Fraud and Foreign Judgments under Singapore law

A foreign judgment is generally not to be reviewed on the merits at the recognition and enforcement stage. Yet, an exception has always been carved out for fraud under the common law rules on the basis that ‘fraud unravels everything’ (Lazarus Estates Ltd v Beasley [1956] 1 QB 702, 712 per Lord Denning). Thus, English courts allow a judgment debtor to raise fraud at the recognition and enforcement stage even if no new evidence is adduced and fraud had been considered and dismissed by the court of origin (Abouloff v Oppenheimer & Co (1882) 10 QBD 295). This seeming anomaly with the prohibition against a review of the merits of a foreign judgment has been justified on the basis that where fraud is concerned, the court of origin is misled, not mistaken (Abouloff). The Abouloff rule has been much criticized, but successive courts have refused to depart from it (see also Altimo Holdings and Investment Ltd v Kyrgyz Mobil Tel Ltd [2011] UKPC 7, [2012] 1 WLR 1804, [116] (Privy Council)). Further, in Takhar v Gracefield Developments Ltd ([2019] UKSC 13, [2020] AC 450) which is a case on fraud and domestic judgments, the Supreme Court held that, generally, no requirement that the fraud could not have been uncovered with reasonable diligence in advance of obtaining the judgment would be imposed on the party seeking to set aside the judgment on the basis of fraud. As one of the oft-cited criticisms for the Abouloff rule is that it is out of step with how English courts deal with domestic judgments, Takhar may have the effect of further embedding the Abouloff rule.

Brentwood Industries v. Guangdong Fa Anlong Machinery Equipment Co., Ltd. –A third way to enforce China-seated arbitral awards made by foreign arbitration institution

Brentwood Industries v. Guangdong Fa Anlong Machinery Equipment Co., Ltd.–A third way to enforce China-seated arbitral awards made by foreign arbitration institution

by Jingru Wang

Wuhan University Institute of International Law


Nationality of an arbitral award marks the source of the legal validity of the award. Most countries generally divide the awards into domestic awards and foreign awards, and provide different requirements for their recognition and enforcement. It is a common practice to determine the nationality of the arbitral award by the seat of arbitration, which is the so-called “territorial theory”. However, Chinese law adopts the “institutional theory”, which raises controversy concerning the nationality of the arbitral award made by foreign arbitration institutions located in mainland. After long-term debate in practice, the Brentwood Case[1] finally confirmed that China-seated arbitral awards made by a foreign arbitration institution shall be regarded as Chinese foreign-related awards.

Unwired Planet v Huawei [2020] UKSC 37: The UK Supreme Court Declared Competence to Determine Global FRAND Licensing Rate


  1. Background

The UK Supreme Court delivered the landmark judgment on Unwired Planet v Huawei and Conversant v Huawei and ZTE, [2020] UKSC 37 on 26 Aug 2020. In 2014, the US company Unwired Planet sued Huawei and other smartphone manufacturers for infringing its UK patents obtained from Ericsson. Some of these patents are essential to the 2G, 3G and 4G wireless telecommunication standards set by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), an international standards setting organization (SSO). Since Ericsson and Nokia are subject to various ETSI policies including patent policies, these policies continue to apply after they are acquired by Unwired Planet. The ETSI patent policy requires that holder of patents that are indispensable for the implementation of ETSI standards, referred to as standard essential patents (SEP) , must grant licence to implementers (such as the smartphone manufacturers) on “fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory ” (FRABD) terms. In 2017, Canadian company Conversant filed similar lawsuits against Huawei and ZTE.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the Conflict of Laws

by Tobias Lutzi, University of Cologne

Since the sad news of her passing, lawyers all around the world have mourned the loss of one of the most iconic and influential members of the legal profession and a true champion of gender equality. Through her work as a scholar and a justice, just as much as through her personal struggles and achievements, Ruth Bader Ginsburg has inspired generations of lawyers.

