The Supreme Court of Japan on Punitive Damages…

Written by Béligh Elbalti (Associate Professor, Graduate School of Law and Politics – Osaka University)

  1. Introduction

Assume that you successfully obtained a favourable judgment from a foreign court that orders the losing party to pay punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages. Assume also that, later, you could obtain a partial satisfaction of the amount awarded by the court by way of compulsory execution in the rendering state. Happy with the outcome and knowing that punitive damages cannot be enforced in Japan, you confidently proceed to enforce the remaining part before a Japanese court arguing that the payment you would like to obtain now corresponds to the compensatory part of the award. Could the judgment be enforced in Japan where punitive damages are considered as contrary to public policy? In other words, to what part of the damages the paid amount corresponds: the compensatory part or the punitive part?

Territorial Jurisdiction for Breach of Contract in Nigeria or whatever

Jurisdiction is a fundamental aspect of Nigerian procedural law. In Nigerian judicial parlance, we have become accustomed to the principle that the issue of jurisdiction can be raised at any time, even at the Nigerian Supreme Court – the highest court of the land – for the first time.[1] The concept of jurisdiction in Nigerian conflict of laws (often called “territorial jurisdiction” by many Nigerian judges) is the most confusing aspect of Nigerian conflict of laws. This is because the decisions are inconsistent and not clear or precise. The purpose of this write up is to briefly highlight the confusion on the concept of jurisdiction in Nigerian conflict of laws through the lens of a very recently reported case (reported last week) of Attorney General of Yobe State v Maska & Anor. (“Maska”).[2]

Foreign Judgments: The Limits of Transnational Issue Estoppel, Reciprocity, and Transnational Comity

Written by Professor Yeo Tiong Min, SC (honoris causa), Yong Pung How Chair Professor of Law, Yong Pung How School of Law, Singapore Management University

In Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp v Merck KGaA [2021] SGCA 14, a full bench of the Singapore Court of Appeal addressed the limits of transnational issue estoppel in Singapore law, and flagged possible fundamental changes to the common law on the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments in Singapore. The litigation involves multiple parties spread over different jurisdictions. The specific facts involved in the appeal are fairly straightforward, centring on what has been decided in a judgment from the English court, and whether it could be used to raise issue estoppel on the interpretation of a particular term of the contract between the parties. The Court of Appeal affirmed the decision of the High Court that it could. What makes the case interesting are the wide-ranging observations on the operation of issue estoppel from foreign judgments, and more fundamentally on the basis of the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments in the common law of Singapore.


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.