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Court of Appeal allows in England claims against English-based multinational for overseas human rights violations

Written by Ekaterina AristovaPhD in Law Candidate, University of Cambridge

On 14 October 2017, the London’s Court of Appeal passed its long awaited decision in Lungowe v Vedanta confirming that foreign citizens can pursue in England legal claims against English-based multinationals for their overseas activities.

In 2015, Zambian villagers commenced proceedings against Vedanta, an English-based mining corporation, and its indirect Zambian subsidiary, KCM, alleging responsibility of both companies for the environmental pollution arising out of the operation in Zambia of the Nchanga Copper Mine by KCM. In 2016, the High Court allowed claims against both companies to be heard in England. The overall analysis of the judgement (see the author’s earlier post on this blog) suggested that (1) claims against the parent company on the breach of duty of care in relation to the overseas operations of the foreign subsidiary can be heard in the English courts and (2) the existence of an arguable claim against the English-domiciled parent company also establishes jurisdiction of the English courts over the subsidiary even if the factual basis of the case occurs almost exclusively in the foreign state. The Court of Appeal has entirely upheld a High Court ruling.

Dutch collective redress dangerous? A call for a more nuanced approach

Prepared by Alexandre Biard, Xandra Kramer and Ilja Tillema, Erasmus University Rotterdam

The Netherlands has become dangerously involved in the treatment of mass claims, Lisa Rickard from the US Chamber of Commerce recently said to the Dutch financial daily (Het Financieele Dagblad, 28 September 2017) and the Dutch BNR newsradio (broadcast of 28 September 2017). This statement follows the conclusions of two reports published in March and September 2017 by the US Institute for Legal Reforms (ILR), an entity affiliated with the US Chamber of Commerce. Within a few hours, the news spread like wildfire in online Dutch newspapers, see for instance here.

I thought we were exclusive? Some issues with the Hague Convention on Choice of Court, Brussels Ia and Brexit

This blog post is by Dr Mukarrum Ahmed (Lancaster University) and Professor Paul Beaumont (University of Aberdeen). It presents a condensed version of their article in the August 2017 issue of the Journal of Private International Law. The blog post includes specific references to the actual journal article to enable the reader to branch off into the detailed discussion where relevant. It also takes account of recent developments in the Brexit negotiation that took place after the journal article was completed.    

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The Japanese Yearbook of International Law (Vol. 62, 2019)

The latest Volume of the Japanese Yearbook of International Law (Vol. 62, 2019) has been released. The Volume dedicates one section to the introduction of the new legislation on international jurisdiction of Japanese courts in family matters. (For an introduction of the new rules relating to international jurisdiction in matter of divorce, see Yasuhiro Okuda, “New Rules of International Jurisdiction over Divorce in Japanese Courts”, Yearbook of Private International Law, Vol. 20 (2018/2019), pp. 61-72).

The Volume also contains an English translation of the new rules as well as English translation of some court decisions relating to public and private international law.

Relevant content include the following:

NEW LEGISLATION ON THE INTERNATIONAL JURISDICTION OF JAPANESE COURTS ON PERSONAL STATUS LITIGATIONSAND DOMESTIC RELATIONS CASES

Dr Jan De Bruyne presents on ‘Regulating Artificial Intelligence in the European Union: Legal and Ethical Aspects’.

Dr Jan De Bruyne presented a paper at the Research Seminar Series at the School of Law, the University of Queensland, Australia discussing ‘Regulating Artificial Intelligence in the European Union: Legal and Ethical Aspects’ on 17 April 2020.

Artificial intelligence (AI) has become an area of strategic importance and a key driver of economic development. It has many benefits and can bring solutions to several societal challenges. At the same time, however, legal and ethical challenges remain and have to be carefully addressed. It is, therefore, not surprising that the regulation of AI is probably one of the most debated legal topics in the European Union (EU) and several of its Member States. This debate has only been strengthened with the recent European Commission’s White Paper on Artificial Intelligence – A European approach to excellence and trust.

Call for papers: Balkan Yearbook of European and International Law

Your articles on private (and public) aspects of European and International Law may now be submitted for publication in Balkan Yearbook of European and International Law. The BYEIL also welcomes comments, book reviews and notes on recent case law.

The currently open call for papers welcomes submissions falling within the above description, as well as ones related to the CISG marking the 40th anniversary of the convention. The call, with the contact details, is available BYEIL call for papers 2020.