Judicial Application of the 1980 HCCH Convention in Morocco

The question of the accession (or reluctance to accede) of Muslim countries to the 1980 HCCH Convention has attracted the interest of scholars from Muslim countries and abroad. Scholars who have addressed this issue have come to different (sometimes contradictory) conclusions, especially when it comes to the influence of classical Islamic rules and principles on the attitudes and policies of Muslim states. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon that the available studies on this subject do not take into account the actual judicial practice of Muslim jurisdictions and focus more on the (theoretical) compatibility (or not) of Islamic rules and principles underlying the 1980 HCCH Convention. This post briefly presents some decisions dealing with the issue of cross-border child abduction under the 1980 HCCH Convention in a Muslim state, Morocco, but without going into too much into details or assessment, as this deserves to be done properly in a dedicated article.

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Overview of the 2023 Amendments to Chinese Civil Procedure Law

Written by NIE Yuxin, Wuhan University Institute of International Law


1. Background

China’s Civil Procedure Law was enacted in April 1991 by the Fourth Session of the Seventh National People’s Congress. Since then, it had undergone four revisions in 2007, 2012, 2017, and 2021. However, no substantial revisions were made to the provisions concerning foreign-related civil litigation. The latest amendments to the Civil Procedure Law in 2023, referred to as the new CPL, involve 26 amendments, including 14 modified articles and 15 new additions. Notably, 19 changes deal with the special provisions on cross-border procedures.

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China Adopts Restrictive Theory of Foreign State Immunity

Written by Bill Dodge, the John D. Ayer Chair in Business Law and Martin Luther King Jr. Professor of Law at UC Davis School of Law.

On September 1, 2023, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress promulgated the Foreign State Immunity Law of the People’s Republic of China (FSIL) (English translation here). When the law enters into force on January 1, 2024, China will join those countries—a clear majority—that have adopted the restrictive theory of foreign state immunity. For the law of state immunity, this move is particularly significant because China had been the most important adherent to the rival, absolute theory of foreign state immunity.

In two prior posts (here and here), I discussed a draft of the FSIL (English translation here). In this post I analyze the final version of the law, noting some of its key provision and identifying changes from the draft, some of which address issues that I had identified. I also explain why analysts who see China’s new law as a form of “Wolf Warrior Diplomacy” are mistaken. Contrary to some suggestions, the FSIL will not allow China to sue the United States over U.S. export controls on computer chips or potential restrictions on Tiktok. Rather, the FSIL is properly viewed as a step towards joining the international community on an important question of international law. Read more

“Quasi” Anti-Suit Injunctions and Public Policy under Brussels Regime


This post is written by Mykolas Kirkutis, a lecturer and PhD student of law at Mykolas Romeris University and visiting researcher at Rotterdam Erasmus School of Law, Erasmus University Rotterdam (EU Civil Justice group).

The Court of Justice of European Union (CJEU) on 7 of September 2023 in its newest case Charles Taylor Adjusting Limited, FD v Starlight Shipping Company, Overseas Marine Enterprises Inc. (case No. C?590/21) 2023 rendered a new preliminary ruling related to a non-recognition of “Quasi” anti-suit injunctions’ judgment under public policy ground of Brussels regime. This case is important because of two aspects. Firstly, CJEU clarified the main elements of “Quasi” anti-suit injunctions’ judgments. Secondly, Court stated what impact such judgments have for mutual trust in EU and if it can be safeguarded by public policy ground.

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International high-tech surrogacy and legal developments in the Netherlands

This blogpost is an edited version of this blogpost written in Dutch by Stichting IJI (The Hague Institute for private international law and foreign law). We thought it was interesting to also bring it to the attention of the international readership of this blog.


In the Netherlands, international high-tech surrogacy is a hot topic, resulting in interesting legal developments. Recently, a Dutch District Court dealt with a case on the recognition of US court decisions on legal parenthood over children born from a high-tech surrogacy trajectory in the US, providing many private international law insights on how to assess such request for recognition. Furthermore, on July 4 a bill was proposed that encloses several private international law provisions. This blogpost briefly highlights both developments.

