Egyptian Court of Cassation on the application of the Hague Service Convention

[The author wishes to thank Justice Hossam Hesham Sadek, Vice President of the Civil and Commercial Chamber of the Court of Cassation, and reporting judge in the case at hand, for granting access to the Supreme Court’s ruling].

1.  Introduction

In a recent ruling (22/05/2017), the Egyptian Court of Cassation tackled with the issue of service of process abroad. The facts of the case were the following: The claimant (and appellant) was an Egyptian Medical Equipment company, situated in Cairo. The respondents and appellees were a Chinese company, with its seat in Nanshan district, Shenzen, the Egyptian General Organization for Import and Export Control, and an Egyptian company, with its seat in Heliopolis, Cairo.

2. Facts and instance ruling

The Justice Initiative Frankfurt am Main 2017

Written by Prof. Dr. Dres. h.c. Burkhard Hess, Executive Director Max Planck Institute Luxembourg for Procedural Law

Against the backdrop of Brexit, an initiative has been launched to strengthen Frankfurt as a hot spot for commercial litigation in the European Judicial Area. On March 30, 2017, the Minister of Justice of the Federal State Hessen, Ms Kühne-Hörmann, organized a conference at which the Justice Initiative was presented. More  than 120 stakeholders (lawyers, judges, businesses) attended the conference. The original paper was elaborated by Professors Burkhard Hess (Luxembourg), Thomas Pfeiffer (Heidelberg), Christian Duve (Heidelberg) and Roman Poseck (President of the Frankfurt Court of Appeal). Here, we are pleased to provide an English translation of the position paper with some additional information on German procedural law for an international audience. The proposal has, as a matter of principle, been endorsed by the Minister of Justice. Its proposals are now being discussed and shall be implemented in the next months to come. The paper reads as follows: (more…)

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.



Webinar: Roundtable on the position of the European Union on the Singapore Convention on Mediation

The United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements resulting from Mediation (the ‘Singapore Convention’) entered into force on 12 September 2020. However, the Convention has not been signed by the EU or its Member States. What keeps the EU or its member states from signing the Singapore Convention on Mediation? Experts will discuss pertinent aspects of the Singapore Convention on Mediation to create awareness of the Convention and will debate the EU’s position.

Webinar Link
DATE: Friday 18 June 2021 | 11:00 – 13:00 CET Vienna time (17:00 -19:00 GMT+8
Singapore Time)

To access the webinar use this link:
Please email if you have any questions.

11.00 (CET) Welcome by Sir Michael Burton, President of FICA

CJEU on the scope of the Brussels I bis Regulation in the context of a dispute between an employee and a consulate in the case ZN, C-280/20

This Thursday, the Court of Justice delivered its judgment in the case ZN, C-280/20, which heavily relies and confirms the judgment in Mahamdia, C-154/11.

The request for a preliminary ruling arouse out of proceedings in which ZN, a Bulgarian national residing in Sofia, brought an action in Bulgaria against the Consulate General of the Republic of Bulgaria in Valencia, submitting that, in Spain, she has been providing services concerning the receipt of documents in files opened at the consulate and the handling of those files.


Workshop Report: The Circulation of Public Documents in Italy, Austria and Germany. Regulation (EU) 2016/1191 in a cross-border context. (April 30th, 2021)

by Mag. Paul Patreider, Institute for Italian Law, Private Law Section, University of Innsbruck, Austria

In November 2020, a team of researchers at the Universities of Verona (I), Innsbruck (A) and Thessaloniki (EL), in cooperation with associations of registrars – EVS[1] and ANUSCA[2] – launched the project “Identities on the move – Documents cross borders (DXB)”, co-financed by the e-justice programme. The project focuses on the use of authentic instruments within the European Union and on the implementation of Regulation (EU) 2016/1191. A first workshop with practitioners and representatives from academia was successfully held on April 30th.

The Regulation was initially meant to simplify the circulation of public documents, favouring the free movement of citizens in a cross-border context and abolishing the need for legalisation. As first responses from registrars,[3] however, show, it finds little application in everyday practice and has remained largely unnoticed in scholarly debates. In order to comprehend the implications and the framework of the Regulation, the project (DXB) investigates the context of national civil status systems and places the Regulation under the strict scrutiny of obligations deriving from the Treaties and, in particular, the Charter of fundamental rights of the European Union. Research is developed by means of a permanent dialogue with registrars. The outcome[4] will be transferred to practitioners and various stakeholders.

To gain a better understanding of the current implementation of the Regulation within national systems and to raise awareness among registrars and legal practitioners, a first workshop was organised by the University of Innsbruck on April 30th.