Chronology of Practice: Chinese Practice in Private International Law in 2021

Professor HE Qisheng  has published the annual report, Chronology of Practice: Chinese Practice in Private International Law in 2021, now in its 9th year. The article has been published by the Chinese Journal of International Law, a journal published by Oxford University Press..

This survey contains materials reflecting the Chinese practice of Chinese private international law in 2021. Firstly, regarding changes in the statutory framework of private international law in China, six legislative acts, one administrative regulation on Counteracting Unjustified Extra-Territorial Application of Foreign Legislation and Other Measures, and six judicial interpretations of the Supreme People’s Court (“SPC”) were adopted or amended in 2021, covering a wide range of matters, including punitive damages, online litigation, online mediation, and international civil procedure. Secondly, five typical cases on Chinese courts’ jurisdiction are selected to highlight the development of Chinese judicial practice in respect of consumer contracts, abuse of dominant market position, repeated actions and other matters. Thirdly, this survey considers 18 cases on choice-of-law issues relating, in particular, to capacities of legal persons, proprietary rights, employee contracts, mandatory rules, gambling and public policy. Fourthly, two significant decisions on punitive damages of intellectual property are reported. Fifthly, several key decisions in the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments, international arbitration agreements and foreign settlement agreements, are reproduced. Lastly, this survey also covers the Summaries of the National Symposium on Foreign-related Commercial and Maritime Trials of Courts published by the SPC, an official document which represents the current judicial practices in the Chinese courts, and which is expected to provide guidance in the adjudication of foreign-related matters in the future.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Overview

II.A. Report on the Work of the SPC in 2021

II.B. Laws and the SPC’s interpretations

III. Jurisdiction

III.A. Rules in the SPC Summaries on Foreign-related Trials

III.B. Consumer contract

III.C. Different courts agreed upon in the principal and accessory contract

III.D. Jurisdiction over abuse of dominant market position

III.E. Repeated actions

  1. Choice of law

IV.A. Rules in the SPC Summaries on Foreign-related Trials

IV.B. Capacity of legal person

IV.C. Rights in rem

IV.D. Obligations

IV.E. Mandatory rules

IV.E.i. Foreign exchange guarantee

IV.E.ii. Share transfer

IV.F. Gambling and public order

  1. Intellectual property

V.A. New rules on punitive damages

V.B. Selected cases on punitive damages in Chinese courts

  1. Foreign judgments

VI.A. Rules in the SPC Summaries on Foreign-related Trials

VI.B. Cases about recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments

VII. International arbitration and foreign awards

VII.A. Rules in the SPC Summaries on Foreign-related Trials

VII.B. Arbitration clause and a lien dispute over the subject matter

VIII. Confirmation of the validity of foreign settlement agreement

Here are the links to the article:

Bonn University / HCCH Conference — The HCCH 2019 Judgments Convention: Cornerstones – Prospects – Outlook, 9 and 10 June 2023

Registration now open

 

Dates:                   

Friday and Saturday, 9 and 10 June 2023

Venue:                  

Universitätsclub Bonn, Konviktstraße 9, D – 53113 Bonn

Registration:     

sekretariat.weller@jura.uni-bonn.de

 

Registration Fee: € 220.-
Young Scholars Rate (limited capacity): € 110.-
Dinner (optional):                      € 60.-

Registration: Please register with sekretariat.weller@jura.uni-bonn.de. Clearly indicate whether you want to benefit from the young scholars’ reduction of the conference fees and whether you want to participate in the conference dinner. You will receive an invoice for the respective conference fee and, if applicable, for the conference dinner. Please make sure that we receive your payment at least two weeks in advance. After receiving your payment we will send out a confirmation of your registration. This confirmation will allow you to access the conference hall and the conference dinner.

Please note: Access will only be granted if you are fully vaccinated against Covid-19. Please confirm in your registration that you are, and attach an e-copy of your vaccination document. Please follow further instructions on site. Thank you for your cooperation.

