Personal Injury and Article 4(3) of Rome II Regulation

This blog post is a follow up to my earlier announcement on the decision of Owen v Galgey [2020] EHWC 3546 (QB).


Cross border relations is bound to generate non-contractual disputes such as personal injury cases. In such situations, the law that applies is very important in determining the rights and obligations of the parties. The difference between two or more potentially applicable laws is of considerable significance for the parties involved in the case. For example a particular law may easily hold one party liable and/or provide a higher quantum of damages compared to another law. Thus, a preliminary decision on the applicable law could easily facilitate the settlement of the dispute between the parties without even going to trial.

Álvarez-Armas on potential human-rights-related amendments to the Rome II Regulation (II): The proposed Art. 6a; Art. 7 is dead, long live Article 7?

Eduardo Álvarez-Armas is Lecturer in Law at Brunel University London and Affiliated Researcher at the Université Catholique de Louvain. He has kindly provided us with his thoughts on recent proposals for amending the Rome II Regulation. This is the second part of his contribution; a first one on the law applicable to strategic lawsuits against public participation can be found here.

Over the last few months, the European Parliament´s draft report on corporate due diligence and corporate accountability (2020/2129(INL)) and the proposal for an EU Directive contained therein have gathered a substantial amount of attention (see, amongst others, blog entries by Geert Van Calster, Giesela Rühl, Jan von Hein, Bastian Brunk and Chris Thomale). As the debate is far from being exhausted, I would like to contribute my two cents thereto with some further (non-exhaustive and brief) considerations which will be limited to three selected aspects of the proposal´s choice-of-law dimension.

In Memoriam – Alegría Borrás Rodríguez (1943-2020)

written by Cristina González Beilfuss and Marta Pertegás Sender

It is with deep sadness that we write these lines to honour the memory of our dear mentor Alegría Borrás. Alegría unexpectedly passed away at the end of last year and, although she had been battling cancer for a while, she continued working as always. For Alegría was a hardworking fighter who sought and found her notorious place in life with determination, courage and borderless efforts. We believe we speak here for so many of Alegría’s alumni who miss her deeply and are determined to pay tribute to her memory with our work and memories.

‘Legal identity’, statelessness, and private international law

Guest post by Bronwen Manby, Senior Policy Fellow and Guest Teacher, LSE Human Rights, London School of Economics.

In 2014, UNHCR launched a ten-year campaign to end statelessness by 2024. A ten-point global action plan called, among other things, for universal birth registration.  One year later, in September 2015, the UN General Assembly adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), an ambitious set of objectives for international development to replace and expand upon the 15-year-old Millennium Development Goals.  Target 16.9 under Goal 16 requires that states shall, by 2030, ‘provide legal identity for all, including birth registration’. The SDG target reflects a recently consolidated consensus among development professionals on the importance of robust government identification systems.

Álvarez-Armas on potential human-rights-related amendments to the Rome II Regulation (I): The law applicable to SLAPPs

Eduardo Álvarez-Armas is Lecturer in Law at Brunel University London and Affiliated Researcher at the Université Catholique de Louvain. He has kindly provided us with his thoughts on recent proposals for amending the Rome II Regulation. This is the first part of his contribution; a second one on corporate social responsibility will follow in the next days.


On December the 3rd, 2020, the EU commission published a call for applications, with a view to putting forward, by late 2021, a (legislative or non-legislative) initiative to curtail “abusive litigation targeting journalists and civil society”. As defined in the call, strategic lawsuits against public participation (commonly abbreviated as SLAPPs) “are groundless or exaggerated lawsuits, initiated by state organs, business corporations or powerful individuals against weaker parties who express, on a matter of public interest, criticism or communicate messages which are uncomfortable to the litigants”. As their core objective is to silence critical voices, SLAPPs are frequently grounded on defamation claims, but they may be articulated through other legal bases (as “data protection, blasphemy, tax laws, copyright, trade secret breaches”, etc) (p. 1).

Insights into ERA Seminar on Privacy and Data Protection with a Specific Focus on “Balance between Data Retention for Law Enforcement Purposes and Right to Privacy” (Conference Report)

This report has been prepared by Priyanka Jain, a researcher at the Max Planck Institute Luxembourg for International, European and Regulatory Procedural Law, and Ph.D. candidate at the University of Luxembourg.




On 9-11 December 2020, ERA – the Academy of European Law – organized an online seminar on “Privacy and Data Protection: Recent ECtHR & CJEU Case Law”.  The core of the seminar was to provide an update on the case law developed by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) and by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) with relevance for privacy and data protection law since 2019. The key issues discussed were the distinction between the right to privacy and data protection in the jurisprudence of the ECtHR and CJEU, the impact of the jurisprudence on international data transfers, notions of ‘essence of fundamental rights’ ‘personal data processing’, ‘valid consent’ and so on.

Walking Solo – A New Path for the Conflict of Laws in England

Written by Andrew Dickinson (Fellow, St Catherine’s College and Professor of Law, University of Oxford)

The belated conclusion of the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement did not dampen the impact of the UK’s departure from the European Union on judicial co-operation in civil matters between the UK’s three legal systems and those of the 27 remaining Members of the Union. At the turn of the year, the doors to the UK’s participation in the Recast Brussels I Regulation and the 2007 Lugano Convention closed. With no signal that the EU-27 will support the UK’s swift readmission to the latter, a new era for private international law in England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland beckons.

Symeonides’ 30th (and last) Annual Survey of Choice of Law



Symeon Symeonides, without doubt the doyen of US conflict of laws, just published what he says is the last of his annual surveys of American Choice of Law. (The series will be continued by John F. Coyle, William S. Dodge, and Aaron D. Simowitz, suggesting it takes three of our most eminent scholars to replace Symeonides.)

As everyone in our discipline knows, reliably, at the end of the year, Symeon has posted his survey of conflict-of-laws decisions rendered over the year, according to Westlaw. He would assemble the most important decisions (of which he finds a lot), organize them around themes, and comment on them, always with (sometimes admirable) restraint from criticism. Anyone who has ever tried to survey the case law of an entire year in a jurisdiction knows how much work that is. (We at Max Planck, with IPRspr, certainly do.)

The CJEU Shrems cases – Personal Data Protection and International Trade Regulation

Carmen Otero García-Castrillón, Complutense University of Madrid, has kindly provided us with her thoughts on personal data protection and international trade regulation. An extended version of this post will appear as a contribution to the results of the Spanish Research Project lead by E. Rodríguez Pineau and E. Torralba Mendiola “Protección transfronteriza de la transmisión de datos personales a la luz del nuevo Reglamento europeo: problemas prácticos de aplicación” (PGC2018-096456-B-I00).


The regulatory scenario

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 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