On the Global Community of Private International Law – Impressions from Brazil

From August 3-5 this year, the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro hosted the 7th biennial conference of the Journal of Private International Law. Ably organized by Nadia de Araujo and Daniela Vargas from the host institution, together with Paul Beaumont from Aberdeen, the conference was a great success, as concerns both the quality and quantity of the presentations. Instead of a conference report, I want to provide some, undoubtedly subjective, impressions as concerns the emerging global community of private international law.

First, no less than 168 participants attended, from all over the world. The Journal conference has, by now, become something like a World Congress of Private International Law. This is no small achievement. The Journal of Private International Law started out in 2005 as a very doctrinal publication focusing primarily on common law systems and European private international law. Fittingly, the first two conferences took place in the UK. It was a very wise decision to move, after that, to cities in other countries—New York (2009), Milan (2011), Madrid (2013) and now, after a return to the UK (Cambridge) for the ten-year anniversary in 2015, Rio de Janeiro (2017). By now, it can be said that Journal and conference both really represent the world. And what is emerging is a global community that comes together at these and other events.

Second, this first Journal conference in Latin America was an excellent opportunity to showcase the tremendous developments of the discipline on this Continent. Latin America, the region that created the Código Bustamante, has long produced excellent scholars in private international law. However, for some time the discipline appeared, at least to the outside observer, marginalized, caught between a very doctrinal approach on the one side and a very philosophical one on the other, both often without connection to actual practice. In recent years, this has changed, for a number of reasons: the Hague Conference established a bureau, led by Ignacio Goicoechea; a young generation of scholars connects theory and practice, doctrine and interdisciplinarity; legislators are, at long last, replacing antiquated legislation. Many Latin American scholars and practitioners at the conference proved that interest and quality. But the best sign for the vitality of the field were the many excellent Brazilian students who followed the conference with enthusiasm and expertise.

Third, and finally, this emerging globalization captures all regions, but not to the same degree. The great importance of Latin America in Rio was no surprise. Nor was the great role that European private international law, a testament not only both to the European background of the journal and the more generous travel budgets in European universities, but also to the legislative and scholarly developments in Europe. Asia was somewhat less well represented, as far as I could see, despite exciting developments there (including current work on Asian Principles of Private International Law), but several presentations dealt with Asian development. The most palpable absence concerned the United States. There were only two participants from the US, fewer than there were Nigerians. In a not so distant past, US private international law was the avant-garde of the discipline worldwide. When the Second Restatement was being discussed, the whole world was watching what the conflicts revolution would yield. Now, a third Restatement is underway. But I heard no word about that from participants in Rio, and the Restatement’s reporters did not use the occasion to advertise their project. The United States is no longer leading the globalization of the field. Will it at least follow?

Grounds for Refusal of Recognition of (Quasi-) Annex Judgements in the Recast European Insolvency Regulation

Written by Zoltán Fabók, Fellow of INSOL International, Counsel at DLA Piper (Hungary) and PhD Candidate at Nottingham Trent University

Insolvency-related (annex) actions and judgements fall within the scope of the Recast European Insolvency Regulation (‘Recast EIR’). That instrument both determines international jurisdiction regarding annex actions and sets up a simplified recognition system for annex judgements. However, tension between the Recast EIR’s provisions on jurisdiction and recognition arises when a court of a state different from the state of insolvency erroneously assumes jurisdiction for annex actions. Such ‘quasi-annex’ judgements rendered by foreign courts erroneously assuming jurisdiction threaten the integrity of the insolvency proceedings. Besides, the quasi-annex judgements may violate the effectiveness and efficiency of the insolvency proceedings as well as the principle of legal certainty.

