Giustizia consensuale (Consensual Justice): Report on the Journal’s Inaugural Conference

This report was kindly prepared by Federica Simonelli, a research fellow funded by the P.O.N. UNI4Justice project at the University of Trento, Italy, and a member of the editorial staff of Giustizia consensuale (Consensual Justice).

On 10 June 2022, the University of Trento, Faculty of Law celebrated the first anniversary of the launch of Giustizia consensuale, founded and edited by Professor Silvana Dalla Bontà and Professor Paola Lucarelli.

In recent years, the debate surrounding consensual justice and party autonomy has received increasing attention in the national and international arenas and has raised a broad array of questions. What is the very meaning of consensual justice? Is the idea of consensual justice feasible? What is its role in a globalized world increasingly characterized by cross-border disputes? The rationale behind Giustizia consensuale lies in the pressing need to observe this phenomenon from different perspectives.

Conference on “The HCCH 2019 Judgments Convention: Cornerstones, Prospects, Outlook” – Rescheduled to 9 and 10 June 2023

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Due to a conflicting conference on the previously planned date (9 and 10 September 2022) and with a view to ongoing developments on the subject-matter in the EU, we have made the decision to reschedule our Conference to Friday and Saturday, 9 and 10 June 2023. This new date should bring us closer to the expected date of accession of the EU and will thus give the topic extra momentum. Stay tuned and register in time (registration remains open)!

On 23 June 2022, the European Parliament by adopting JURI Committee Report A9-0177/2022 gave its consent to the accession of the European Union to the HCCH 2019 Judgments Convention. The Explanatory Statement describes the convention with a view to the “growth in international trade and investment flows” as an “instrument […] of outmost importance for European citizenz ans businesses” and expressed the hope that the EU’s signature will set “an example for other countries to join”. However, the Rapporteur, Ms. Sabrina Pignedoli, also expresses the view that the European Parliament should maintain a strong role when considering objections under the bilateralisation mechanism provided for in Art. 29 of the Convention. Additionally, some concerns were raised regarding the protection of employees and consumers under the instrument. For those interested in the (remarkably fast) adoption process, the European Parliament’s vote can be rewatched here. Given these important steps towards accession, June 2023 should be a perfect time to delve deeper into the subject-matter, and the Conference is certainly a perfect opportunity for doing so:

First Instance where a Mainland China Civil Mediation Decision has been Recognized and Enforced in New South Wales, Australia

I Introduction

 

Bank of China Limited v Chen [2022] NSWSC 749 (‘Bank of China v Chen’), decided on the 7 June 2022, is the first instance where the New South Wales Supreme Court (‘NSWSC’) has recognised and enforced a Chinese civil mediation decision.

 

II Background

 

This case concerned the enforcement of two civil mediation decisions obtained from the People’s Court of District Jimo, Qingdao Shi, Shandong Province China (which arose out of a financial loan dispute) in Australia.[1]

 

A foreign judgement may be enforced in Australia either at common law or pursuant to the Foreign Judgements Act 1991(Cth).[2] As the People’s Republic of China is not designated as a jurisdiction of substantial reciprocity under the Foreign Judgements Regulation 1992 (Cth) schedule 1, the judgements of Chinese courts may only be enforced at common law.[3]

 

For a foreign judgement to be enforced at common law, four requirements must be met:[4] (1) the foreign court must have exercised jurisdiction in the international sense; (2) the foreign judgement must be final and conclusive; (3) there must be identity of parties between the judgement debtor(s) and the defendant(s) in any enforcement action; and (4) the judgement must be for a fixed, liquidated sum. The onus rests on the party seeking to enforce the foreign judgement.[5]

Golan v. Saada – a case on the HCCH Child Abduction Convention: the Opinion of the US Supreme Court is now available

Written by Mayela Celis, UNED

Yesterday (15 June 2022) the US Supreme Court rendered its Opinion in the case of Golan v. Saada regarding the HCCH Child Abduction Convention. The decision was written by Justice Sotomayor, click here. For our previous analysis of the case, click here.

This case dealt with the following question: whether upon finding that return to the country of habitual residence places a child at grave risk, a district court is required to consider ameliorative measures that would facilitate the return of the child notwithstanding the grave risk finding. (our emphasis)

U.S. Supreme Court Restricts Discovery Assistance to International Arbitral Tribunals

Written by Matthias Lehmann, University of Vienna (Austria)

On 13 June 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that U.S. courts may not help arbitral tribunals sitting abroad in the taking of evidence. This is because in the opinion of the Court, such an arbitral tribunal is not a „foreign or international tribunal“ in the sense of 28 U.S.C. § 1782, which allows federal district courts to order the production of evidence for use in proceedings before such tribunals.