On top of being a global icon of women’s rights and a highly influential voice on a wide range of issues, Ginsburg has also expressed her views on questions relating to the interaction between different legal systems, both within the US and internationally, on several occasions. In fact, two of her early law-review articles focus entirely on two perennial problems of private international law.

The Bee That’s Buzzing in Our Bonnets. Some Thoughts about Characterisation after the Advocate General’s Wikingerhof Opinion

Last week, AG Saugsmandsgaard Øe rendered his Opinion on Case C-59/19 Wikingerhof, which we first reported in this post by Krzysztof Pacula. The following post has been written by Michiel Poesen, PhD Candidate at KU Leuven, who has been so kind as to share with us some further thoughts on the underlying problem of characterisation.

Characterisation is not just a bee that has been buzzing in conflicts scholars’ bonnets, as Forsyth observed in his 1998 LQR article. Given its central role in how we have been thinking about conflicts for over a century, it has pride of place in jurisprudence and literature. The Wikingerhof v case (C-59/19) is the latest addition to a long string of European cases concerning the characterisation of actions as ‘matters relating to a contract’ under Article 7(1) of the Brussels Ia Regulation n° 1215/2012.

Facebook’s further attempts to resist the jurisdiction of the Federal Court of Australia futile

Earlier in the year, Associate Professor Jeanne Huang reported on the Australian Information Commission’s action against Facebook Inc in the Federal Court of Australia. In particular, Huang covered Australian Information Commission v Facebook Inc [2020] FCA 531, which concerned an ex parte application for service outside of the jurisdiction and an application for substituted service.

In April, Thawley J granted the Commission leave to serve the first respondent (Facebook Inc) in the United States, and the second respondent (Facebook Ireland Ltd) in the Republic of Ireland. Through orders for substituted service, the Commission was also granted leave to serve the relevant documents by email (with respect to Facebook Inc) and by mail (with respect to Facebook Ireland Ltd).

US Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the US Supreme Court and the Hague Service Convention: is reform necessary?

Written by Danilo Ruggero Di Bella,
attorney-at-law (Bottega DI BELLA), member of the Madrid Bar and the Canadian Institute for International Law Expertise (CIFILE)

Ethiopia’s Ratification of Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards: A reflection

Written by Bebizuh Mulugeta Menkir, Lecturer of Laws, University of Gondar

Ethiopia, located in east Africa, is the second most populous country in the continent. The Ethiopian parliament has recently ratified, through proclamation No 1184/2020[1], the “Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards” which is commonly known as “New York Convention” (here after referred as “the Convention”). This short piece aims to reflect some points in reaction to this ratification proclamation, specifically changes that this will bring to the approach to arbitration in Ethiopia.

As stated in the Convention, state parties are obliged to recognize and give effect to arbitral agreements including an arbitral clause; and ordinary courts are precluded from exercising their jurisdiction on the merits of the case.[2] In addition, unless in exceptional circumstances recognized under the convention, foreign arbitral awards shall be enforced just like domestic arbitral awards.[3]

Mutual Trust: Judiciaries under Scrutiny – Recent reactions and preliminary references to the CJEU from the Netherlands and Germany

I. Introduction: Foundations of Mutual Trust

A crucial element element for running a system of judicial cooperation on the basis of mutual trust is sufficient trust in the participating judiciaries. EU primary law refers to this element in a more general way in that it considers itself to be based on „the rule of law“ and also „justice“. Article 2 TEU tells us: „The Union is founded on the values of (…) the rule of law (…). These values are common to the Member States in a society in which „(…) justice (…) prevail.“ Subparagraph 2 of the Preamble of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, recognized by the EU as integral part of the Union’s foundational principles in Article 6 (1) TEU, confirms: „Conscious of its spiritual and moral heritage, the Union (…) is based on (…) the rule of law. It places the individual at the heart of its activities, by (…) by creating an area of freedom, security and justice“. Article 47 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights guarantees the right to an effective remedy and to a fair trial when EU law is „implemented“ in the sense of Article 51 of the Charter, as does Article 6(1) European Convention on Human Rights generally.