Out now: ZEuP 2019, Issue 1

The latest issue of the Zeitschrift für Europäisches Privatrecht has just been released. It  contains the following articles (plus an interesting editorial by Heike Schweizer on the platforms as “private regulators”):

Francisco Garcimartín: The EU Regime on Securitisation: coordination between the regulatory framework and the conflict of law rules

This article analyses the relationship between the EU Securitisation Regulation and the Commisions’s Proposal on the law applicable to the third-party effects of assignment of claims. The former is an instrument of regulatory law, the application of which requires certain private-law conditions; in particular with regard to proprietary and insolvency law. In a cross-border context, the future Regulation on assignment of claims will fill a relevant gap in EU law and therefore together the Securitisation Regulation may contribute to restarting a sound securitisation market in the EU.

Leonhard Hübner: Die Drittwirkungen der Abtretung im IPR

With regard to the third-party effects of the assignment, there is a high degree of legal uncertainty in European conflict of laws. After a long struggle, the EU Commission therefore published a corresponding draft regulation in March 2018. The article examines whether the draft regulation establishes the necessary legal certainty and thus contributes to the further development of European conflict of laws.

Jan Böhle: Die Abwahl zwingenden Rechts vor staatlichen Gerichten in Inlandsfällen

According to Art. EWG_VO_593_2008 Artikel 3(3) of the Rome I Regulation parties cannot circumvent the application of mandatory rules by means of a choice of law in so-called domestic situations. However, it remains largely unclear whether the connection between a domestic contract and an international contract as well as the use of international standard documentation by the parties are sufficient to establish an international element to the situation. This article will answer these questions in the affirmative.

Christian Kohler, Sibylle Seyr and Jean-Christophe Puffer-Mariette: Unionsrecht und Privatrecht: Zur Rechtsprechung des EuGH im Jahr 2017

A number of decisions of the Court of Justice and the General Court of the European Union given in 2017 are again of particular interest for private law. Two judgments of the Grand Chamber of the ECJ address the issue whether the prohibition to wear an Islamic headscarf at the workplace amounts to a discrimination based on religion or belief. Further rulings concern discriminations based on grounds of age or sex. In a seminal judgment on the freedom of establishment the ECJ completed its case law on the cross-border transfer of the registered office of a company. Also included are judgments of the ECJ in the field of consumer contracts, product liability, harmonised labour law, the rights of passengers in the event of cancellation or delay of flights, and the protection of personal data. As in previous years, cases on the law of trademarks and on intellectual property provide another focus.

Christian Twigg-Flesner: Consolidation rather than Codification – or just Complication? – The UK’s Consumer Rights Act 2015

The Consumer Rights Act 2015 was adopted to simplify and consolidate legislation on consumer contracts. The Act only consolidates rules on conformity and associated remedies for goods, as well new rules on services and digital content, and the regulation of unfair terms. Beyond this, the Act contains provisions on consumer matters such as enforcement powers, collective actions under Competition Law, and letting agents and secondary ticketing platforms. Overall, the Act lacks a clear focus.

TransLex, a free online resource on transnational commercial law, the New Lex Mercatoria

by Klaus Peter Berger, Cologne University

The Center for Transnational Law (CENTRAL) at Cologne University Faculty of Law has recently revised and updated TransLex, its free knowledge- and codification-platform on transnational commercial law, the New Lex Mercatoria.

The introductory text now contains a thorough and critical analysis of the historic Lex Mercatoria, including its doubtful existence during the Middle Ages with links to numerous historic documents of those times, https://www.trans-lex.org/the-lex-mercatoria-and-the-translex-principles_ID8.

New comparative law materials have been added to the TransLex-Principles, a collection of over 130 principles and rules of the New Lex Mercatoria, https://www.trans-lex.org/principles/of-transnational-law-(lex-mercatoria).

New documents have been added to the online archive of rare historic documents on alternative dispute resolution from the Bible and Koran to modern times, https://www.trans-lex.org/materials/of-transnational-law-(lex-mercatoria)#list_69.

The bibliograhy now contains over 1.000 entries, making it the largest online bibliography on transnational commercial law, https://www.trans-lex.org/biblio/of-transnational-law-(lex-mercatoria).

Book Launch: Global Private International Law

Global Private International Law is a new casebook, published by Edward Elgar and edited by Horatia Muir Watt, Lucia Bíziková, Agatha Brandão de Oliveira, and Diego P. Fernandez Arroyo.

The publisher provided the following summary:

“Providing a unique and clearly structured tool, this book presents an authoritative collection of carefully selected global case studies. Some of these are considered global due to their internationally relevant subject matter, whilst others demonstrate the blurring of traditional legal categories in an age of accelerated cross-border movement. The study of the selected cases in their political, cultural, social and economic contexts sheds light on the contemporary transformation of law through its encounter with conflicting forms of normativity and the multiplication of potential fora”.