 

Programme

Friday, 9 June 2023

 

8.30 a.m.      Registration

9.00 a.m.      Welcome notes

Prof Dr Matthias Weller, Director of the Institute for German and International Civil Procedural Law, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn;
Dr Christophe Bernasconi, Secretary General, HCCH

Moderators: Prof Dr Moritz Brinkmann, Prof Dr Nina Dethloff, Prof Dr Matthias Weller, University of Bonn; Prof Dr Matthias Lehmann, University of Vienna; Dr João Ribeiro-Bidaoui, Former First Secretary, HCCH

 

Part I: Cornerstones

  1. Scope of application
    Prof Dr Xandra Kramer, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
  1. Judgments, Recognition, Enforcement
    Prof Dr Wolfgang Hau, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich, Germany
  1. The jurisdictional filters
    Prof Dr Pietro Franzina, Catholic University of Milan, Italy
  1. Grounds for refusal
    Adj Prof Dr Marcos Dotta Salgueiro, University of the Republic, Montevideo; Director of International Law Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Uruguay
  1. Article 29: From a Mechanism on Treaty Relations to a Catalyst of a Global Judicial Union
    Dr João Ribeiro-Bidaoui, Former First Secretary, HCCH
    Dr Cristina Mariottini, Senior Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for International, European and Regulatory Law, Luxembourg

 

1.00 p.m.     Lunch Break

  1. The HCCH System for choice of court agreements: Relationship of the HCCH Judgments Convention 2019 to the HCCH 2005 Convention on Choice of Court Agreements
    Prof Dr Paul Beaumont, University of Stirling, United Kingdom

Part II: Prospects for the World 

  1. European Union
    Dr Andreas Stein, Head of Unit, DG JUST – A1 “Civil Justice”, European Commission
  1. Perspectives from the US and Canada
    Professor Linda J. Silberman, Clarence D. Ashley Professor of Law, Co-Director, Center for Transnational Litigation, Arbitration, and Commercial Law, New York University School of Law, USA
    Professor Geneviève Saumier, Peter M. Laing Q.C. Professor of Law, McGill Faculty of Law, Canada
  1. Southeast European Neighbouring and EU Candidate Countries
    Prof Dr Ilija Rumenov, Associate Professor at Ss. Cyril and Methodius University, Skopje, North Macedonia

 

8.00 p.m.     Conference Dinner (€ 60.-)

Dinner Speech
Prof Dr Burkhard Hess, Director of the Max Planck Institute for International, European and Regulatory Law, Luxembourg

 

Saturday, 10 June 2023

 

9.00 a.m.      Part II continued: Prospects for the World

  1. Perspectives from the Arab World
    Prof Dr Béligh Elbalti, Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Law and Politics at Osaka University, Japan
  1. Prospects for Africa
    Prof Dr Abubakri Yekini, University of Manchester, United Kingdom
    Prof Dr Chukwuma Okoli, Postdoctoral Researcher in Private International Law, T.M.C. Asser Institute, The Netherlands
  1. Gains and Opportunities for the MERCOSUR Region
    Prof Dr Verónica Ruiz Abou-Nigm, Director of External Relations, Professor of Private International Law, University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  1. Perspectives for ASEAN
    Prof Dr Adeline Chong, Associate Professor of Law, Yong Pung How School of Law, Singapore Management University, Singapore
  1. China
    Prof Dr Zheng (Sophia) Tang, University of Newcastle, United Kingdom

 

1.00 p.m.     Lunch Break

 

Part III: Outlook

  1. Lessons Learned from the Genesis of the HCCH 2019 Judgments Convention
    Dr Ning Zhao, Principal Legal Officer, HCCH
  1. International Commercial Arbitration and Judicial Cooperation in civil matters: Towards an Integrated Approach
    José Angelo Estrella-Faria, Principal Legal Officer and Head, Legislative Branch, International Trade Law Division, Office of Legal Affairs, United Nations; Former Secretary General, UNIDROIT
  1. General Synthesis and Future Perspectives
    Hans van Loon, Former Secretary General, HCCH

 

Poster – Conference HCCH 2019 Judgments Convention – 9 and 10-06-23

 

 

 

HCCH Monthly Update: January 2023

Conventions & Instruments

On 1 December 2022, the 2007 Maintenance Obligations Protocol entered into force for Ukraine. At present, 31 States and the European Union are bound by the Protocol. More information is available here.

