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EU Member State sees opportunities in Brexit: Belgium is establishing a new English-language commercial court

Expecting higher demands for international commercial dispute resolution following Britain’s departure from the EU, Belgium plans to set up a new English-language commercial court, the Brussels International Business Court (BIBC), to take cases away from the courts and tribunals in London. This decision was announced on 27 Oct 2017. This BIBC is designed to address disputes arising out of Brexit and major international commercial disputes. The court will take jurisdiction based on parties’ choice, and will do the hearing and deliver judgments in English. The parties would have no right to appeal. BIBC combines elements of both traditional courts and arbitration. See comments here.

Although Brexit may cause uncertainty to litigants in the UK, a survey suggests that the EU judicial cooperation scheme is not the main reason for international parties choosing London to resolve their disputes. The top two factors that attract international litigants to London are the reputation and experience of English judges and combination of choice of court clauses with choice of law clauses in favor of English law,  followed by efficient remedies, procedural effectiveness, neutrality of the forum, market practice, English language, effective UK-based counsel, speed and enforceability of judgments. Furthermore, Brexit will not affect the New York Convention and would less likely affect London as an arbitration centre. It may be more reasonable to suggest that the main purpose of BIBC is not to compete with London at the international level, but to offer additional judicial tool and become a new commercial dispute resolution centre within the EU to attract companies and businesses to Brussels.

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).

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Conversations on transnational surrogacy and the ECtHR case Valdís Fjölnisdóttir and Others v. Iceland (2021)

Ivana Isailovic           Alice MARGARIA | Research Fellow | Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle (Saale) | ETH | Law and Anthropology

Comments by Ivana Isailovic & Alice Margaria

The case of Valdís Fjölnisdóttir and Others v. Iceland brings to the attention of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) the no longer new, yet persistently complex, question of the determination of legal parenthood following international surrogacy arrangements. Similar to previous cases, such as Mennesson v France, Labassee v France, andParadiso and Campanelli v Italy, this complaint originated from the refusal of national authorities to recognise the parent-child relationship established in accordance with foreign law on the ground that surrogacy is prohibited under national law. Valdís Fjölnisdóttir and Others is the first case of this kind involving a married same-sex couple who subsequently divorced. Like the applicants in the case of Paradiso and Campanelli v Italy, Ms Valdís Glódís Fjölnisdóttir and Ms Eydís Rós Glódís Agnarsdóttir are not biologically linked to their child, who was born in California.

Chinese Private International Law

Chinese Private International Law

Edited by Xiaohong Liu and Zhengyi Zhang

Written with the assistance of a team of lecturers at the Shanghai University of Political Science and Law, this book is the leading reference on Chinese private international law in English. The chapters systematically cover the whole of Chinese private international law, not just questions likely to arise in commercial matters, but also in family, succession, cross-border insolvency, intellectual property, competition (antitrust), and environmental disputes.  The chapters do not merely cover the traditional conflict of law areas of jurisdiction, applicable law (choice of law), and enforcement.  They also look into conflict of law questions arising in arbitration and assess China’s involvement in the harmonisation of private international law globally and regionally within the Belt and Road Initiative. Similarly to the Japanese and Indonesian volumes in the Series, this book presents Chinese conflict of laws through a combination of common and civil law analytical techniques and perspectives, providing readers worldwide with a more profound and comprehensive understanding of Chinese private international law.

Monograph Contest for Young Latin American Researchers

The Project Jean Monnet Network – BRIDGE, co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union, and the Latin-American Center for European Studies invite young Latin American researchers to submit their works to the “Monograph Contest for Young Latin American Researchers – Jean Monnet Award”, whose main objective is to foster excellence in research on topics related to European integration in Latin America.

Only unpublished monographs submitted by young researchers who are up to 30 years old at the date of the submission will be accepted. Authors must also be enrolled in any higher education institution of Latin America.

Monographs (between 60-120 pages) written in English, Spanish or Portuguese will be accepted and authors must submit their monographs by 1 August 2021.