Contributors include: F. Antunes Madeira da Silva, S. Archer, C. Avasilencei, G.A. Bermann, R. Bismuth, L. Bíziková, S. Bollée, J. Bomhoff, S. Brachotte, A. Brandão de Oliveira, H. Buxbaum, L. Carballo Piñeiro, C. Chalas, D. Coester-Waltjen, G. Cordero-Moss, S. Corneloup, F. Costa Morosini, G. Cuniberti, J. d’Aspremont, J. Daskal, S. Dezalay, R. Fentiman, D.P. Fernández Arroyo, T. Ferrando, S. Fulli-Lemaire, U. Grusic, H. Harata, L. Hennebel, J. Heymann, P. Kinsch, H. Kupelyants, K. Langenbucher, F. Latty, O. Le Meur, G. Lewkowicz, F. Licari, F. Marchadier, T. Marzal, R. Michaels, A. Mills, H. Muir Watt, N. Najjar, V.H. Pinto Ido, E. Pataut, D. Restrepo-Amariles, D. Rosenblum, C. Salomão Filho, M. Sanchez-Badin, P. Schiff Berman, J. Sgard, D. Sindres, E. Supiot, C. Thomale, K. Trilha, H. van Loon, J. Verhellen, M. Weidemaier, M. Wells-Greco

The table of content is available here.

More information is available here.

Oral Rounds of the Pax Moot 2019

Thanks to Daniel Chan for this post.

The Oral Rounds of the Pax Moot 2019 has been definitively set at May 24th and May 25th, the detailed schedule can be found on the website (www.paxmoot.com). As a further clarification, the deadline for registration has been extended to March 31st due to organizational requirements for some participating universities. However, we encourage teams to register as early as possible for the benefit of the competition.

We are also happy to announce that our partner JUDGTRUST have been very generous to provide financial assistance to 8 participating teams this year. This program will cover the travel and lodging costs, but teams will still have to pay 200 Euros per team of registration fees. All teams are eligible to apply for this program however the final decision is reserved for JUDGTRUST. For teams who wish to apply, please send an email indicating briefly your situation to info@paxmoot.com.

Updated Rule and Procedures have also been uploaded on the website, if there are any further clarifications required, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We look forward to welcoming you in the Hague!

Sincerely,

PAX Moot Team

Job Vacancy: PhD Position/Fellow at the University of Hamburg, Germany

Professor Dr Peter Mankowski is looking for a highly skilled and motivated PhD candidate and fellow (Wissenschaftliche/r Mitarbeiter/in) to work at the Chair for Civil Law, Comparative Law and International Private and Procedural Law, University of Hamburg, Germany, on a part-time basis (50%) as of 1 June 2019.

The successful candidate holds a first law degree (ideally the First German State Examination) and is interested in civil law and international private and procedural law. A very good command of German and English is expected; additional language skills are an advantage.

The fellow will be given the opportunity to conduct his/her PhD project (according to the Faculty’s regulations). The position is paid according to the German public salary scale E-13 TV-L, 50%. The initial contract period is three years, with an option to be extended. Responsibilities include research and teaching (with as independent teaching obligation of 2,25 hours per week during term time).

If you are interested in this position, please send your application (cover letter; CV; and relevant documents and certificates, notably university transcripts and a copy of law degree) to

Universität Hamburg
Fakultät für Rechtswissenschaft
Seminar für Internationales Privat- und Prozessrecht
Prof. Dr. Peter Mankowski
Rothenbaumchaussee 33
20148 Hamburg

by 27 March, 2019.

Further information can be found here.

Conference on the Notarial Practice of International Law (October 10-13 2019, Lisbon)

On October 10-13 2019, the Mouvement Jeune Notariat will host a conference on the notarial practice of International Law (the official title reads « L’International : Le guide pratique ») which will take place in Lisbon.

The conference will deal with the international aspects of the notarial practice of estate planning which includes conflict of laws in matter of matrimonial property regime, succession, divorce, and trusts to the extend of the practice of international tax law in such matters.

The programme and registration form (both in French) can be accessed here and here. Further information is available here.

No violation of Article 8 ECHR by Greek authorities regarding the measures taken in a child abduction case

Almost a year ago, the European Court of Human Rights issued a very interesting judgment on the interpretation of Article 8 ECHR, involving a couple (husband Greek, spouse Romanian) living with their two children in the city of Ioannina, Greece. The case found no coverage in Greece (and elsewhere), probably because it was not translated in English. Crucial questions related to the operation of the 1980 Hague Child Abduction Convention and the Brussels II bis Regulation were elaborated by the Court, which ruled that Greek authorities did not violate Article 8 ECHR.