On 7 December 2022, the 1961 Apostille Convention entered into force for Saudi Arabia. The Convention currently has 124 Contracting Parties. More information is available here.

On 1 January 2023, the 1980 Child Abduction Convention entered into force for Cabo Verde. The Convention currently has 103 Contracting Parties. More information is available here.

On 19 January 2023, El Salvador deposited its instrument of accession to the 1970 Evidence Convention. The Convention, which currently has 65 Contracting Parties, will enter into force for El Salvador on 20 March 2023. More information is available here.

 

Publications & Documentation

On 20 December 2022, the Permanent Bureau published the Practitioners’ Tool: Cross-Border Recognition and Enforcement of Agreements Reached in the Course of Family Matters Involving Children. More information is available here.

On 18 January 2023, the Permanent Bureau published the second edition of the Practical Handbook on the Operation of the Apostille Convention. More information is available here.

 

Other

On 13 December 2022, the Permanent Bureau celebrated the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the HCCH Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific. More information is available here.

 

These monthly updates are published by the Permanent Bureau of the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH), providing an overview of the latest developments. More information and materials are available on the HCCH website.

Conference in Milan on the European Account Preservation Order, 3 March 2023

On 3 March 2023, the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart will host a conference titled The European Account Preservation Order – Six Years On. The aim is to discuss the operation of Regulation (EU) 655/2014 in light of practice and case law, six years after its provisions became applicable, in January 2017.

Presentations will be given in English and Italian, with simultaneous interpretation.

The speakers include Fernando Gascón Inchausti (Complutense University of Madrid), María Luisa Villamarín López (Complutense University of Madrid), Katharina Lugani (Heinrich Heine University, Düsseldorf), Antonio Leandro (University of Bari), Carlos Santalò Goris (Max Planck Institute, Luxembourg), Caterina Benini (Catholic University of the Sacred Heart), Elena Alina Ontanu (Tilburg University), Raffaella Muroni (Catholic University of the Sacred Heart), Elena D’Alessandro (University of Torino), and Gilles Cuniberti (University of Luxembourg).

The event will also serve as a launch event for an article-by-article commentary on the EAPO Regulation, edited by Elena D’Alessandro and Fernando Gascón Inchausti, and recently published by Edward Elgar Publishing in its Commentaries in Private International Law series. Augusto Chizzini (Catholic University of the Sacred Heart) and Luca Radicati di Brozolo (formerly of the same University, now partner at ArbLit) will discuss the commentary with the editors and the audience.

Attendance is free, but prior registration is required.

See the registration form and the full programme. For further information: pietro.franzina@unicatt.it

Book launch/webinar: Cross-border litigation in Central Europe 23 February 2023

The Centre for Private International Law of the University of Aberdeen is organising a webinar/book launch for Csongor István Nagy (ed.), Cross-Border Litigation in Central Europe (Kluwer Law International, 2022) on 23 February 2023, 13:00 – 15:00 UK time.

Speakers: 

Prof Carmen Otero García-Castrillón, Complutense UniversityComplutense University, Madrid (Spain)

Dr Mihail Danov, University of Exeter (UK)

Prof Csongor István Nagy, University of Szeged (Hungary)

Moderator: 

Dr Michiel Poesen, University of Aberdeen (UK)

Please register and find more information here.

