Implied Jurisdiction Agreements in International Commercial Contracts

Authors: Abubakri Yekini (Lecturer in Conflict of Laws at the University of Manchester) and Chukwuma Okoli (Assistant Professor in Commercial Conflict of Laws at the University of Birmingham, Senior Research Associate at the University of Johannesburg).

A  Introduction

In an increasingly globalised economy, commercial transactions often involve business entities from different countries. These cross-border transactions present complex legal questions, such as the place where potential disputes will be adjudicated. To provide certainty, commercial parties often conclude ex ante agreements on the venue for dispute resolution by selecting the court(s) of a particular state. However, what happens if no such express agreement over venue is reached for resolving a contractual dispute? Could consent to the venue be implicitly inferred from the parties’ conduct or other factors?

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A note on “The BBC Nile” in the High Court of Australia – foreign arbitration agreement and choice of law clause and Article 3(8) of the Amended Hague Rules in Australia

By Poomintr Sooksripaisarnkit

Lecturer in Maritime Law, Australian Maritime College, University of Tasmania

Introduction

On 14th February 2024, the High Court of Australia handed down its judgment in Carmichael Rail Network Pty Ltd v BBC Chartering Carriers GmbH & Co KG [2024] HCA 4. The case has ramifications on whether a foreign arbitration clause (in this case, the London arbitration clause) would be null and void under the scheme of the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act 1991 (Cth) which makes effective an amended version of the International Convention on the Unification of Certain Rules of Law relating to Bills of Lading, Brussels, 25 August 1924 (the “Hague Rules”). The argument focused on the potential effect of Article 3(8) of the Amended Hague Rules, which, like the original version, provides:

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French Supreme Court ruling in the Lafarge case: the private international law side of transnational criminal litigations

Written by Hadrien Pauchard (assistant researcher at Sciences Po Law School)

In the Lafarge case (Cass. Crim., 16 janvier 2024, n°22-83.681, available here), the French Cour de cassation (chambre criminelle) recently rendered a ruling on some criminal charges against the French major cement manufacturer for its activities in Syria during the civil war. The decision addresses several key aspects of private international law in transnational criminal lawsuits and labour law.

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Looking but not Seeing the Economic Unit in Cartel Damage Claims – Opinion of Advocate General in Case C-425/22, MOL Magyar Olaj- és Gázipari Nyrt. v Mercedes-Benz Group AG

By Professor András Osztovits*

 

I. Introduction

The heart of European economic integration is the Single Market, which can only function properly and provide economic growth and thus social welfare if effective competition rules ensure a level playing field for market players. The real breakthrough in the development of EU competition policy in this area came with Regulation 1/2003/EC, and then with Directive 2014/104/EU which complemented the public law rules with private law instruments and made the possibility to bring actions for damages for infringement of competition law easier.

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„El clásico“ of Recognition and Enforcement – A Manifest Breach of Freedom of Expression as a Public Policy Violation: Thoughts on AG Szpunar 8.2.2024 – Opinion C-633/22, ECLI:EU:C:2024:127 – Real Madrid Club de Fútbol

By Madeleine Petersen Weiner, Research Fellow and Doctoral Candidate at Heidelberg University

Introduction

On 8 February 2024, Advocate General (AG) Szpunar delivered his Opinion on C-633/22 (AG Opinion), submitting that disproportionate damages for reputational harm may go against the freedom of expression as enshrined in Art. 11 Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (CFR). The enforcement of these damages therefore may (and at times will) constitute a violation of public policy in the enforcing state within the meaning of Art. 34 Nr. 1 Brussels I Regulation. The AG places particular emphasis on the severe deterring effect these sums of damages may have – not only on the defendant newspaper and journalist in the case at hand but other media outlets in general (AG Opinion, paras. 161-171). The decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) will be of particular topical interest not least in light of the EU’s efforts to combat so-called “Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation” (SLAPPs) within the EU in which typically financially potent plaintiffs initiate unfounded claims for excessive sums of damages against public watchdogs (see COM(2022) 177 final).

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Dubai Supreme Court Admits Reciprocity with the UK and Enforces an English Judgment

Introduction:

I have been reporting on this blog some recent cases from the Dubai Supreme Court (DSC) regarding the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments (see here, here and here). Reading these posts may have given the legitimate impression that the enforcement of foreign judgments in the UAE, and especially in Dubai, is particularly challenging. This post aims to mitigate that perception by shedding light on a very recent case in which the Dubai courts, with the approval of the DSC, ruled in favor of the enforcement of an English judgment. As the comments below indicate, this is probably the very first case in which the DSC has positively ruled  in favor of the enforcement of an English judgment by declaring that the judgment in question met all the requirements set out in UAE law, and in particular, the reciprocity requirement.