Case M.K. v. Greece (application no. 51312/16), available in French

A comment on the judgment in English has been posted by Sara Lembrechts – Researcher at University of Antwerp & Policy Advisor at Children’s Rights Knowledge Centre (KeKi), Belgium.

 

New Article on Current Developments in Forum access: European Perspectives on Human Rights Litigation

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Burkhard Hess and Ms. Martina Mantovani (Max Planck Institute Luxembourg for International, European and Regulatory Procedural Law) recently posted a new paper in the MPILux Research Paper Series, titled Current Developments in Forum Access: Comments on Jurisdiction and Forum Non Conveniens – European Perspectives on Human Rights Litigation.

The paper will appear in F. Ferrari & D. Fernandez Arroyo (eds.), The Continuing Relevance of Private International Law and Its Challenges (Elgar, 2019).

Here is an overview provided by the authors.

“The paper analyses the legal framework governing the exercise of civil jurisdiction over claims brought before European courts by victims of mass torts committed outside the jurisdiction of European States.

The first part of the paper focuses on the private international law doctrine of the forum of necessity, often used by foreign plaintiffs as a “last resort” for accessing a European forum. Ejected from the final version of the Brussels Ibis Regulation and thus arguably unavailable in cases involving EU-domiciled defendants, this doctrine has recently been subjected, in domestic case law, to formalistic interpretations which further curtail its applicability vis-à-vis non-EU domiciled defendants. The Comilog saga in France and the Naït Liman case in Switzerland are prime examples of this approach.

Having taken stock of the Naït Liman judgment of the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights, which leaves an extremely narrow scope for reviewing said formalistic interpretations under article 6 ECHR, the second part of the paper assesses alternative procedural strategies that foreign plaintiffs may implement in order to bring their case in Europe.

A first course of action may consist in suing a non-EU domiciled defendant (usually a subsidiary) before the courts of domicile of a EU domiciled co-defendant (often the parent company). Hardly innovative, this procedural strategy is recurrent in recent case law of both civil law and common law courts, and allows therefore for a comparative assessment of the approach adopted by national courts in dealing with such cases. Particular attention is given to the sometimes-difficult coexistence between the hard-and-fast logic of the Brussels Ibis Regulation, applicable vis-à-vis the anchor defendant, and the domestic tests applied for asserting jurisdiction over the non-domiciled co-defendant, as well as to the ever-present objections of forum non conveniens and of “abuse of rights”.

A second course of action may consist in suing, as a single defendant, either a EU domiciled contractual party of the main perpetrator of the abuse (as it happened in the Kik case in Germany or in the Song Mao case in the UK), or a major player on the international market (e.g. the RWE case in Germany). In these cases, where the Brussels Ibis Regulation and its hard-and-fast logic may deploy their full potential, the jurisdiction of the seised court is undisputable in principle and never disputed in practice.

Against this backdrop, the paper concludes that, where the Brussels Ibis Regulation is triggered, establishing jurisdiction and accessing a forum is quite an easy and straightforward endeavor. Nevertheless, the road to a judgment on the merits remains fraught with difficulty for victims of an extraterritorial harm.  Firstly, there are several other procedural hurdles, concerning for example the admissibility of the claim, which may derail a decision on the merits even after jurisdiction has been established. Secondly, the state of development of the applicable substantive law still constitutes a major obstacle to the plaintiff’s success. In common law countries, where the existence of a “good arguable case” shall be proven already at an earlier stage, in order to establish jurisdiction over the non-EU domiciled defendant, the strict substantive test to be applied for establishing a duty of supervision of the parent company, as well as its high evidentiary standard, have in most cases determined to the dismissal of the entire case without a comprehensive assessment in the merits, despite the undisputable existence of jurisdiction vis-à-vis the domiciled parent company. In civil law countries, the contents of the applicable substantive law, e.g. the statute of limitations, may finally determine an identical outcome at a later stage of the proceedings (as proven by the extremely recent dismissal of the case against Kik).”

CJEU provides guidance as to how to identify an OMP

In Agostinho da Silva Martins v Dekra Claims Services Portugal SA (C-149/18), between Mr Agostinho da Silva Martins, who suffered damages in a car accident, and the insurance company Dekra Claims Services Portugal SA, the CJEU was called to rule on two different issues of qualification: one related to the interpretation of Article 16 of the Rome II Regulation on overriding mandatory provisions and the other related to interpretation of Article 28 of Directive 2009/103 on protection of victim in case of a motor vehicle accident.

