RIDOC 2021: Call for Applications

University of Rijeka, Faculty of Law is announcing this year’s call for applications to the Rijeka Doctoral Conference: RIDOC 2021. Open to any legal or related topic od doctoral research, the conference traditionally hosts at least one session in private international law. Applications should be sent to ridoc@pravri.hr before the end of August. The conference is planned to take place on 10 December 2021 in the hybrid format, while the abstracts will be published in an e-book.

Online conference Cross-Border Litigation in Central-Europe

The University of Szeged Faculty of Law and the ELKH Centre for Social Sciences, Institute for Legal Studies are organizing an international online conference: “Cross-Border Litigation in Central-Europe: EU Private International Law before National Courts”. The conference will present the main results of the EU-funded CEPIL research project (“Cross-Border Litigation in Central-Europe: EU Private International Law before National Courts”, 800789 — CEPIL — JUST-AG-2017/JUST-JCOO-AG-2017). The CEPIL project inquires whether EU PIL functions optimally in the CE Member States in order to secure “a Europe of law and justice”. It examines whether EU PIL instruments are applied in CE Member States in a correct and uniform manner, whether Member State courts deal appropriately with disputes having a cross-border element and whether the current legal and institutional architecture is susceptible of securing legal certainty and an effective remedy for cross-border litigants. The project’s research output will be published by Kluwer International.

A call for the wider study of Private International Law in Africa: A Review of Private International Law In Nigeria

Written by Orji Agwu Uka, Senior Associate at Africa Law Practice (ALP)*

This is the fifth and final online symposium on Private International Law in Nigeria initially announced on this blogIt was published today on Afronomicslaw.org. The first  introductory symposium was published here by Chukwuma Samuel Adesina Okoli and Richard Frimpong Oppong, the second symposium was published by Anthony Kennedy, the third symposium was published by Richard Mike Mlambe, and the fourth symposium was published by Dr Abubakri Yekini.

Private International Law in Nigeria

For too long, law students in Nigerian universities have largely considered Private International Law [or Conflict of Laws as it is more commonly known in Nigeria] as an esoteric subject. Most students avoid it because of the adverse effect they think it is sure to have on their cumulative grade points average and the seeming lack of practical benefit of the subject to their future law practices. They do not know any better. Nigerian legal practitioners have had to provide legal advice and represent clients before trial and appellate courts as well as arbitral tribunals on disputes involving private international law questions within the context of Nigerian law. Those pieces of advice and legal representations would have benefitted greatly from a comprehensive private international law treatise. On their part, Nigerian courts have had to meander through the maze of interpreting questions of private international law without the benefit of the direction that high quality academic works [available in some other subject areas] provide. I am gratified to announce that finally, a Daniel is come to judgment.

The Practicality of the Enforcement of Jurisdiction Agreements in Nigeria

Written by Dr Abubakri Yekini, a Lecturer in Law at Lagos State University

This is the fourth and penultimate online symposium on Private International Law in Nigeria initially announced on this blogIt was published today on Afronomicslaw.org. The first  introductory symposium was published here by Chukwuma Samuel Adesina Okoli and Richard Frimpong Oppong, the second symposium was published by Anthony Kennedy, and the third symposium was published by Richard Mike Mlambe. A final blog post on this online symposium will be published tomorrow.

Private International Law in Nigeria

 

I. Introduction

Private international law (PIL) is not one of those fanciful subjects that command the attention of students, academics and practitioners at least in Nigeria. As important as this field, it is still largely ignored. Several legal commentators have called our attention to the poor state of PIL in Africa generally (Oppong, 2006; Okoli, 2019). So, we can say Nigeria is not standing alone here. Dr Oppong is one of those who are passionate about the development of PIL in Africa, and I may add Nigeria. In a piece titled ‘Private International Law and the African Economic Community: A Plea for Greater Attention’, he lamented the general state of neglect of PIL in the African economic integration project. What caught my attention in that article was his remark on the treatment of jurisdiction agreements in some African countries such as Angola and Mozambique. He noted that:

“This hostility to jurisdiction agreements is akin to Latin American countries’ historical disdain for similar clauses founded on their rejection of the principle of party autonomy- a principle so important in international commerce. This treatment of jurisdiction agreements can be a disincentive to international commercial relations since they are very much part of the current modes of dealing across national boundaries” (p.917)

Presence as a basis for International Jurisdiction of a Foreign Court under Nigerian Private International Law

 

Written by Richard Mike Mlambe, Attorney and Lecturer at University of Malawi- The Polytechnic

This is the third online symposium on Private International Law in Nigeria initially announced on this blogIt was published today on Afronomics.org. The first  introductory symposium was published here by Chukwuma Samuel Adesina Okoli and Richard Frimpong Oppong, and second symposium was published by Anthony Kennedy. More blog posts on this online symposium will follow this week.

Private International Law in Nigeria

Introduction

The Nigerian private international law (hereinafter PIL) regime is significantly influenced by the common law. As a result, the common law plays a major role in providing the applicable rules on the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments.[1] Like in many other common law jurisdictions, Nigerian courts recognize and enforce foreign judgments only if, in the eyes of Nigerian PIL, the foreign court had jurisdiction to render the judgment in question.[2] The recognized bases of jurisdiction are submission, residence and presence of the defendant within the foreign country.[3] This is also the position in other common law countries such as South Africa[4], Australia[6]and Malawi.[7]

As a result of the foregoing, Nigerian courts would refuse to recognize and enforce a judgment of a foreign court where the defendant was not present/resident in the foreign country and did not submit to its jurisdiction.[8] It must be emphasized that once the court finds that none of the above grounds is established, then the foreign court is deemed not to have possessed jurisdiction regardless of any connection that the parties or the transaction in issue may have had with the foreign country.

 

Nigerian and Canadian PIL

Okoli and Oppong have observed as follows:

The Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments at Common Law in Nigeria

 

Written by Anthony Kennedy, Barrister at Serle Court

This is the second online symposium on Private International Law in Nigeria initially announced on this blog. It was published today on Afronomicslaw.org. The first  introductory symposium was published here by Chukwuma Samuel Adesina Okoli and Richard Frimpong Oppong. More blog posts on this online symposium will follow this week.

Private International Law in Nigeria

Introduction

Authority exists for the proposition that a creditor of a foreign judgment may bring an action at common law in Nigeria, by which action he, in effect, seeks recognition and/or “enforcement” of that foreign judgment[1]. The common law action has not been abolished by statute or disapproved judicially but, sadly, it is not widely understood or used by practitioners/courts in Nigeria. This is unfortunate, especially where the statutory mechanism[2] for the enforcement of foreign judgments is certainly limited but otherwise shrouded in confusion[3]. This paper argues for a reawakening of the common law action.

 

The construction placed on the statutory regime

It is impossible properly to assess the scope for the common law action in Nigeria without first addressing the statutory mechanism for the enforcement of foreign judgments. The common law action only works in the space which has been left for it by the applicable statutory regime. Moreover, tactically, judgment creditors are likely to favour registration of the foreign judgment  under that statutory regime, where such registration is permitted, given the “better protection” which such regime affords them, at least theoretically, when compared with the common law[4].

Book Symposium Introduction -Private International Law in Nigeria (Hart Publishing, 2020)

Written by Dr. Chukwuma Samuel Adesina Okoli, Post-Doctoral Researcher, T.M.C. Asser Institute and Dr. Richard Frimpong Oppong, Associate Professor, University of Bradford, School of Law

We earlier announced that the editors of Afronomicslaw.org invited Chukwuma and Richard to organise a symposium on Private International Law in Nigeria. The introduction to the symposium has now been published today in Afronomicslaw.org. Other posts on the symposium will be posted daily this week.