The decision concerned an institutional and an ad-hoc arbitration. The first, ZF v. Luxshare, was a commercial arbitration between two companies under the rules of the German Arbitration Institution (DIS). The second, AlixPartners v. Fund for Protection of Investors’ Rights in Foreign States, was an investment arbitration involving a disgruntled Russian investor and a failed Lithuanian bank; it was conducted under the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules.

The opinion, written by Amy Coney Barrett, rejects assistance by U.S. courts in both cases, whether in the pre-arbitration phase or in the main arbitration proceedings. It was unanimously adopted by the Court.

ECJ on the interpretation of the European Succession Regulation in relation to cross-border declarations of waiver, Judgment of 2 June 2022, C-617/20 – T.N. et al. ./. E.G.

On 2 June 2022, the ECJ delivered its judgment in the case of T.N. et al. ./. E.G., C-617/20, on the interpretation of the ESR in relation to cross-border declarations of waiver of succession (on the facts of the case and AG Maciej Szpunar’s Opinion in this case see our previous post).

The Court followed the AG’s Opinion and concluded (para. 51) that

Articles 13 and 28 of Regulation No 650/2012 must be interpreted as meaning that a declaration concerning the waiver of succession made by an heir before a court of the Member State of his or her habitual residence is regarded as valid as to form in the case where the formal requirements applicable before that court have been complied with, without it being necessary, for the purposes of that validity, for that declaration to meet the formal requirements of the law applicable to the succession”.

Tort Litigation against Transnational Companies in England

This post is an abridged adaptation of my recent article, Private International Law and Substantive Liability Issues in Tort Litigation against Multinational Companies in the English Courts: Recent UK Supreme Court Decisions and Post-Brexit Implications in the Journal of Private International Law. The article can be accessed at no cost by anyone, anywhere on the journal’s website. The wider post-Brexit implications for private international law in England are considered at length in my recent OUP monograph, Brexit and the Future of Private International Law in English Courts.

The Applicability of Arbitration Agreements to A Non-Signatory Guarantor—A Perspective from the Chinese Judicial Practice

(authored by Chen Zhi, Wangjing & GH Law Firm, PhD Candidate at the University of Macau)

It is axiomatic that an arbitration agreement is generally not binding on a non-signatory unless some exceptional conditions are satisfied or appear, while it could even be more controversial in cases relating to guarantee where a non-signatory third person provides guarantee to the master agreement in which an arbitration clause has been incorporated. Due to the close connection between guarantee contract and master agreement in their contents, parties or even some legal practitioners may take it for granted that the arbitration agreement in master agreement can be automatically extended to the guarantor albeit it is not a signatory, which can be a grave misunderstanding from judicial perspective and results in great loss thereby.

CSDD and PIL: Some Remarks on the Directive Proposal

by Rui Dias

 

On 23 February 2022, the European Commission published its proposal of a Directive on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence (CSDD) in respect to human rights and the environment. For those interested, there are many contributions available online, namely in the Oxford Business Law Blog, which dedicates a whole series to it (here). As to the private international law aspects, apart from earlier contributions on the previous European Parliament resolution of March 2021 (info and other links here), some first thoughts have been shared e.g. by Geert von Calster and Marion Ho-Dac.

Building on that, here are some more brief remarks for further thought:

Article 2 defines the personal scope of application. European companies are covered by Article 2(1), as the ones «formed in accordance with the legislation of a Member-State», whereas those of a «third country» are covered by Article 2(2). While other options could have been taken, this criterium of incorporation is not unknown in the context of the freedom of establishment of companies, as we can see in Article 54 TFEU (basis for EU legal action is here Article 50(1) and (2)(g), along with Article 114 TFEU).

German Judges Travel to Peru in Climate-Change Trial

In a widely reported trip, members of the 5th Civil Chamber of the Higher Regional Court of Hamm, Germany, together with two court-appointed experts, travelled to Peru to collect evidence in one of Germany’s first climate-change lawsuits. The highly symbolic case has been brought by Saúl Luciano Lliuyas, a Peruvian farmer, who claims that man-made climate change and the resulting increased flood risk threatens his house in the Andes, which is located right below a glacial lake. Supported by two German NGOs, he seeks compensation from RWE, Europe’s single biggest emitter of carbon dioxide, for the equivalent of its contribution to worldwide human carbon dioxide emissions, i.e. 0.47 percent, of the additional protective measures he had to take to flood-prove his house.

The trip had already been scheduled in 2019 but was delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Its main purpose appears to have been the proper instruction of the two experts, who are charged with assessing the climate-change-related risk for the claimant and the extent of RWE’s potential contribution to it.