In my paper, it is argued that even the current legal framework may offer some ways to avoid the recognition of such quasi-annex judgements. First, the scope of the public policy exception may be extended in order to protect the integrity of the insolvency proceedings from the quasi-annex judgements rendered by foreign courts erroneously assuming jurisdiction. Second, it may be argued that quasi-annex judgements do not equal real annex judgements and therefore do not enjoy the automatic recognition system provided by the Recast EIR. At the same time, their close connection to the insolvency proceedings – disregarded by the forum erroneously assuming jurisdiction – may exclude quasi-annex judgements from the scope of the Brussels Ibis Regulation, as well. As a consequence, those quasi-annex judgements may fall within the gap between the two regulations, meaning that no European instrument instructs the courts of the member state addressed to recognise quasi-annex judgements.

My research article has been accepted for publication by International Insolvency Review. The paper can be accessed in the Early View section at

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 Appellant filed a lawsuit against the Chinese Company and the Second Appellee at Cairo Court of Appeal, requesting a judgment obliging the First Appellee to pay the amount of ten million Egyptian pounds as monetary and moral compensation resulting from the contract’s termination. The Appellant asserted that it had been assigned as the sole agent of the First Appellee in Egypt, for selling ultrasonic wave devices, and that it was unexpectedly notified by the First Appellee that the contract was terminated.

The first instance court ordered that the lawsuit be dismissed for lack of proper service to the Chinese company. The Appellant claimed that service had been effected through the Public Prosecution Office, following all necessary procedures through diplomatic channels in China, pursuant to article 13 (9) of the Egyptian Civil and Commercial Code of Procedure (CCCP), and by notification of the claim to the first Appellee’s legal representative (Commercial Agent) pursuant to article 13 (5) CCCP.

Article 13 (9) CCCP states that, if no international treaty or a specific provision of law is applicable, service shall be made by delivering the documents to the public prosecutor, who then forwards them to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, to be delivered through diplomatic channels to the country of destination. Art. 13 (5) CCCP stipulates that, if service is addressed to a foreign company that has a branch or agent in Egypt, domestic service shall be effected (i.e. to the branch or agent located in Egypt).

3. The Supreme Court ruling

The Court of Cassation referred initially to Art. 13 (5) & (9) CCCP. It then mentioned Articles 3 & 14 of the Judicial Cooperation Treaty on Civil, Commercial and Criminal Matters between the Arab Republic of Egypt and The People’s Republic of China, signed on 21/4/1994, which stipulates that: “For the purposes of requesting and providing judicial assistance, parties shall communicate through their central authorities unless otherwise provided for in this Treaty. Central authorities of both parties are represented by the Ministries of Justice. Both parties shall serve judicial documents in civil and commercial matters pursuant to Hague Convention on the service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in civil or Commercial Matters concluded on 15/11/1965’’.

Based on the above, the Court of Cassation decided as follows: The Hague Convention exclusively stipulates methods, means and conditions for serving judicial documents unless agreed between the Parties on other methods pursuant to Article 11 of the same Convention, and obliges the judge to stay proceedings, save when a document was served by a method prescribed by the internal law of the State addressed, or when the document was actually served to the defendant in its residence under one of the methods prescribed in the Convention in sufficient time to enable him to arrange for his defence.

Since the legislator has permitted in Article 13(5) CCCP that foreign companies may be served by delivering a copy to its branch or agent in Egypt, their existence is considered a question of fact under the exclusive competence of the court. Accordingly, the Court of Cassation confirmed the instance decision, which ruled that service made to the first Appellee through the third appellee (Trade And Importing Company in Heliopolis), ostensibly being its commercial agent and representative, was improper, since the representative of the latter denied its relation with the first Appellee.

Finally, delivering the document to the Public Prosecution in order to take necessary actions towards service by diplomatic channels is not sufficient, because notice was not delivered / served to the first Appellee.

