarities in the substantive law under the two systems and consequently advocates on this basis the idea that efforts be made to familiarize common law jurists with the content of OHADA law. The article recommends that linguistic issues be tackled by OHADA lawmakers right from the stage of legal drafting by using drafting techniques that will reduce the feeling that the common law is being neglected. For uniform acts yet to be translated, the translation process should associate experts in comparative law to enable the use of appropriate legal language in translation from French into English. Only such efforts will entice the common law African countries that are still hesitating to join OHADA law and, by so doing, will render investment in Africa more attractive.

Virtual Workshop (in English) on June 6: Holger Spamann on Law Matters – Less Than We Thought. Or: Do Judges Actually Follow Conflict of Law Directives

On Tuesday, June 6, 2023, the Hamburg Max Planck Institute will host its 34th monthly virtual workshop Current Research in Private International Law at 11:00-12:30 CEST. Holger Spamann  (Havard Law School) will speak, in English, about the topic

Law Matters – Less Than We Thought. Or: Do Judges Actually Follow Conflict of Law Directives

About the topic:
We conduct a randomized lab experiment with U.S. federal judges. The experiment puts the judges in the shoes of a judge deciding the applicable state law in a civil traffic accident case, which will determine whether a damage cap applies. We randomize the forum (with its choice of law directive) and the location of the accident in one state and the parties’ common domicile in another state.
One forum applies the traditional lex loci delicti rule, which calls for the application of the law of the state where the accident happened. The other forum applies the Restatement 2nd’s “most significant relationship” standard, which in our case calls for application of the law of common domicile. Judges’ decisions reflect this variation, but barely so. The data suggest that they tend to have a preference for lex loci delicti, and against damages caps. By contrast, we do not find that they are biased towards the more sympathetic party, which had been a third experimental treatment in our study.

The presentation will be followed by open discussion. All are welcome. More information and sign-up here.

If you want to be invited to these events in the future, please write to veranstaltungen@mpipriv.de.

Online Event for the 30th Anniversary of the HCCH 1993 Adoption Convention

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the 1993 Adoption Convention, the Permanent Bureau of the HCCH will be hosting an online event on Wednesday, 31 May 2023, from 14:00 to 18:00 CEST.

The event will feature two round tables, one on “Learning from the Past” and one on “Looking to the Future”, composed of adoption experts from across the world. It will also feature a panel composed by a birth mother, an adoptive mother, and adopted persons, who will discuss their lived experiences.

During the event, panellists will present their views and will respond to selected questions sent in advance of the event.


To register, please visit: https://bit.ly/40Dnptk

For more information, please visit: https://bit.ly/3H8IV2j



Repository HCCH 2019 Judgments Convention: Special Edition

This is a special moment for us after a long way, and forgive us for highlighting it in a special edition of our Repository: Our book on the HCCH 2019 Judgments Convention that we have worked on over the last years has come out! Big thanks to all involved, including Hart Publishing who made this possible.

The HCCH 2019 Judgments Convention

Cornerstones, Prospects, Outlook


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Hague Academy: Centenary Celebrations on 24-26 May 2023

Today the Hague Academy of International Law begins its celebrations to mark its centenary.

As indicated on its website: “Tirelessly since 1923, the Academy works, in The Hague, rightly named the International City of Peace and Justice, on “the teaching, study, dissemination and wider appreciation of international law”, to take the words of the United Nations General Assembly. After 100 years, it is time to make a short pause, at the occasion of a Solemn Sitting on 24 May, and look at what has been, what is, and also what, beyond the Centenary, must be accomplished by the Academy.”

There are two main events organised: Read more

Trade, Law and Development: Call for Submissions

Posted at the request of Shiva Patil, Technical Editor at Trade, Law and Development.

Trade, Law and Development

Call for Submissions

Special Issue

Sustainability and Inclusivity: Evolving Paradigms of the Global Economy

Founded in 2009, the philosophy of Trade, Law and Development (TL&D) has been to generate and sustain a constructive and democratic debate on emergent issues in international economic law and to serve as a forum for the discussion and distribution of ideas. Towards these ends, the Journal has published works by noted scholars such as the WTO DDG Yonov F. Agah, Dr. (Prof.) Ernst Ulrich Petersmann, Prof. Steve Charnovitz, Prof. Petros Mavroidis, Prof. Mitsuo Matsuhita, Prof. Raj Bhala, Prof. Joel Trachtman, Dr. (Prof.) Gabrielle Marceau, Prof. Simon Lester, Prof. Bryan Mercurio, and Prof. M. Sornarajah among others. TL&D also has the distinction of being ranked the best journal in India across all fields of law for several years by Washington and Lee University, School of Law.

Pursuant to this philosophy, the Board of Editors of TL&D is pleased to announce “Sustainability and Inclusivity: Evolving Paradigms of the Global Economy” as the theme for its next Special Issue.

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Out Now: Briggs, Private International Law in English Courts, 2nd edition

In 2014, Adrian Briggs published his own comprehensive account of English Private International Law, taking stock of centuries of English case law and decades of growing European influence. Other than the author’s unique ability to present even the most complex concepts with both clarity and style, the book’s strongest selling point arguably was his conscious decision to put the European instruments at the front and centre of the book, presenting English private international law as the hybrid system that it had long become. As Adrian Briggs later admitted, though, the timing of this project could be described as sub-optimal.

Indeed, in light of the UK’s subsequent departure from the EU and the resulting ‘realignment of the planets’, the second edition required changes that went far beyond a mere update. While some parts of the first edition that engaged with European sources and materials could be preserved as historical background (see, eg, pp. 18-21; 123) or even as descriptions of what has now become ‘retained EU law’ (mainly the Rome I and II Regulations, and with important caveats), other parts had to be rewritten almost entirely. This is most notable in the chapter on Jurisdiction (ch. 3), which according to the author, is now subject to ‘a corpus iuris which is a shambles’, ‘a mess in urgent need of reform’ (p. 129).

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