 

ASIL Private International Law Interest Group (PILIG) Newsletter and Commentaries on Private International Law (Vol. 5, Issue 2)

The American Society of International Law (ASIL) Private International Law Interest Group (PILIG) has just published its most recent Newsletter and Commentaries on Private International Law (Vol. 5, Issue 2). The primary purpose of the newsletter is to communicate global news on PIL. Accordingly, the newsletter attempts to transmit information on new developments on PIL rather than provide substantive analysis, in a non-exclusive manner, to provide specific and concise information that our readers can use in their daily work. These updates on developments on PIL may include information on new laws, rules and regulations; new judicial and arbitral decisions; new treaties and conventions; new scholarly work; new conferences; proposed new pieces of legislation; and the like.

Please see find the Newsletter and Commentaries in the attachment seen above.

“Law in the Age of Modern Technologies”, 10 February 2023, University of Milan (hybrid)

The University of Milan, on behalf of the DIGinLaw consortium (consisting of partners: the Josip Juraj Strossmayer University of Osijek, the University of Aberdeen, and the University of Zagreb – University Computing Centre (SRCE)), is organising an international conference on Law in the Age of Modern Technologies, taking place in Milan on 10 February 2023.

Digitalization strongly affects society, science, and the transfer of knowledge. While taking advantage of modern technologies, the DIGinLaw Project aims to raise awareness of digital demands in higher education and research in law and fosters the creation of digital literacy and digital competence that is needed in the law labour market. The Project aims to create an open and inclusive society of legal knowledge and to open access to the scientific areas dealing with the effects of digitalization on law and legal education.

The Conference is the culmination of scientific research on the digitalization of legal education and the digitalization of law. It provides a venue for the presentation and discussion of scientific research focusing on such and related themes. The full program of the event is available here.

The conference will be held in a hybrid format. Participation is free of charge, but registration is required.

Yegiazaryan v. Smagin, Civil RICO, and the Enforcement of Foreign Awards in the United States

Thanks to Alberto Pomari, JD Candidate at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, for his assistance with this post.

Two cases slated for Supreme Court’s 2024 term could boost the enforcement of foreign arbitral awards in the United States. On Friday January 13, 2023, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari and consolidated the cases of Yegiazaryan v. Smagin and CMB Monaco v. Smagin. Both present the question of when an injury is foreign or domestic for purposes of RICO civil applicability. Beyond this statutory issue, however, the Supreme Court’s decision will have consequences for the enforcement of foreign arbitral awards too.

The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”) enables private individuals injured by a racketeering violation to bring a civil suit and recover treble damages if he was “injured in his business or property.” In RJR Nabisco, Inc. v. European Cmty., the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the federal presumption against extraterritoriality to limit RICO’s private right of action to only those injuries that are “domestic” in their nature. However, no definition or test was provided to draw a bright line between domestic and foreign injuries.

In Yegiazaryan v. Smagin, the defendant (Yegiazaryan) is a Russian businessman living in California. The plaintiff (Smagin) commenced arbitration proceedings against him in London and was awarded $84 million. In 2014, Smagin successfully filed to recognize and enforce the award against Yegiazaryan in the U.S. district court where Yegiazaryan now resides. In 2020, Smagin filed a RICO action against Yegiazaryan alleging that he and various associates attempted to conceal $198 million from Smagin, which inevitably “injured in his business or property.” Specifically, Smagin alleged that his U.S. judgment confirming this prior foreign arbitral award against Yegiazaryan is intangible property located in the United States, thus making any injury thereto eligible for a RICO civil claim even though he lives abroad.

As to the location of intangible property for purposes of RICO injuries, circuits have split. The Seventh Circuit adopted the residency test, according to which an injury to intangible property must occur in the place where the plaintiff has its residence. Accordingly, a foreign-resident plaintiff like Smagin always suffers foreign injuries to intangible property and cannot recover under RICO. The Third Circuit rejected the residency test in favor of a holistic, six-factor test, with particular emphasis on where the plaintiff suffers the effect of the injurious activity. The Ninth Circuit in the Smagin cases adopted a totality-of-the-circumstances test similar to the Third Circuit’s one, yet with a particular emphasis on the defendant’s conduct. Indeed, the court concluded that Smagin had pleaded a domestic injury because much of the defendant’s alleged misconduct took place in California and the U.S. judgment confirming the foreign award could be executed against the defendant only in California.