4. Conclusion

The judgment offers a valuable insight into the practice of Egyptian courts in regards to notification of documents abroad. It is noteworthy that the Court of Cassation examined carefully all legal regimes related to the subject matter: It referred to domestic law (CCCP), the Egyptian – Chinese bilateral treaty, and the multilateral convention, to which the bilateral convention refers. The question whether service of process abroad was necessary or not was decided on a substantive level: Given that the appellant failed to demonstrate that the third appellee was the representative of the Chinese company, the court rightfully considered that service solely to the local Transmission Authority through the Prosecutor’s Office does not suffice. Hence, whenever the Hague Service Convention applies, the Court of Cassation dismisses fictitious service (remise au parquet).


HCCH Monthly Update: October 2021

Conventions & Instruments

On 5 October 2021, Indonesia deposited its instrument of accession to the HCCH 1961 Apostille Convention, in a ceremony held during the meeting of the Special Commission on the practical operation of the Apostille Convention. With the accession of Indonesia, the Apostille Convention now has 121 Contracting Parties. It will enter into force for Indonesia on 4 June 2022. With this accession, Indonesia becomes the 156th HCCH Connected Party. More information is available here.

Meetings & Events

On 4 October 2021, the HCCH hosted the 12th International Forum on the electronic Apostille programme (e-APP). Throughout the day, experts from around the globe shared their experiences with the development and implementation of the e-APP, its role in the context of e-Government initiatives, and the future of document authentication. More information is available here.

From 5 to 8 October 2021, the Fifth Meeting of the Special Commission on the practical operation of the Apostille Convention was held via videoconference. The meeting coincided with the 60th anniversary of the Apostille Convention. The Special Commission considered the scope and operation of the Convention, including the electronic Apostille Programme (e-APP). Delegates discussed matters relating to the COVID?19 pandemic, plans for the second edition of the Apostille Handbook, and the outcomes of the Experts Group on the e-APP and New Technologies. More information is available here.

On 7 October 2021, the HCCH hosted a virtual seminar on the HCCH 1965 Service Convention and the HCCH 1970 Evidence Convention for the Supreme Court of Ukraine. This will be the first of a series of seminars, organised through the generous support of the EU Project Pravo-Justice, aimed at facilitating the proper and effective implementation of the HCCH Conventions and instruments in Ukraine. More information is available here.

On 8 October 2021, the HCCH hosted a virtual seminar on the negotiation and adoption of the HCCH 2019 Judgments Convention. More information on the 2019 Judgments Convention is available here.

From 11 to 15 October 2021, the Working Group on Matters Related to Jurisdiction in Transnational Civil or Commercial Litigation met for the first time, via videoconference. The Group commenced work on the development of draft provisions on parallel proceedings, to further inform policy considerations and decisions in relation to the scope and type of any new instrument. More information is available here.

On 19 October 2021, the HCCH hosted the HCCH|Approach Global Event. Held online in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the HCCH 1996 Child Protection Convention, the event featured a series of lectures and a live panel discussion by global experts. The winners of the HCCH|Approach Essay Competition and the HCCH|Approach Media and Design Competition were announced during the event. More information is available here.

On 28 October 2021, the HCCH Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean hosted an online event for Central Authorities of the HCCH 1996 Child Protection Convention from the region, as part of the HCCH|Approach Initiative.


Save the Date: HCCH a|Bridged Edition 2021 will be held online on Wednesday, 1 December 2021. This year’s edition will discuss contemporary issues relating to the application of the?HCCH 2005 Choice of Court Convention,?including the establishment of?international commercial courts around the globe and how it enables party autonomy. Registration will open on Monday, 1 November. More information is available here.

Vacancy: Applications are now open for the position of Library Assistant (8 to 16 hours per week). The deadline for the submission of applications is this Sunday, 31 October 2021 (12:00 a.m. CET). More information is available here.

These monthly updates are published by the Permanent Bureau of the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH), providing an overview of the latest developments. More information and materials are available on the HCCH website.

