Bilingual Moot Court Conflict of Laws Sciences Po

Thanks to Horatia Muir Watt and Hélène van Lith for this post.

Sciences Po Law School is delighted to announce the 6th edition of the inter-university Private international law Moot Competition. Sciences Po Law School has been organizing a bilingual moot court on Private International Law in the past 5 years. This 6th edition will be going global and will be called the PAX Moot. Read more

Invitation: International Workshop on a Data Base on Cross-Border Enforcement of Claims at the Max-Planck-Institute Luxembourg

On February 26th, a workshop on the organization of databases on European civil procedural law will take place at the Max-Planck-Institute (MPI) Luxembourg. The workshop is part of a research project in which the MPI is participating together with major European Universities (Complutense, Milan, Rotterdam, Wroclaw), coordinated by Prof. Jan von Hein, Freiburg (the so called IC2BE project: Informed Choices in Cross-Border Enforcement). The final aim of the project is to assess the working in practice of the “second generation” of EU regulations on procedural law for cross-border cases, i.e., the European Enforcement Order, Order for Payment, Small Claims (as amended by Regulation (EU) 2015/2421) and the Account Preservation Order Regulations. In this framework, we intend to create a data base of national case law. With the input of experts from the Commission and the CJEU on the one hand, and from potential users of the data base on the other, the workshop will explore the possible content and design of such a data base.

As part of the knowledge dissemination strategy, we would like to open the workshop to practitioners (or senior academics) interested in the application of the above mentioned Regulations to apply for an invitation to the workshop. A selection will be made based on a short CV/explanation for being professionally interested in the topics discussed. The invitation would cover the travel expenses and one night accommodation in Luxembourg.

Date: Monday 26th February 2018, from (approx.) 9.30 am to 5 pm. A dinner will take place the day before for those arriving on Sunday 25th.

Venue: Max Planck Institute Luxembourg

Contact person:

Deadline for applications: 1st February.



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.


Now Available in the 7th Edition: The „Münchener Kommentar“ on European and German Private International Law

It has not yet been mentioned on this blog that the Münchener Kommentar zum Bürgerlichen Gesetzbuch, Vols. 11 and 12, is now available in its seventh edition (2018). This work is a standard treatise not only on German private international law, but on European PIL as well. Read more

The Unsuitability of the Lugano Convention (2007) to Serve as a Bridge between the UK and the EU after Brexit

A working paper authored by Prof. Dr. Dres. h.c. Burkhard Hess, where he contests with strong arguments the suitability of the Lugano Convention (2007) to serve as a bridge between the UK and the EU after Brexit, has just been published at the MPI Luxembourg Working-Paper Series:

In the current discussion on the post-Brexit judicial cooperation in civil and commercial matters, many consider the ratification of the 2007 Lugano Convention (LC) by the United Kingdom as a suitable avenue for an alignment of the UK with the current regime of European co-operation. Similarly, the UK government has already shown some sympathy for this option. So far, the European Commission has not endorsed any official position.

At first sight, the 2007 Lugano Convention appears an ideal tool for maintaining the core of the existing system of judicial cooperation between the EU and the UK: Although the LC has not been amended to reflect the latest changes (and improvements) introduced with the Brussels Ibis Regulation, it nevertheless provides for the essential provisions of the Brussels regime on jurisdiction, pendency and recognition and enforcement. In addition, Protocol No 2 to the LC requires the courts of non EU Member States only to “pay due account” to the case-law of the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) on the Brussels I Regulation. Hence, Protocol No 2 might provide an acceptable way for British courts to respect the case-law of the ECJ – without being bound by it – in the post-Brexit scenario.

However, as I am going to argue in this posting, the 2007 Lugano Convention is not the appropriate instrument to align judicial cooperation between the United Kingdom and the European Union after Brexit. In the first part, I will briefly summarize the functioning of Protocol No 2 of the LC, as demonstrated by the practice of the Swiss Federal Tribunal. The second part will address the cultural divergences between the continental and the common private international and procedural laws by making use of two examples related to the Brussels I Regulation: the scheme of arrangement, on the one hand, and anti-suit injunctions, on the other hand. As I will explain in my conclusions, only a bilateral agreement between the European Union and the United Kingdom can offer a solution which is suitable and acceptable for both sides.

To continue reading click here.

The Hague Apostille Handbook (2013) is now available in German, Portuguese, and Russian.

The Apostille Handbook was originally published in the official languages of the Hague Conference, English and French, and is also available in Greek, Spanish, and Vietnamese.  All language versions are available here.

Conference Programme: Commercial Issues in Private International Law, Sydney

Last year we posted about an upcoming conference at the University of Sydney Law School on Commercial Issues in Private International Law. The programme for the conference, which will take place on 16 February 2018, is now available here.