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Same-sex relationships concluded abroad in Namibia – Between (Limited) Judicial Recognition and Legislative Rejection

There is no doubt that the issue of same-sex marriage is highly controversial. This is true for both liberal and conservative societies, especially when the same-sex union to be formed involves parties from different countries. Liberal societies may be tempted to open up access to same-sex marriage to all, especially when their citizens are involved and regardless of whether the same-sex marriage is permitted under the personal law of the other foreign party. For conservative societies, the challenge is even greater, as local authorities may have to decide whether or not to recognise same-sex marriages contracted abroad (in particular when their nationals are involved). The issue becomes even more complicated in countries where domestic law is hostile to, or even criminalises, same-sex relationships.

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Cassirer on Remand: Considering the Laws of Other Interested States

This post is by Carlos Manuel Vázquez, a professor of law at Georgetown Law School. It is cross-posted at Transnational Litigation Blog.

Claude Cassirer brought suit in federal court in California eighteen years ago against the Thyssen Bornemisza Museum of Madrid, Spain, to recover a painting by Camille Pissarro that was stolen from his grandmother by the Nazis during World War II.  After a reversal and remand from the U.S. Supreme Court last summer, the case is now before the Ninth Circuit for decision of the legal question that is likely to be decisive:  which law governs?

The district court and the court of appeals have so far framed the issue as a binary choice: the governing law on the merits is either that of Spain or that of California.   I suggest here that the issue is better framed as a choice between the law of Spain, on the one hand, and the laws of all the other states or countries with connections to the dispute, on the other.  (Disclosure: I submitted expert declarations in support of the plaintiffs on issues of public international law during earlier phases of this case.)

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has affirmed the district court’s holding that, under the law of Spain, the plaintiff loses because the museum acquired title to the painting through adverse possession (otherwise known as acquisitive prescription).  It is equally clear that, under the law of California, the plaintiff would prevail because California does not recognize the acquisition of title to moveable property through adverse possession.  What has so far not featured prominently in the courts’ analyses of the choice-of-law issue is that the plaintiff would also prevail under the laws of all the other jurisdictions that have relevant connections to the dispute.  Under governmental interest analysis, this should be central to the analysis. Read more

Review of: PP Penasthika, Unravelling Choice of Law in International Commercial Contracts: Indonesia as an Illustrative Case Study (The Hague: Eleven Publishers 2022)


Very recently, Indonesian private international law has attracted significant scholarship in the English language.[1] Dr Penasthika’s monograph (‘the monograph’)[2] is one such work that deserves attention for its compelling and comprehensive account of choice of law in international commercial contracts in Indonesia. My review attempts to capture the methodology, summarise the contents, and give a verdict on the quality of this monograph.

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Mbatha v. Cutting: Implications for Litigants of Indian Origin

Guest Post by Chytanya S. Agarwal*

I. Introduction

Rising cross-border migration of people and concomitant increase in lawsuits relating to matrimonial disputes between couples brings to the forefront the issue of conflict of jurisdictional laws (219th Law Commission Report, ¶1.1-¶1.2). Mbatha v. Cutting is one such recent case that grapples with conflict of laws pertaining to divorce and division of matrimonial property when the spouses are domiciled in separate jurisdictions. In this case, the Georgian Court of Appeal dealt with competing claims from a couple who married in New York and had their matrimonial domicile in South Africa. The wife, domiciled in Georgia, USA, argued for the application of the matrimonial property regime of South Africa – their only (though temporary) common matrimonial domicile. In determining the applicable law, the Court upheld the traditional approach, which favours lex situs for real property and lex domicilii for personal property.

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Views and News from the 9th Journal of Private International Law Conference 2023 in Singapore

Four years after the 8th JPIL conference in Munich, the global community of PIL scholars finally got another opportunity to exchange thoughts and ideas, this time at Singapore Management University on the kind invitation of our co-editor Adeline Chong.

The conference was kicked off by a keynote speech by Justice Philip Jeyaretnam (Singapore International Commercial Court), providing an in-depth analysis of the Court of Appeal’s decision in Anupam Mittal v Westbridge Ventures II [2023] SGCA 1 (discussed in more detail here).

The keynote  was followed by a total of 23 panels and four plenary sessions, a selection of which is summarised below by our editors.

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