CJEU on the place of the damage under Article 7(2) of Brussels Ia as regards violation of personality rights of a legal person

First personal impressions presented by Edina Márton, LLM, PhD (Saarbruecken)

For jurisdictional purposes, the localisation of cross-border violations of personality rights under European instruments, such as Regulation (EU) No 1215/2012 (Brussels Ia), has attracted the attention of a considerable number of scholars and often led to different legal solutions in the national judicial practice. At EU level, besides Shevill (C-68/93; ECLI:EU:C:1995:61) as well as eDate and Martinez (C-509/09 and C-161/20; ECLI:EU:C:2011:685), since 17 October 2017, a third judgment in case Bolagsupplysningen (C-194/16; ECLI:EU:C:2017:766) has given further clarification in this area. In the recently delivered judgment, the ECJ specified one of the two limbs of the connecting factor “where the harmful event occurred or may occur” under Article 7(2) of Brussels Ia, namely the place of the alleged damage. (more…)

Is “la réserve héréditaire” part of French international public policy ?

Through two decisions (Civ. 1ère, 27 sept. 2017, n° 16-17198 et 16-13151) both issued on September 27th, The French Cour de cassation finally gave an answer to one of the most discussed question of French Succession law: Is la réserve héréditaire part of French international public policy?

The circumstances of both cases are very similar. Two French composers living in California, where they had most of their assets, got married respectively in 1984 and 1990. They put their assets in a trust and designated their wives as beneficiaries. In both cases, the settlers did not designate the children they had from previous relationships as beneficiaries of the trust. After the death of their fathers, the latter turned to French courts in order to obtain part of the inheritance. They argued that the Californian law applicable to the succession should be declared contrary to French international public policy for not including a réserve héréditaire for certain heirs.

According to Article 912 §1 of the French Civil Code, la réserve hérédiataire or the reserved portion « is that part of the assets and rights of the succession whose devolution, free of charge, the law assures to certain heirs, called forced heirs, if they are called to the succession and if they accept it ». In other words, under French succession law, a person cannot freely dispose of all of his or her assets. French law set boundaries by putting aside a reserved portion of the deceased’s property. However, he or she can freely dispose of the disposable portion (quotité disponible) which is defined as « that part of the assets and rights of the succession that is not reserved by law and of which the deceased can freely dispose by liberalities » (Article 912 § 2).

Freedom of establishment after Polbud: Free transfer of the registered office

Bastian Brunk, research assistant and doctoral student at the Institute for Comparative and Private International Law at the University of Freiburg (Germany), has provided us with the following first thoughts on the CJEU’s groundbreaking Polbud judgment.

The Judgment

In its judgment in Polbud (C-106/16), the CJEU again took the work out of the EU legislature’s hands while further developing the freedom of establishment provided for in Articles 49 and 54 TFEU. The case was heard following a request for a preliminary ruling under Article 267 TFEU by the Sad Najwyzszy (Supreme Court of Poland). In short, the CJEU had to decide on the following questions:

(1) Are Articles 49 and 54 TFEU applicable to a transfer of the registered office of a company incorporated under the law of one Member State to the territory of another Member State with the purpose of converting its legal form, when the company has no intention to change the location of its real head office or to conduct real economic activity in the latter Member State?


Just launched: EU public consultation on modernising judicial cooperation between EU countries – use of digital technology

The public consultation on the EU initiative modernising judicial cooperation between EU countries – use of digital technology is open from 16 February 2021 until 11 May 2021 (midnight Brussels time), click here. We have previously reported on the EU feedback period of this initiative here (which is a previous step and is part of the roadmap).

The public consultation consists of a questionnaire with 15 questions (mainly multiple-choice). An interesting question is the following:

“9) In case it is decided to propose a new EU legal instrument, what aspects of digitalisation should it regulate (Multiple choice – one or several replies are possible): – The mandatory or optional nature of electronic communication with and between competent national authorities – The legal validity of electronic documents and evidence – The conditions for the use of electronic signatures/seals – The responsibilities for data protection obligations – The architecture of the IT system to be used – Other (Please elaborate in the box below).”

With regard to the purpose of this initiative, the EU website states the following:

New edition: Hess’ Europäisches Zivilprozessrecht

Burkhard Hess, Europäisches Zivilprozessrecht, De Gruyter 2021.

Just over ten years after the first edition of Europäisches Zivilprozessrecht (European Civil Procedure) by Burkhard Hess (director Max Planck Institute for Procedural Law, Luxembourg) a second –  even more voluminous and impressive – edition was published early 2021. While updating this book after a decade that marks not only the further expansion  but perhaps also the coming of age of European Civil Procedure is an immense task in itself, this new addition also expands in breadth. Particularly noteworthy is the new part on the interaction between European law and national civil procedure, including out-of-court procedures.

A must-read or even must-have for German readers having an interest in European Civil Procedure!

The blurb on the publisher’s website reads:

Corporate Due Diligence and Private International Law

A webinar event on “Corporate Due Diligence and Private International Law” organized by the NOVA Centre for Business, Human Rights and the Environment, will hold on February 25, 2021 at 15:00 – 17:30 CET. For more information on the event and how to register see here