Professor Andrew Dickinson, University of Oxford, and Professor TM Yeo, Singapore Management University, will give the keynote addresses.

Conference registration can be carried out via this link.

New Article: Conflict of Laws and Relational Feminism

Readers of this blog might be interested in Roxana Banu, “A Relational Feminist Approach to Conflict of Laws” (2017) 24 Mich. J. Gender & L. 1.  It can be accessed through SSRN at this location.

The specific context is transnational surrogacy arrangements, but much of the article goes beyond that to other areas of the field more generally.  The article engages with work by several other scholars who write about theories or philosophies of private international law.

The Abstract is below.

Feminist writers have long engaged in critiques of private law. Surrogacy contracts or the “reasonable man” standard in torts, for example, have long been the subjects of thorough feminist analysis and critique. When private law issues touch on more than one jurisdiction, Conflict of Laws is the doctrine that determines which jurisdiction can try the case and—as separate questions—which jurisdiction’s law should apply and under what conditions a foreign judgment can be recognized and enforced. Yet, there are virtually no feminist perspectives on Conflict of Laws (also known as Private International Law). This is still more surprising when one considers that feminist approaches to Public International Law have been developing for over a quarter century.

In this Article, I show that there is a fundamental need to rethink the image of the transnational individual in Conflict of Laws theory and methodology. It is here, I argue, that feminism—specifically relational, often known as cultural, feminism—has an important contribution to make to Conflict of Laws. I develop a relational feminist approach to Conflict of Laws and apply it to a pressing contemporary issue, namely transnational surrogacy arrangements.

Overall, this Article shows how relational feminism can illuminate the problems of adopting an atomistic image of the individual in a transnational context, as well as provide an outline for an alternative—a relational theory of the self that redefines autonomy and the law, creating an important shift in how Conflict of Laws perceives its regulatory dimensions. The Article connects three of relational feminism’s core insights—the notion of relational autonomy, the focus on relationships, and relational theories of judging—to Conflict of Laws theory and methodology.

The Implementation of the New Insolvency Regulation. Improving Cooperation and Mutual Trust

Following the entry into force of the new Insolvency Regulation across the European Union in June 2017, the MPI Luxembourg has released a book guiding practitioners and national lawmakers through the implementation of the new rules. The title corresponds to volume 10 of the Studies of the Max Planck Institute Luxembourg for International, European and Regulatory Procedural Law collection (320 pp., ISBN 978-3-8487-4448-0).

The book is the result of a 2-year research project, co-funded by the European Commission under the Specific Programme “Civil Justice” and co-led by the MPI Luxembourg together with the Universities of Vienna and Milano. The project aimed to evaluate the changes that were brought to the European Insolvency Regulation in order to keep pace with the substantial developments in domestic law.

Beyond providing an overview of these changes and expected problems that lay ahead, the book puts forth a series of guidelines and recommendations to facilitate the application and interpretation of the new Regulation. It covers the three primary advancements of the Regulation:

(1) pre-insolvency proceedings that discourage liquidation in favour of rescue and restructuring;

(2) procedural instruments which facilitate the administration of complex cross-border insolvencies and, thus, reduce the opening of inefficient parallel insolvency proceedings via the strengthening of procedural cooperation;

(3) a procedural mechanism designed to reinforce coordination of corporate group insolvencies.

The book bridges the gap between academia and practice. Judges and practitioners, including representatives of the German Ministry of Justice, were invited to actively contribute to the discussions and enhanced the academic dialogue. Some of their inputs are published as well in the Annex to the book.

The table of contents can be found here.


Approaches to Procedural Law. The Pluralism of Methods

Approaches to Procedural Law. The Pluralism of Methods, edited by Professors Loïc Cadiet, Burkhard Hess and Marta Requejo Isidro (552 pp., ISBN 978-3-8487-4309-4) corresponds to volume 9 of the Studies of the Max Planck Institute Luxembourg for International, European and Regulatory Procedural Law collection.

As explained in the foreword the book is the final outcome of the second edition of the MPI-IAPL Post-doctoral Summer School in procedural law, which took place at the Max Planck Institute premises in July 2016. Guiding thread of the book are two complementary reflections: On the one hand, modern procedural law is characterized by its openness to comparative and international perspectives. On the other hand, the aperture of procedural science requires a new approach of research, which has to be based on a comparative methodology. In this context, particular attention was paid to recent trends characterizing the field: Europeanization and harmonization, marking the evolution towards a new, cross-border dimension of Procedural Law; and the growing importance of transnational legal relations in all spheres of civil and commercial which obliges to face the new challenges of procedural law across national borders.

The book gathers the contributions of young post-doc whose research focus on European and comparative procedural law, as well as on relevant dispute mechanisms for civil controversies, and those of the Professors who shared with them the summer-school experience.

You can access the table of contents here.