UK Supreme Court on law applicable to arbitration agreements

Written by Stephen Armstrong, lawyer practicing in Toronto, Ontario, Canada with an interest in international arbitration. [Linkedin]

On Friday, October 9, 2020, the United Kingdom Supreme Court released an interesting decision concerning the applicable law governing arbitration agreements in international contracts and the jurisdiction of the courts of the seat of the arbitration to grant anti-suit injunctions. The case is Enka Insaat Ve Sanayi A.S. v 000 Insurance Company Chubb, [2020] UKSC 38.

The full text of the Supreme Court’s decision is available here.

A digestible summary of the case, including the facts, the breakdown of votes, and the reasons, is available here.

The End of the “Sahyouni Saga”

The German Bundesgerichtshof (BGH) in August finally decided the case “Sahyouni” that made it twice to the ECJ (Sahyouni I  and Sahyouni II). The BGH decision (German text here) applied the new German rules on private divorces. The German legislator had enacted these rules after the ECJ declared the Rome III Regulation as only applicable on divorces by a court. Additionally, the court took the opportunity to comment on several other private international law issues. The probably most interesting issues of the case are (1) the new German rules, (2) the treatment of parties with more than one nationality if the connecting factor is nationality and (3) the question whether the unilateral private divorce finally was recognized.

  1. German law regarding “private divorces”

Personal jurisdiction over a non-resident defendant in a product liability case to be argued before the US Supreme Court today: the consolidated Ford Motor cases

The US Supreme Court will hear oral arguments today (7-Oct-2020) concerning two consolidated cases: Ford Motor Co. v. Montana Eighth Judicial District Court and Ford Motor Co. v. Bandemer. The consolidated cases deal with the difficult issue of personal jurisdiction over a non-resident defendant, where there is a split in federal courts of appeals and state courts of last resort. These cases are significant because they will have a direct impact on the ease with which plaintiffs can lodge a complaint in product liability cases against big automobile companies (and others) before the courts of their own state. In a nutshell, it can be argued that besides jurisdictional matters relating to the defendant, these cases deal with fundamental notions of access to justice for consumers.

Call for Papers “Jurisdiction – Who speaks international law?”

The German Working Group of Young Scholars in Public International Law (Arbeitskreis junger Völkerrechtswissenschaftler*innen – AjV) asked me to forward the following call for papers. This conference intends to bridge the gap between international public and private international law, thus, contributions from private international law are more than welcome. The official call is on this website or here as pdf: 2020_30_09 – CfP [ENG] .


The Working Group of Young Scholars in Public International Law (Arbeitskreis junger Völkerrechtswissenschaftler*innen – AjV) and the German Society of International Law (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationales Recht – DGIR) invite contributions to their joint conference titled


Who speaks international law?

3-4 September 2021

University of Bonn


Virtual Conference on “The Burden of Proof in International Arbitration”

On Monday, October 26, 2020 at 15.00 CET, the European Center for Arbitration and Mediation and The International School of Arbitration and Mediation for Europe, the Mediterranean and the Middle East organise their Annual International Conference Med-Mid XIV on “The Burden of Proof in International Arbitration/La charge de la preuve dans l’arbitrage international”.

The conference addresses four key issues of any international arbitration, which require a focussed and renewed reflection: 1) Oral Evidence: Fact Witnesses, Expert Witnesses, Parties and Witness Statement (Civil Law and Common Law approaches); 2) The applicable Law on matters such as the effects of the procedural law (Civil Law and Common Law approaches) on the taking of evidence; 3) Disclosure of documents: effects of only voluntary production of documents v. forced discovery; 4) The Arbitrator’s authority as to evidence (Role as Umpire; wider ex officio authority as to evidence) as well as limits and support from State Courts.

The Hague Academy of International Law 2021 Online Winter Courses

Registration for the 2021 Online Winter Courses will open on October 8th, 2020 at 0:00 hrs. The Hague Time (GMT +1).

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and for the first time in the Academy’s almost century-old history, a session of courses will be held exclusively online, that of winter 2021. The programme of the Winter Courses will take place as originally scheduled, from 11 to 29 January 2021. The Academy will offer registered attendees the opportunity to follow the courses in webinar format through the Zoom software application.


Inaugural Lecture: A House of Many Rooms: The Rise, Fall and Rise Again of Territorial Sovereignty? Malcolm N. SHAW QC, Emeritus Sir Robert Jennings Professor at the University of Leicester

Extraterritorial Effect of the Hong Kong National Security Law

Professor Sophia Tang, Wuhan University (China) and Newcastle University (UK) will give a virtual seminar in the Durham University China Law Centre. The topic is “Extraterritorial Effect of the Hong Kong National Security Law”.

Webinar: Extraterritorial Effect of the Hong Kong National Security Law 
Speaker:Prof Zheng TANG
Time:13:00 p.m. Tuesday, October 13 
Meeting ID: 964 3056 2639


Brexit and the UK joining two HCCH Conventions – A convoluted and unorthodox process that has finally come to an end

As announced in a previous post, the UK has (again) joined the 2005 Choice of Court Convention and the 2007 Child Support Convention. On 2 October 2020, the Depositary has officially notified of the new UK instrument of accession to the Choice of Court Convention and of the new UK instrument of ratification of the Child Support Convention, including the new UK declarations and reservations. And yes both Conventions have been extended to Gibraltar from the outset.

Virtual Workshop on October 6: Anatol Dutta on Family Law and Multicultural Society

On Tuesday, October 6, the Hamburg Max Planck Institute will host its fourth monthly virtual workshop in private international law at 11:00-12:30. Anatol Dutta (Ludwig Maximilian University Munich) will speak, in German, about family law and multicultural society, followed by open discussion. All are welcome. More information and sign-up here. This is the fourth such lecture […]