The case also has implications for the enforcement of foreign judgments and arbitral awards in the United States. If a U.S. judgment recognizing a foreign judgment or confirming a foreign arbitral award are considered property in the United States, then RICO violations committed in the process of trying to avoid enforcement of the U.S. judgment may give rise to civil liability.

Ferrari, Rosenfeld & Kotuby, Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards: A Concise Guide to the New York Convention’s Uniform Regime

With my co-authors Professor Franco Ferrari and Friedrich Rosenfeld, I am pleased to announce the publication of my newest work, “Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards: A Concise Guide to the New York Convention’s Uniform Regime.” It is available for order here.

This incisive book is an indispensable guide to the New York Convention’s uniform regime on recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards. Framing the Convention as a uniform law instrument, the book analyses case law from major arbitration jurisdictions to explain its scope of application, the duty to recognize arbitral agreements and awards as well as their limitations, and the procedure and formal requirements for enforcing arbitral awards.

Combining insight from arbitration practice with perspectives from private international law, the book underlines the importance of the Convention’s foundation in a treaty of international law, arguing that this entails a requirement to interpret the key concepts it sets forth based on international law rules of interpretation. However, it also demonstrates where municipal laws are relevant and discusses the private international law principles through which these instances can be identified.

Addressing one of the core treaties of international arbitration, this will be crucial reading for legal practitioners and judges working in the field. It will also prove valuable to scholars and students of commercial and private international law, particularly those focused on cross-border disputes and arbitration.

Third Issue for Journal of Private International Law for 2022

The third issue for the Journal of Private International Law for 2022 was published today. It contains the following articles:

K Takahashi, “Law Applicable to Proprietary Issues of Crypto-Assets”

The core European Union rules on jurisdiction have only in recent years included a regime which allows a court in an EU Member State temporarily or definitively to halt its jurisdiction in favour of identical, or similar proceedings pending before a court outside the EU. This contribution maps the meaning and nature of those articles, their application in early case-law across Member States, and their impact among others on business and human rights litigation, pre and post Brexit.
On 1 January 2021, the European Union’s uniform laws on jurisdiction in cross-border disputes ceased to have effect within the United Kingdom. Instead, the rules governing jurisdiction are now found within the Hague Convention 2005 where there is an exclusive choice of court agreement and revert to domestic law where there is not. Consequently, the doctrine of forum non conveniens applies to more jurisdictional issues. This article analyses the impact forum non conveniens may have on victims of human rights abuses linked to multinational enterprises and considers three possible alternatives to the forum non conveniens doctrine, including (i) the vexatious-and-oppressive test, (ii) the Australian clearly inappropriate forum test, and (iii) Article 6(1) of the European Convention on Human Rights. The author concludes that while the English courts are unlikely to depart from the forum non conveniens doctrine, legislative intervention may be needed to ensure England and Wales’ compliance with its commitment to continue to ensure access to remedies for those injured by the overseas activities of English and Welsh-domiciled MNEs as required by the United Nation’s non-binding General Principles on Business and Human Rights.

Indonesian civil procedure law recognises choice of court agreements made by contracting parties. However, Indonesian courts often do not recognise the jurisdiction of the courts chosen by the parties. That is because under Indonesian civil procedure codes, the principle of actor sequitur forum rei can prevail over the parties’ choice of court. In addition, since Indonesian law does not govern the jurisdiction of foreign courts, Indonesian courts continue to exercise jurisdiction over the parties’ disputes based on Indonesian civil procedure codes, although the parties have designated foreign courts in their choice of court agreements. This article suggests that Indonesia pass into law the Bill of Indonesian Private International Law that has provisions concerning international jurisdiction of foreign courts as well as Indonesian courts, and accede to the 2005 HCCH Choice of Court Agreements Convention. This article also suggests steps to be taken to protect Indonesia’s interests.

