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The Choice of Court Convention is already close to its 5th year of application. Case law is still scarce. A Greek court tackled with the question, whether to apply the Convention or not. It decided that it should apply, but at the end it considered that the agreement was asymmetric, therefore outside the scope of the Convention.

 

THE FACTS

Today, the ECJ decided in case C-641/18 –  LG and Others v. Rina SpA, Ente Registro Italiano Navale, on the concepts of ‘civil and commercial matters’ and ‘administrative matters’ under Article 1 Brussels I Regulation.

The case arose from the following facts:

14      LG and Others — relatives of the victims and survivors of the sinking of the Al Salam Boccaccio’98 vessel in the Red Sea on 2 and 3 February 2006, in which more than 1 000 people lost their lives — brought an action before the Tribunale di Genova (District Court, Genoa, Italy) against the Rina companies — ship classification and certification societies — whose seat is in Genoa.

The Organization of American States (OAS) has announced that it is launching a weekly virtual forum entitled “Inter-American law in times of pandemic”.  It begins on Monday 11 May at 11:00 am (EDT, local time in Washington, D.C.).  The first session “Challenges to Inter-American Law” will be held in Spanish, with no simultaneous interpretation. Registration is free but space is limited. The agenda is available here.

As announced, “the topics to be discussed in relation to the impact of the pandemic in the Americas will include: the challenges to Inter-American law; the importance of access to public information; protection of privacy and personal data; the fight against corruption; legal cooperation against cyber-crime; food security as a specific challenge; the difficulties for private international law; among others.”

Conflict of Laws .net now on LinkedIn

In addition to our Twitter account, you can now also follow us on LinkedIn to see all our latest posts and updates directly in your news feed.

You can find our profile here.

 

Conflict of Laws and the Internet

Pedro de Miguel Asensio from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid has published a book on Conflict of laws and the Internet. The publisher’s blurb reads as follows:
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The ubiquity of the Internet contrasts with the territorial nature of national legal orders. This book offers a comprehensive analysis of jurisdiction, choice of law and enforcement of judgments issues concerning online activities in the areas in which private legal relationships are most affected by the Internet. It provides an in-depth study of EU Law in this particularly dynamic field, with references to major developments in other jurisdictions. Topics comprise information society services, data protection, defamation, copyright, trademarks, unfair competition and contracts, including consumer protection and alternative dispute resolution.
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Key features include:
  • comprehensive analysis of the complex conflict of laws issues that arise in connection with Internet activities

Brexit and Cross-Border Insolvency

The latest issue of the Italian Journal Diritto del commercio internazionale (34.1/2020) features an article (in English) on “Brexit and Cross-Border Insolvency Looking Beyond the Withdrawal Agreement” written by Antonio Leandro (University of Bari).

The abstract of the article reads as follows: “The UK and the EU have concluded the Withdrawal Agreement which officially triggers the so-called Brexit. However, the real effects of the Brexit still are unclear, at least as regards the future following the end of the transition period provided for by the Withdrawal Agreement during which the UK will be treated as if it were a Member State. After the transition period, mini hard Brexit(s) are in fact likely for matters currently governed by the EU Law that the Parties will not want to relocate in new legal frameworks, such as bilateral treaties. The paper addresses the consequences of a mini hard Brexit for cross-border insolvency proceedings involving the UK and the Member States with the aim to explain why this specter should be avoided”.

Today, Advocate General Szpunar delivered his Opinion in Case C-253/19 – MH, NI v. OJ, Novo Banco SA. As is generally known, Article 3 of Regulation 2015/848, entitled ‘International jurisdiction’, provides in paragraph 1:

‘The courts of the Member State within the territory of which the centre of the debtor’s main interests is situated shall have jurisdiction to open insolvency proceedings (“main insolvency proceedings”). The centre of main interests shall be the place where the debtor conducts the administration of its interests on a regular basis and which is ascertainable by third parties.

Thanks to the entering into force of the Dutch Collective Redress of Mass Damages Act (Wet afwikkeling massaschade in collectieve actie, WAMCA) on 1 January 2020, there has been an increase in prospective litigation against Volkswagen in the Netherlands and other countries in Europe involving the Volkswagen emissions scandal (also known as Dieselgate). We have previously reported on this law here and also on ongoing litigation against Volkswagen here (CJEU) and here (UK).

One of the institutes / organisations taking advantage of this opportunity is the Diesel Emissions Justice Foundation (DEJF), which was founded in the Netherlands, and which is seeking to be the exclusive representative in a collective redress action against Volkswagen. The DEJF is currently acting in the Netherlands, Belgium and France and has recently extended its activities to the rest of Europe provided that certain conditions are fulfilled (e.g. customers have not yet been compensated – one cannot be compensated twice and has to choose one representative – see more information here).

Sharing Economy in EU Private International Law

Edoardo Rossi has published (in Italian) a book on the Sharing Economic in EU Private International Law (“La Sharing Economy nel diritto internazionale privato europeo”). The author has kindly provided us with an abstract:

In the current economic and social context new and controversial sharing practices, offering anyone the opportunity to search for or make available goods or services on the market regardless of the professional or amateur nature of the persons involved, have emerged. These practices, very heterogeneous and concerning the most different areas of daily life, such as mobility, housing, business activities, communications, work, culture, communication, education and finance, have been linked  to the notion of “sharing economy”, which brings them together by virtue of temporary access to goods or services, facilitated by the large-scale intervention of digital platforms, through which requests and offers are coordinated online in order to share goods or services.

The latest issue of the „Praxis des Internationalen Privat- und Verfahrensrechts (IPRax)“ features the following articles:

A. Stein: The 2019 Hague Judgments Convention – All’s Well that Ends Well?

The Hague Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments, which was concluded in July 2019, holds the potential of facilitating the resolution of cross-border conflicts by enabling, accelerating and reducing the cost of the recognition and enforcement of judgments abroad although a number of areas have been excluded from scope. As the academic discussion on the merits of this instrument unfolds and the EU considers the benefits of ratification, this contribution by the EU’s lead negotiator at the Diplomatic Conference presents an overview of the general architecture of the Convention and sheds some light on the individual issues that gave rise to the most intense discussion at the Diplomatic Conference.