Private International Law in Nigeria

This Symposium focuses on the recent publication: Private International Law in Nigeria. For many, Nigeria needs no introduction: it is a federal country consisting of thirty-six states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. With increased cross-border transactions and investments, the significance of private international law (or conflict of laws) – the body of law that aims to resolve claims involving foreign elements – has become more accentuated than ever. Indeed, private international law rules have sometimes been invoked in resolving disputes with inter-state dimensions within the federation, especially on jurisdiction and choice of law matters. Conflict of laws has also been used to resolve disputes involving internal conflicts between various customary laws and between customary laws and the Nigerian Constitution or enabling statues, especially in the area of family law. In essence, because of its federal structure, private international law is relevant in both the inter-state and international litigation in Nigeria.

Online Symposium on Private International Law in Nigeria

The editors of Afronomicslaw.org have invited Dr. Chukwuma Okoli and Professor Richard Frimpong Oppong to organise a symposium on Private International Law in Nigeria. The purpose of the symposium is to discuss important issues on the subject of private international law in Nigeria with principal reference to Chukwuma and Richard’s recent pioneer work on the subject that was published under the Hart Studies in Private International Law. Drawing on over five hundred Nigerian cases, relevant statutes, and academic commentaries, the book examines the rules, principles, and doctrines in Nigerian law for resolving cases involving cross-border issues. It is the first book-length treatise devoted to the full spectrum of private international law issues in Nigeria.

Four papers have now been selected for the symposium, which will first be published in Afronomicslaw.org sometime in December this year, and later in conflictoflaws.net, where Chukwuma is an editor. The names of the persons presenting are Dr. Abubakri Yekini (Lecturer in Law at Lagos State University, Nigeria), Orji Uka (Senior Associate at African Law Practice, Nigeria), Anthony Kennedy (Associate Member of Serle Court, England), and Richard Mlambe (Lecturer in Law at University of Malawi – Polytechnic).

Adoption ELI-Unidroit Model European Rules of Civil Procedure and webinar (6 November)

The ELI-Unidroit Model European Rules of Civil Procedure were adopted by the European Law Institute and Unidroit in 2020. It consists of a set of main principles and rules covering a wide array of topics in the area of European civil procedure. It contains 245 rules in twelve parts, dedicated to  general provisions, rules on parties, case management, commencement of proceedings, proceedings preparatory to a final hearing, access to information and evidence, judgment, res iudicata and lis pendens, means of review, provisional and protective measures, collective proceedings and costs.

Aiming at transforming the ALI-Unidroit Principles on Transnational Civil Procedure (2004) to make them suitable for the European regional context, the groundwork was laid at an exploratory workshop in Vienna in October 2013. The project kicked off in 2014, when the first three working groups were established. In the following years, five more working groups dedicated to specific topics were added, and in 2016, the Structure group was tasked with coordinating the work of the different working groups, filling the gaps, and securing a coherent set of model rules to be used by European and national legislators in particular. In collaboration with a task force charged with the (overview of) the translation of the Rules into French, the work was completed in 2020. It was approved by the ELI Council on 15 July and by ELI Membership on 5 August, and approved by the Unidroit Governing Council on 24 September 2020. This project, involving some 45 academics and practitioners participating in the working groups as well as a Steering group, advisory members from all over the world, and European and international institutions as observers, is the most encompassing set of model rules on European Civil Procedure.

Annual research meeting Dutch ILA branch: International Law for a Digitised World

The ANNUAL MEETING OF THE ROYAL NETHERLANDS SOCIETY OF INTERNATIONAL LAW (ILA Dutch Branch) is online accessible on Friday 6 NOVEMBER 2020 (13:30 – 16:30 CET).  

 Over the decades, international law adapted in many ways to the quickly evolving, multi-facetted digital reality, and one of the central questions now is whether or not concepts and ideas developed in the ‘predigital era’ still fit the digitalised world. Is international law, both public and private, ready for the digital era or has it rather been a ‘fragmented follower of developments’ and should it fundamentally rethink a number of notions and approaches?