Regarding the overriding mandatory provisons under the Rome II Regulation, the CJEU refers to the definition in Article 9(1) of the Rome I Regulation and reasons that in order to qualify a national rule on statutory limitation period as an overriding mandatory the national court has to be satisfied that there exist “particularly important reasons, such as a manifest infringement of the right to an effective remedy and to effective judicial protection arising from the application of the law designated as applicable”. The relevant part of the CJEU holding uses careful phrasing suggesting restrictive interpretation of overriding mandatory rules: a rule

cannot be considered to be an overriding mandatory provision, […] unless the court hearing the case finds, on the basis of a detailed analysis of the wording, general scheme, objectives and the context in which that provision was adopted, that it is of such importance in the national legal order that it justifies a departure from the law applicable.

Regarding the conflict of law nature of Article 28 of Directive 2009/103, which regulates the Member States’ obligation to provide measures guaranteeing that the victim of a road traffic accident and the owner of the vehicle involved in that accident are protected, the CJEU states that this is not the conflict-of-law provision and that, consequently, it does not take precedence over the Rome II Regulation under Article 27 of the latter.

Call for Papers: SLS Conflict of Laws Section, Preston 2019

Since Conflict of Laws became a subject section at the Society of Legal Scholars in 2017, it has been part of the Society’s annual conference. This year’s conference, which will be held in Preston, UK, from 3 September to 6 September (right before the Journal of Private International Law Conference in Munich), is no exception and the organiser’s of the Conflict of Laws section, Andrew Dickinson and Máire Ní Shúilleabháin, have kindly provided the following Call for Papers:

SLS Conflict of Laws Section: Call for Papers and Panels for 2019 SLS Annual Conference at the University of Central Lancashire, Preston

This is a call for papers and panels for the Conflict of Laws section of the 2019 SLS Annual Conference to be held at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston from Tuesday 3rd September – Friday 6th September.  This year’s theme is ‘Central Questions About Law’.

This marks the third year of the Conflict of Laws section, and we are hoping to build on the successful meetings in Dublin and London.

The Conflict of Laws section will meet in the first half of the conference on Tuesday 3rd and Wednesday 4th September.

We intend that the section will comprise four sessions of 90 minutes, with 3 or more papers being presented in each session, followed by discussion. At least three of the sessions will be organised by theme. We hope, if submissions allow, to be able to set aside one session for papers by early career researchers (within 5-years of PhD or equivalent).

We welcome proposals from scholars in the field for papers or panels on any issue relating to any topical aspect of the Conflict of Laws (private international law), including but not limited to those addressing this year’s conference theme.

If you are interested in delivering a paper, we ask you to submit a proposed title and abstract of around 300 words. If you wish to propose a panel, please submit an outline of the theme and rationale for the panel and the names of the proposed speakers (who must have agreed to participate), together with their proposed titles and abstracts. We welcome proposals representing a full range of intellectual perspectives in the subject section, and from those at all stages of their careers.

Please submit your paper abstract or panel details by 11:59pm UK time on Monday 18th March 2019.  All abstracts and panel details must be submitted through the Oxford Abstracts conference system which can be accessed using the following link – https://app.oxfordabstracts.com/stages/1028/submission – and following the instructions (select ‘Track’ for the relevant subject section). If you registered for Oxford Abstracts for last year’s conference, please ensure that you use the same e-mail address this year if that address remains current. If you experience any issues in using Oxford Abstracts, please contact slsconference@mosaicevents.co.uk.

As the SLS is keen to ensure that as many members with good quality papers as possible are able to present, we discourage speakers from presenting more than one paper at the conference.  With this in mind, when you submit an abstract via Oxford Abstracts, you will be asked to note if you are also responding to calls for papers or panels from other sections.

The SLS offers a Best Paper Prize which can be awarded to academics at any stage of their career and which is open to those presenting papers individually or within a panel.  The Prize carries a £250 monetary award and the winning paper will, subject to the usual process of review and publisher’s conditions, be published in Legal Studies.

To be eligible for the Best Paper Prize:

  • speakers must be fully paid-up members of the SLS;
  • papers must not exceed 12,000 words including footnotes (as counted in Word);
  • papers must be uploaded to the paperbank by 11.59pm UK time on Monday 26th August; and
  • papers must not have been published previously or have been accepted or be under consideration for publication.

We have also been asked to remind you that all speakers will need to book and pay to attend the conference and that they will need to register for the conference by Friday 14th June in order to secure their place within the programme, though please do let us know if this is likely to pose any problems for you.  Booking information will be circulated in due course.

We note also that prospective speakers do not need to be members of the SLS or already signed up as members of a section to propose or deliver a paper.

We look forward to seeing you, as a speaker or delegate, at the Conflict of Laws session in Lancashire.

With best wishes,

Professor Andrew Dickinson, St Catherine’s College, University of Oxford
Dr Máire Ní Shúilleabháin, University College Dublin (Conveners)