Deference to Foreign Sovereign Submissions

As previously reported here, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued a decision in 2016 reversing a $147.8 million price-fixing judgment against two Chinese manufacturers of Vitamin C. The plaintiffs alleged that the Chinese manufacturers engaged in price fixing and supply manipulation in violation of U.S. antitrust laws. In its first ever appearance as an amicus before a U.S. court, the Chinese government filed a formal statement asserting that Chinese law required the Chinese manufacturers to set prices and reduce the quantities of Vitamin C sold abroad. Relying on this statement, the Second Circuit held that because the Chinese manufacturers could not comply with both Chinese law and the U.S. antitrust laws, principles of international comity compelled dismissal of the case.

This case raises a host of interesting questions. First, did the Second Circuit reach the right result? Second, is this a comity case or a foreign sovereign compulsion case? Third, what level of deference is due to a foreign sovereign that appears in private litigation to explain their country’s laws? Fourth, should U.S. judges defer to such an explanation?

In June 2017, the United States Supreme Court called for the views of the United States.  This past Tuesday, the Solicitor General (SG) filed this brief in response to the Court’s order.

Jurisdiction, Conflict of Laws and Data Protection in Cyberspace

Report on the Conference held in Luxembourg on 12 October 2017, by Martina Mantovani, Research Fellow MPI Luxembourg

On 12 October 2017, the Brussels Privacy Hub (BPH) at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and the Department of European and Comparative Procedural Law of the Max Planck Institute Luxembourg held a joint conference entitled “Jurisdiction, Conflicts of Law and Data Protection in Cyberspace”. The conference, which was attended by nearly 100 people, included presentations by academics from around the world, as well as from Advocate General Henrik Saugmandsgaard Øe of the Court of Justice of the European Union. The entire conference was filmed and is available for viewing on the YouTube Channel of the Max Planck Institute Luxembourg (first and second parts) (more…)

Chinese courts made decision taking into account of the Hague Choice of Court Convention

China has signed the Hague Choice of Court Convention on 12 September 2017, but has not yet ratified this Convention. The Hague Choice of Court Convention has not entered into force in China. However, Shanghai High Court has already relied on the Hague Choice of Court Convention to make decision.

In Cathay United Bank v Gao, Shanghai High Court, (2016) Hu Min Xia Zhong No 99, the appellant, a Taiwan commercial bank, and the respondent, a Chinese citizen resident in Shanghai, entered into a Guarantee contract. It included a clause choosing Taiwan court as the competent court to hear disputes arising out of the contract. This clause did not specify whether it was exclusive or not. Chinese law does not provide how to decide exclusivity of a choice of court agreement. Facing the legal gap, Shanghai High Court took into account Article 3 of the Hague Choice of Court Convention 2005 and decided that choice of court agreements should be exclusive unless the parties stated otherwise. The Shanghai High Court thus declined jurisdiction in favour of Taiwan Court.


HCCH Monthly Update: June 2021

Conventions & Instruments  

On 31 May 2021, Georgia deposited its instrument of accession to the HCCH 1965 Service Convention and the HCCH 1970 Evidence Convention. With the accession of Georgia, the Service Convention now has 79 Contracting Parties. It will enter into force for Georgia on 1 January 2022, subject to the Article 28 procedure. For the Evidence Convention, with the accession of Georgia it now has 64 Contracting Parties. The Convention will enter into force for Georgia on 30 July 2021. More information is available here.

Meetings & Events 

On 1 June 2021, the HCCH and the Asian Business Law Institute co-hosted the webinar “HCCH 1970 Evidence Convention and Remote Taking of Evidence by Video-link”, part of the ongoing celebrations of the Evidence Convention’s golden anniversary. More information is available here.

Series: Webinar climate change litigation – 1 July

The ERC Building EU Civil Justice team in Rotterdam is running a series of seminars, covering a variety of topics in the field of European civil justice and international litigation.

On Thursday 1 July, 16-18 hrs CET, the webinar is dedicated to the topic Representing Future Generations: Private Law aspects of Climate Change Litigation. Speakers are Chantal Mak, Geert Van Calster and Sanne Biesmans, and the panel is moderated by Jos Hoevenaars. They will address the relationship between climate litigation, fundamental rights and the role of European judges; private international law aspects of climate litigation and strategic aspects; and liability aspects of climate litigation and implications of the recent Dutch Shell judgment (see our earlier blogpost).

Participation is free of charge. You can register here at Eventbrite.

The two remaining sessions of the series are dedicated to:
  • The Arbitralization of Courts – Friday, 2 July (09:30-11:30 CET), with Georgia Antonopoulou and Masood Ahmed as speakers and moderated by Xandra Kramer (register)

Just published: Cerqueira’s article on “International Commission on Civil Status. A unique, exemplary and necessary International Organization” translated into German

The summary below has been kindly provided by the author:

The International Commission on Civil Status has been working for seventy years for international cooperation in the field of civil status. In this period, 34 Conventions and 11 Recommendations were adopted. Notably, the Commission developed innovative methods, for example, multilingual Forms and Coding of entries in order to overcome translation problems related to civil status documents. Its results are remarkable to a point that some of its instruments serve as a model specially for the European Union.

Despite all the work already accomplished and the many projects still existing, the International Commission on Civil Status is now in risk of vanishing, mainly because of France and Germany’s recent withdrawal.