image_pdfimage_print

Views

Paris, the Jurisdiction of Choice?

On January 17th, the President of the Paris Commercial Court (Tribunal de commerce) inaugurated a new international division.

The new division, which is in fact the 3rd division of the court (3ème Chambre), is to be staffed with nine judges who speak foreign languages, and will therefore be able to assess evidence written in a foreign language. For now, the languages will be English, German and Spanish, as one juge speaking Spanish and two speaking German are currently on the court.

In an interview to the Fondation de droit continental (Civil law initiative), the President of the Court explained that the point was to make French justice more competitive and attract international cases. It also made clear that France was following Germany’s lead, where several international divisions were established in 2009 in Hamburg and Cologne.

French Commercial Courts

It should be pointed out to readers unfamiliar with the French legal system that French commercial courts are not staffed with professional judges, but with members of the business community working part-time at the court (and for free). In Paris, however, many of these judges work in the legal department of their company, and are thus fine lawyers.

Also, French commercial courts (and French civil courts generally) virtually never hear witnesses, so the issue of the language in which they may address the court does not arise.

Some issues

So, the new international division will be able to read documents in several foreign languages. However, nothing suggests that parties or lawyers will be able either to speak, or to write pleadings, in any other language than French. Lawyers arguing these cases will still need to file their pleadings in French, and thus to translate them in English beforehand for their clients. Furthermore, the interview of the Court’s President seems to suggest that using a foreign language will not be a right for the parties. Quite to the contrary, it seems that it will not be possible if one of the parties disagrees, and demands documents be translated in French.

Will that be enough to attract additional commercial cases to Paris?

I wonder whether introducing class actions in French civil procedure would have been more efficient in this respect.

For the full interview of the Court’s President, see after the jump.

(more…)

News

Today Israel signed the HCCH 2005 Choice of Court Convention and the HCCH 2019 Judgments Convention

Today (3 March 2021) Israel signed the HCCH Convention of 30 June 2005 on Choice of Court Agreements (2005 Choice of Court Convention) and the HCCH Convention of 2 July 2019 on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Civil or Commercial Matters (2019 Judgments Convention). The HCCH news item is available here.

It should be noted that in order to consent to be bound by the treaties, Israel would need to deposit an instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval for each treaty. In the meantime, a signatory State has the obligation not to defeat the object and purpose of a treaty prior to its entry into force (article 18 of the UN Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties).

OAS Virtual Forum on the Inter-American Juridical Committee’s Report on International Law and State Cyber Operations (on 8 March at 11 am DC time, 5 pm CET)

The Organization of American States (OAS) is organizing a virtual forum as noted in the poster above. For more information, click here.

This virtual forum will address the report: Improving transparency: international law and State cyber operations – fifth report drawn up by Professor Duncan B. Hollis. This report is available here and has been translated into the four official languages of the OAS: Spanish, English, French and Portuguese.

While this report touches upon international law in general, it may still be of interest to some of our readers.

Webinar: Contextualising Insurance Contracts: Interactions with Various Fields of Law (Day 6) – Insurance Contracts and Dispute Resolution