Is there a European Union private international law system?” in Lyon, on November 17, 18 and 19, 2021

The Research Center on Private International Law of the University Jean Moulin Lyon III (EDIEC – EA 4185) is organizing a 3-day conference (dir. sc. Ludovic Pailler et Cyril Nourissat). The ambitious program proposed by the organizers does not only aim to take stock of a vicennial construction of the law of judicial cooperation in civil matters. It should also allow the speakers to assess whether this field of Union law is merely a pile of autonomous texts (at most likely to constitute a few large blocks – family, obligations, etc.) or whether, beyond that, a comprehensive work is taking shape, a true “system” of private international law, in particular thanks to the many judgments handed down by the Court of Justice of the European Union. This event will also be an opportunity to question the necessity of a system of private international law in order to constitute the area of civil justice called for by the European Commission.

In order to take up this major scientific challenge, the colloquium brings together eminent European authors, specialists in Private international law and Union law. Their analysis will be usefully completed by a comparative approach from points of view from outside the Union (China, Maghreb, USA) and by the intervention of practitioners (lawyers, bailiffs, notaries), better able to evaluate the usefulness of a system for their daily work.

Call for Papers and Panels: “Identities on the move – Documents cross borders” Final Conference

by Paul Patreider

The European Project “DXB – Identities on the move – Documents cross borders” aims at facilitating the dissemination and implementation of Regulation (EU) 2016/1191 in the everyday practice of several EU Member States, improve the knowledge of the links between circulation of public documents, fundamental rights and freedom of movement, ensure a sound implementation of the Regulation for “hard cases” and raise awareness among registrars and legal practitioners. The partnership is supported by a consortium of academic institutions and associations of registrars. More information on the Project and its partners on the official website.

DxB’s Final Conference takes place on 23–24 June 2022 at the premises of A.N.U.S.C.A.’s Academy in Castel San Pietro Terme, Bologna (Italy). The conference will offer a unique opportunity to take stock of the implementation status of Regulation (EU) 2016/1191. The event will also launch the Commentary and the EU-wide comparative survey placing the Regulation in the context of daily national practice.

The Conference will be a truly international event, gathering scholars, registrars, public administrators, political scientists, judges, PhD students and practitioners from all over Europe. Translation services are offered in English, Italian and German. To ensure wide participation as well as the variety of topics and viewpoints, we are pleased to announce a Call for Papers & Panels.


Regulation (EU) 2016/1191 on promoting the free movement of citizens by simplifying the requirements for presenting certain public documents has so far gone largely unnoticed in scholarly debates and practitioners’ discussions. As issues related to the circulation and mutual recognition of authentic instruments in civil status and criminal matters are becoming more and more pressing, the Regulation represents a great opportunity to strengthen the principles and values of the European Union.

Given the strict connection between the scientific and practical dimension of Regulation 2016/1191, authors are invited to examine how this act is currently implemented in the context of national civil status systems and fundamental rights. They should explore the potential positive impact on the freedom of movement of European citizens and on the enjoyment of their fundamental rights as well as focus on critical aspects and deficiencies of the current legal framework.

We encourage applicants to submit proposals for papers and panels related to the Regulation and its context. Possible topics include:

  • The creation of a common European civil status framework;
  • The notion of “public document” under the Regulation and similar instruments (e.g. formal and substantial requirements) and under domestic law;
  • The circulation of criminal records;
  • Problems arising from the lack of standardized definitions shared by all Member States (e.g. “crime”, “sex”, “intended parent”, “intersex” );
  • The impact of the Regulation on the effective exercise of the freedom of movement;
  • Connections between EU citizenship, national citizenship status, and circulation of public documents;
  • Case-law of the Court of Justice influencing the interpretation and implementation of the Regulation, with special regard to the Charter of Fundamental Rights and the ECHR;
  • Exercise of electoral rights and the circulation of public documents under Article 2.2. of the Regulation;
  • Analysis of “hard cases” when applying the Regulation (e.g. marriages celebrated by religious authorities as third-country public documents etc.);
  • The Regulation in comparison to the ICCS Conventions and other relevant international conventions (e.g. the Hague Apostille Convention (1961));
  • E-Justice Portal tools (e.g. the multilingual form-filling system) and the efficiency of the Internal Market Information System (IMI) in the event of doubts as to the veracity of the documents, or the authenticity of the authority that signed them;
  • The digitalization of documents and their circulation; how to ensure the authenticity of digital documents (both native digital size or digital copies of a paper original); forms of electronic signature or seals, with special regard to electronic signatures governed by the eIDAS Regulation and country-specific standards;
  • Extension of the scope of the Regulation to public documents relating to, among others, the legal status and representation of a company or other undertakings, diplomas, certificates and other evidence of formal qualifications, officially recognised disabilities, etc. (see article 23 of the Regulation);
  • Critical issues related to multilingual standard forms (regional/local linguistic minorities; public documents for which multilingual standard forms are not yet established by the Regulation etc.).


Participation is not restricted to lawyers or to established scholars. We welcome registrars, public administrators, professionals, practitioners, doctoral students. We welcome proposals that offer multi-disciplinary perspectives from various areas of law (including European, civil, administrative, comparative, international, criminal, and labour law), as well as from scholars in the humanities and the social sciences (e.g. history, economics, political science, sociology) with an interest in the Conference’s themes. We also welcome submissions from both senior and junior scholars (including doctoral students) as well as interested practitioners.


  • Submit your PAPER proposal with an abstract of a maximum of 500 words and 5 keywords. The abstract must also contain Title, Name, Affiliation (e.g. university, institution, professional association), Country and E-mail address.
  • Submit your PANEL proposal with an abstract of a maximum of 800 words and 5 keywords. We welcome a state-of-the art symposium or a round-table providing on key issues. Fully formed panel proposals should include at least three and no more than five presentations by scholars or practitioners who have agreed in advance to participate. Panel proposals should also identify one panel chair/moderator. Include: title of the panel, names of speakers and of the chair/moderator and their affiliation (e.g. university, institution, professional association), title of each presentation (if applicable), e-mail address of panel participants, language(s) to be used.

We encourage submissions in English. However, as part of the vision of a truly European conference, paper and panel proposals will also be accepted in Italian and German.

Selected paper authors will receive further information on the publication of the proceedings.

Submission templates for paper & panel proposal are available on the DXB website.


Send proposals to: Indicate in the e-mail subject line: “Conference call – name of the (lead) author (or moderator) – Title of the paper or panel proposal”.

The deadline for submitting the paper or panel abstract proposal is 22 December 2021.

Applicants will be informed about the outcome of the abstract selection process no later than 15 January 2022. If successfully selected, full papers must be submitted by 15 April 2022.


The draft of the Conference Programme will be published on 1st March 2022. The final Conference Programme with all panel sessions will become available on 25 April 2022.

Registration for the Conference opens on the DXB website on 15 January and closes on 20 May 2022.

The event will be held in person, in compliance with the current health safety regulations, and will also be broadcast online via live streaming with free access.

Onsite participants will need a Covid-19 digital certificate (Green Pass), or equivalent certificate recognized under Italian law, if still so required by the Authorities at the time of the conference.

N.B. All speakers and moderators, including those invited under the call, are required to attend the event in person.

Registration fee: it includes conference materials, shuttle service (see website for details), tea/coffee and lunch refreshments as well as the certificate of attendance.

Ordinary fee: 80 Euros

Reduced student fee (including Ph.D. students): 40 Euros

Check the Project website for updates.

This project was funded by the European Union’s Justice Programme (2014–2020). Project number: 101007502. The content of this Call represents the views of the partners only and is their sole responsibility. The European Commission does not accept any responsibility for use that may be made of the information it contains.

Mag. Paul Patreider, Institut für Italienisches Recht, Fachbereich Privatrecht, Universität Innsbruck