 

Mohammad Aljarallah, “The Proof of Foreign Law before Kuwaiti Courts: The way forward”

The Kuwaiti Parliament issued Law No. 5/1961 on the Relations of Foreign Elements in an effort to regulate the foreign laws in Kuwait. It neither gives a hint on the nature of foreign law, nor has it been amended to adopt modern legal theories in ascertaining foreign law in civil proceedings in the past 60 years. This study provides an overview of the nature of foreign laws before Kuwaiti courts, a subject that has scarcely been researched. It also provides a critical assessment of the law, as current laws and court practices lack clarity. Furthermore, they are overwhelmed by national tendencies and inconsistencies. The study suggests new methods that will increase trust and provide justice when ascertaining foreign law in civil proceedings. Further, it suggests amendments to present laws, interference of higher courts, utilisation of new tools, reactivation of treaties, and using the assistance of international organisations to ensure effective access and proper application of foreign laws. Finally, it aims to add certainty, predictability, and uniformity to Kuwaiti court practices.

 

CZ Qu, “Cross Border Assistance as a Restructuring Device for Hong Kong: The Case for its Retention”

An overwhelming majority of companies listed in Hong Kong are incorporated in Bermuda/Caribbean jurisdictions. When these firms falter, insolvency proceedings are often commenced in Hong Kong. The debtor who wishes to restructure its debts will need to have enforcement actions stayed. Hong Kong does not have a statutory moratorium structure for restructuring purposes. Between 2018 and 2021, Hong Kong’s Companies Court addressed this difficulty by granting cross-border assistance, in the form of, inter alia, a stay order, to the debtor’s offshore officeholders, whose appointment triggers a stay for restructuring purposes. The Court has recently decided to cease the use of this method. This paper assesses this decision by, inter alia, comparing the stay mechanism in the UNCITRAL Model Law on Cross Border Insolvency. It concludes that it is possible, and desirable, to continue the use of the cross-border assistance method without jeopardising the position of the affected parties.

 

Z Chen, The Tango between the Brussels Ia Regulation and Rome I Regulation under the beat of directive 2008/122/EC on timeshare contracts towards consumer protection

Timeshare contracts are expressly protected as consumer contracts under Article 6(4)(c) Rome I. With the extended notion of timeshare in Directive 2008/122/EC, the question is whether timeshare-related contracts should be protected as consumer contracts. Additionally, unlike Article 6(4)(c) Rome I, Article 17 Brussels Ia does not explicitly include timeshare contracts into its material scope nor mention the concept of timeshare. It gives rise to the question whether, and if yes, how, timeshare contracts should be protected as consumer contracts under Brussels Ia. This article argues that both timeshare contracts and timeshare-related contracts should be protected as consumer contracts under EU private international law. To this end, Brussels Ia should establish a new provision, Article 17(4), which expressly includes timeshare contracts in its material scope, by referring to the timeshare notion in Directive 2008/122/EC in the same way as in Article 6(4)(c) Rome I.

 

Review Article

Many scholars in the field of private international law in Asia are taking commercial conflict of laws seriously in a bid to drive harmonisation and economic development in the region. The recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments is an important aspect of private international law, as it seeks to provide certainty and predictability in cross-border matters relating to civil and commercial law, or family law. There have been recent global initiatives such as The Hague 2019 Convention, and the Commonwealth Model Law on Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments. Scholars writing on PIL in Asia are making their own initiatives in this area. Three recent edited books are worthy of attention because of their focus on the issue of recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments in Asia. These three edited books fill a significant gap, especially in terms of the number of Asian legal systems surveyed, the depth of analysis of each of the Asian legal systems examined, and the non-binding Principles enunciated. The central focus of this article is to outline and provide some analysis on the key contributions of these books.