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Book review: Research Handbook on International Abortion Law (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2023)

Written by Mayela Celis

Undoubtedly, Abortion is a hot topic. It is discussed in the news media and is the subject of heated political debate. Indeed, just when one thinks the matter is settled, it comes up again. In 2023, Elgar published the book entitled “Research Handbook on International Abortion Law”, ed. Mary Ziegler (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing Limited, 2023). For more information, click here. Although under a somewhat misleading name as it refers to international abortion law, this book provides a wonderful comparative overview of national abortion laws as regulated by States from all the four corners of the world and internal practices, as well as an analysis of human rights law.

This book does not deal with the conflict of laws that may arise under this topic. For a more detailed discussion, please refer to the post Singer on Conflict of Abortion Laws (in the U.S.) published on the blog of the European Association of Private International Law.

In this book review, I will briefly summarise 6 parts of this book (excluding the introduction) and will provide my views at the end.

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PIL and (De)coloniality: For a Case-by-Case Approach of the Application of Postcolonial Law in European States

Written by Sandrine Brachotte who obtained a PhD. in Law at Sciences Po, Paris and is a Guest Lecturer at UCLouvain (Saint-Louis, Brussels).

1. PIL and (De)coloniality in Europe

This post follows Susanne Gössl’s blog post series on ‘Colonialism and German PIL’ (especially s. 3 of post (1)) and offers a French perspective of the issue of PIL and (de)coloniality – not especially focused on French PIL but based on a francophone article to be published soon in the law and anthropology journal Droit et Culture. This article, called ‘For a decolonisation of law in the global era: analysis of the application of postcolonial law in European states’, is addressed to non-PIL-specialist scholars but builds on a European debate about PIL and (de)coloniality that has been nourished by scholars like Ralf Michaels, Horatia Muir Watt, Veronica Ruiz Abou-Nigm, as well as by Maria Ochoa, Roxana Banu, and Nicole Štýbnarová, notably at the occasion of the 2022 Edinburgh conference (reported about on this blog, where I had the chance the share a panel with them in relation to my PhD dissertation (see a short presentation on the EAPIL blog)).

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The Dubai Supreme Court on the Enforcement of Canadian (Ontario) Enforcement Judgment

Can an enforcement judgment issued by a foreign court be recognized and enforced in another jurisdiction? This is a fundamental question concerning the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments. The answer appears to be relatively straightforward: “No”. Foreign enforcement judgments are not eligible to be recognized and enforced as they are not decisions on the merits (see in relation with the HCCH 2019 Convention, F Garcimartín and G Saumier, Explanatory Report (HCCH 2020) para. 95, p. 73;  W Hau “Judgments, Recognition, Enforcement” in M Weller et al. (eds.), The HCCH 2019 Judgments Convention: Cornerstones, Prospects, Outlooks (Hart 2023) 25). This is usually referred to as the “prohibition of double exequatur” or, following the French adage: “exequatur sur exequatur ne vaut”. This question was recently presented to the Dubai Supreme Court (DSC), and its decision in the Appeal No. 1556 of 16 January 2024 offers some useful insights into the status foreign enforcement (exequatur) decisions in the UAE.

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Austrian Supreme Court Rules on the Validity of a Jurisdiction Clause Based on a General Reference to Terms of Purchase on a Website

By Biset Sena Günes, Senior Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, Hamburg

Recently, on 25 October 2023, the Austrian Supreme Court (‘OGH’) [2 Ob 179/23x, BeckRS 2023, 33709] ruled on whether a jurisdiction clause included in the terms of purchase (‘ToP’) was valid when a written contract made reference to the website containing the ToP but did not provide the corresponding internet link. The Court held that such a clause does not meet the formal requirements laid down under Article 25 of the Brussels I (recast) Regulation and, hence, is invalid. The judgment is undoubtedly of practical relevance for the conclusion of international commercial contracts that make reference to digitally available general terms and conditions (‘GTCs’), and it is an important follow-up to the decisions by the Court of Justice of the European Union (‘CJEU’) in the cases of El Majdoub (C-322/14, available here) and Tilman (C-358/21, available here).

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