Last Thursday, on November 9, 2023, Draft No. 02.23 proposing the adoption of a new Code of Civil Procedure (al-musattara al-madaniyya) was submitted to the House of Representatives in Morocco. One of the most significant innovations in this draft is the introduction, for the first time in Morocco’s history, of a catalog of rules on international jurisdiction. Additionally, it modifies the existing rules on the enforcement of foreign judgments.
Written by Dr Ekaterina Aristova, Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, Bonavero Institute of Human Rights, University of Oxford
On 19 October 2023, the English High Court declined to exercise jurisdiction in Limbu v Dyson Technology Ltd, a case concerning allegations of forced labour and dangerous conditions at Malaysian factories which manufactured Dyson-branded products. The lawsuit commenced by the migrant workers from Nepal and Bangladesh is an example of business and human rights litigation against British multinationals for the damage caused in their overseas operations. Individuals and local communities from foreign jurisdictions secured favourable outcomes and won jurisdictional battles in the English courts over the last years in several notable cases, including Lungowe v Vedanta, Okpabi v Shell and Begum v Maran.
Written by Akanksha Oak, Jindal Global Law School, India
The modern commerce landscape faces a significant challenge: the widespread infringement of intellectual property (“IP”) rights due to online interactions that enable instant global access. This issue is exacerbated by cross-border activities, necessitating the application of private international law (“PIL”). However, IP protection remains territorial, guided by the principle of “lex loci protectionis.” This results in complexities when it intersects with PIL. Online IP infringement further convolutes matters due to the internet’s omnipresence and accessibility, making the establishment of jurisdiction a complicated process for legal professionals. A pivotal development in this arena occurred in 2021 when the Delhi High Court rendered a judgement in the case of HK Media Limited and Anr v. Brainlink International Inc., illuminating India’s legal framework for determining jurisdiction in cases of online IP infringement within the context of cross-border disputes.
Written by Birgit van Houtert, Assistant Professor of Private International Law at Maastricht University
On 1 September 2023, the 2019 Hague Judgments Convention (HJC) entered into force. Currently, this Convention only applies in the relationship between EU-Member States and Ukraine. Uruguay has also ratified the HJC on 1 September 2023 (see status table). The value of the HJC has been criticised by Haimo Schack inter alia, for its limited scope of application. However, the HJC can be valuable even beyond its scope as this blog will illustrate by the ruling of the Dutch Supreme Court on 29 September 2023, ECLI:NL:HR:2023:1265.
Written by Kamakshi Puri
Arbitrability is a manifestation of public policy of a state. Each state under its national laws is empowered to restrict or limit the matters that can be referred to and resolved by arbitration. There is no international consensus on the matters that are arbitrable. Arbitrability is therefore one of the issues where contractual and jurisdictional natures of international commercial arbitration meet head on.
Written by Seung Chan Rhee and Alan Zheng
Suppose a company sells tickets for cruises to/from Australia. The passengers hail from Australia, and other countries. The contracts contain an exclusive foreign jurisdiction clause nominating a non-Australian jurisdiction. The company is incorporated in Bermuda. Cruises are only temporarily in Australian territorial waters.
By Moses Wiepen, Legal Trainee at the Higher Regional Court of Hamm, Germany
In its decision of 21 July 2023 (V ZR 112/22), the German Federal Court of Justice confirmed that Art. 26 Brussels Ia Regulation applies regardless of the defendant’s domicile. The case in question involved an art collector filing suit against a Canadian trust that manages the estate of a Jew who was persecuted by the German Nazi regime. The defendant published a wanted notice in an online Lost Art database for a painting that the plaintiff bought in 1999. The plaintiff considers this as a violation of his property right.
Written by Mayela Celis
The eighth meeting of the Special Commission on the Practical Operation of the 1980 Child Abduction Convention and the 1996 Child Protection Convention will be held from 10 to 17 October 2023 in The Hague, the Netherlands. For more information, click here.
One of the key documents prepared for the meeting is the Global Report – Statistical study of applications made in 2021 under the 1980 Child Abduction Convention, where crucial information has been gathered about the application of this Convention during the year 2021. However, these figures were perhaps affected by the Covid-19 pandemic as indicated in the Addendum of the document (see paragraphs 157-167, pp. 33-34). Because it refers to a time period in the midst of lockdowns and travel restrictions, it is not unrealistic to say that the figures of the year 2021 should be taken with a grain of salt. For example, the overall return rate was the lowest ever recorded at 39% (it was 45% in 2015). The percentage of the combined sole and multiple reasons for judicial refusals in 2021 was 46% as regards the grave risk exception (it was 25% in 2015). The overall average time taken to reach a final outcome from the receipt of the application by the Central Authority in 2021 was 207 days (it was 164 days in 2015). While statistics are always useful to understand a social phenomenon, one may only wonder why a statistical study was conducted with regard to applications during such an unusual year – apart from the fact that a Special Commission meeting is taking place and needs recent statistics -, as it will unlikely reflect realistic trends (but it can certainly satisfy a curious mind).
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.
Written by NIE Yuxin, Wuhan University Institute of International Law
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.