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Written by Mayela Celis

The sixth meeting of the Experts’ Group on Parentage / Surrogacy took place in late October & early November 2019 in The Hague, the Netherlands, and focused on proposing provisions for developing two HCCH instruments:

  • a general private international law instrument (i.e. a Convention) on the recognition of foreign judicial decisions on legal parentage; and
  • a separate protocol on the recognition of foreign judicial decisions on legal parentage rendered as a result of an international surrogacy arrangement.

As indicated in the HCCH news item, the Experts’ Group also discussed the feasibility of making provisions in relation to applicable law rules and public documents.

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Carlos Santaló Goris, Researcher at the Max Planck Institute Luxembourg for International, European and Regulatory Procedural Law, and Ph.D. candidate at the University of Luxembourg, offers a summary and an analysis of the CJEU Case C-555/18, K.H.K. v. B.A.C., E.E.K.

Introduction

On 7 November 2019, the CJEU released the very first decision on Regulation 655/2014 establishing a European Account Preservation Order (“EAPO Regulation”). From the perspective of European civil procedure, this instrument is threefold innovative. It is the first uniform provisional measure; it is also the very first ex parte piece of European civil procedure (and reverses the Denilauer doctrine); and the first one which, though indirectly, tackles civil enforcement of judicial decisions at European level.  This preliminary reference made by a Bulgarian court gave the CJEU the opportunity to clarify certain aspects of the EAPO Regulation.

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By Alexandre Biard, Erasmus University Rotterdam (ERC project – Building EU Civil Justice)

In a previous post published in November 2018, we presented policy discussions that were (at that time) going on in France, and aimed at introducing a new regulatory framework for ODR platforms. As also explained in an article published in September 2019 (in French), ODR tends to become a new market in France with a multiplication of players offering services of diverging qualities. Today this market is in need of regulation to ensure the quality of the services provided, and to foster trust among its users.

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Mutual Trust v Public Policy : 1-0

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In a case concerning the declaration of enforceability of a UK costs order, the Supreme Court of the Hellenic Republic decided that the ‘excessive’ nature of the sum (compared to the subject matter of the dispute) does not run contrary to public policy. This judgment signals a clear-cut shift from the previous course followed both by the Supreme and instance courts. The decisive factor was the principle of mutual trust within the EU. The calibre of the judgment raises the question, whether courts will follow suit in cases falling outside the ambit of EU law.

[Areios Pagos, Nr. 579/2019, unreported]


THE FACTS

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As announced earlier on this blog, the Gender and Private International Law (GaP) kick-off event took place on October 25th at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law in Hamburg.

This event, organized by Ivana Isailovic and Ralf Michaels, was a stimulating occasion for scholars from both Gender studies and Private and Public international law to meet and share approaches and views.

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Written by Felix M. Wilke, Senior Lecturer at the University of Bayreuth, Germany.

Must a foreign judgment be recognised in which a jurisdiction agreement has been applied incorrectly, i.e. in which a court wrongly assumed to be competent or wrongly declined jurisdiction? Within the European Union, the basic answer is a rather straightforward “yes”. Recognition can only be refused on the grounds set forth in Article 45(1) Brussels Ibis Regulation, and unlike Article 7(1)(d) of the recently adopted HCCH Judgments Convention, none of them covers this scenario. What is more, Article 45(3) Brussels Ibis expressly states that the jurisdiction of the court of origin, save for certain instances of protected parties, may not be reviewed, not even under the guise of public policy.

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Staying Proceedings under the Civil Code of Quebec

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Written by Professor Stephen G.A. Pitel, Western University

The decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in R.S. v P.R., 2019 SCC 49 (available here) could be of interest to those who work with codified provisions on staying proceedings. It involves interpreting the language of several such provisions in the Civil Code of Quebec. Art. 3135 is the general provision for a stay of proceedings, but on its wording and as interpreted by the courts it is “exceptional” and so the hurdle for a stay is high. In contrast, Art. 3137 is a specific provision for a stay of proceedings based on lis pendens (proceedings underway elsewhere) and if it applies it does not have the same exceptional nature. This decision concerns Art. 3137 and how it should be interpreted.

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Written by Mayela Celis

The Permanent Bureau of the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH) is organising an event entitled HCCH a / Bridged: Innovation in Cross-Border Litigation and Civil Procedure, which will be held on 11 December 2019 in The Hague, the Netherlands. This year’s edition will be on the HCCH Service Convention.

The agenda and the registration form are available here. The deadline for registrations is Monday 11 November 2019. The HCCH news item is available here.

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Reform of Singapore’s Foreign Judgment Rules

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On 3rd October, the amendments to the Reciprocal Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act (“REFJA”) came into force. REFJA is based on the UK Foreign Judgments (Reciprocal Enforcement) Act 1933, but in this recent round of amendments has deviated in some significant ways from the 1933 Act. The limitation to judgments from “superior courts” has been removed. Foreign interlocutory orders such as freezing orders and foreign non-money judgments now fall within the scope of REFJA. So too do judicial settlements, which are defined in identical terms to the definition contained in the Choice of Court Agreements Act 2016 (which enacted the Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements into Singapore law).

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China is one of few countries that permits the parties to choose the applicable law governing cross-border infringement of intellectual property disputes. Article 50 of the Chinese Law Applicable to Foreign-Related Civil Relations 2010 (Conflicts Act) provides that the parties could choose Chinese law (lex fori) after dispute has arisen to derogate from the default applicable law, i.e. lex loci protectionis, in IP infringement disputes.

This choice of law rule was applied by the Beijing IP Court in its 2017 decision on Xiang Weiren v  Peng Lichong (“Drunken Lotus”), (2015) Jing Zhi Min Zhong Zi 1814. The claimant published his painting “Drunken Lotus” in 2007. In 2014, the defendant exhibited his artwork entitled “Fairy in Lotus” in Mosco and Berlin, which allegedly had infringed the claimant’s copyrights. Although the parties did not enter into an explicit choice of law agreement, both parties submitted their legal arguments based on Chinese Copyright Law, which was deemed an “implied” ex post choice of Chinese law. Beijing IP Court thus applied Chinese law to govern the infringement dispute.

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