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Judiciary and Procedural Reforms in Spain, 2013

In his first appearance at the Congreso de los Diputados (House of Representatives), less than a year ago, the Spanish Minister of Justice announced a package of far-reaching measures or reforms for the Spanish justice: some address the judiciary, others affect the structure of different procedures, as well as complementary aspects. Among the former I’d like to highlight the already achieved amendment of the Ley Orgánica del Poder Judicial, Ley 6/1985, of July 1, by the Ley 4/2013, of June 28, reforming the Consejo General del Poder Judicial; and the proposal for a new Ley de Demarcación y Planta Judicial (the text prepared by the Institutional Committee established by Agreement of the Council of Ministers in 2012 was recently published). The proposal is based on the creation of Tribunales de Instancia, which will gather the current uni-personal tribunals and work at a provincial district level. Appeal hearings will correspond to the Tribunales Superiores de Justicia (instead of the actual Audiencias), which will culminate the judiciary in the corresponding Autonomous Community.


Spanish Mortgages Are Null And Void. Who Says?: The Ecuadorian Parliament

 Nicolás Zambrana has kindly sent me this text. Nicolás Zambrana Tévar ( is assistant lecturer of Private International Law at the University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain. He is also member of the Grupo de Estudios sobre el Derecho Internacional Privado y los Derechos Humanos.


Several Ecuadorian political parties have introduced a new draft bill in the Ecuadorian Parliament which explicitly manifests that “no legal validity will be given in Ecuador to financial arrangements made to acquire the property of houses (viviendas) in Spain and the judicial acts which may have been derived from such arrangements because the latter have been made under conditions of illegality and fraud”. Another paragraph of this draft bill introduces criminal sanctions for those responsible of entities which try to seize property for this reason in Ecuador (


Latest Issue of “Praxis des Internationalen Privat- und Verfahrensrechts”

Recently, the March issue of “Praxis des Internationalen Privat- und Verfahrensrechts” (IPRax) was released.

It contains the following articles/case notes (including the reviewed decisions):

  • R. Wagner/B. Timm on the German ministerial draft bill on the law applicable to companies, juristic persons and associations (“Der Referentenentwurf eines Gesetzes zum Internationalen Privatrecht der Gesellschaften, Vereine und juristischen Personen”). The English abstract reads as follows:

Facebook’s further attempts to resist the jurisdiction of the Federal Court of Australia futile

Earlier in the year, Associate Professor Jeanne Huang reported on the Australian Information Commission’s action against Facebook Inc in the Federal Court of Australia. In particular, Huang covered Australian Information Commission v Facebook Inc [2020] FCA 531, which concerned an ex parte application for service outside of the jurisdiction and an application for substituted service.

In April, Thawley J granted the Commission leave to serve the first respondent (Facebook Inc) in the United States, and the second respondent (Facebook Ireland Ltd) in the Republic of Ireland. Through orders for substituted service, the Commission was also granted leave to serve the relevant documents by email (with respect to Facebook Inc) and by mail (with respect to Facebook Ireland Ltd).

Facebook Inc applied to set aside the orders for its service in the United States, among other things. Facebook Ireland appeared at the hearing of Facebook Inc’s application seeking equivalent orders, although it did not make submissions.


Justice Andrew Bell opines on arbitration and choice of court agreements

By Michael Douglas and Mhairi Stewart

Andrew Bell is a leader of private international law in Australia. His scholarly work includes Forum Shopping and Venue in Transnational Litigation (Oxford Private International Law Series, 2003) and several editions of Nygh’s Conflict of Laws in Australia (see LexisNexis, 10th ed, 2019). As a leading silk, he was counsel on many of Australia’s leading private international law cases. In February 2019, his Honour was appointed President of the New South Wales Court of Appeal.

Recently, in Inghams Enterprises Pty Ltd v Hannigan [2020] NSWCA 82, his Honour provided a helpful exposition of the principles applicable to dispute resolution agreements, including arbitration and choice of court agreements. His Honour dissented from the majority of Justices of Appeal Meagher and Gleeson.


Three Tickets, One Seat – A Methodological Anatomy Of The Indian Practice Of Determination Of Seat Of Arbitration

Written by Sankalp Udgata & Hetal Doshi, National Law University (NUSRL), Ranchi

The choice of arbitration as the default system of resolution of commercial disputes, which was initially restricted to the foreign parties is now being reciprocated by even the Indian parties, thus setting the stage for India being a global hub for commercial arbitration. Surprising as it is, commercial agreements worth billions have but a succinct recording of a seat of arbitration. Sloppy as they are, these poorly drafted dispute resolution clauses open the doors to a tsunami of litigation which simply intervene and delay the entire resolution process thereby defeating the very virtue arbitrations proclaim to instil.


Brexit: No need to stop all the clocks.

Written by Jonathan Fitchen.

‘The time has come’; a common enough phrase which may, depending on the reader’s mood and temperament, be attributed variously to Lewis Carroll’s discursive Walrus, to Richard Wagner’s villainous Klingsor, or to the conclusion of Victor Hugo’s epigrammatic comment      to the effect that nothing is as powerful as an idea whose time has come. In the present context however ‘the time has come’ refers more prosaically to another step in the process described as ‘Brexit’ by which the UK continues to disentangle itself from the EU.


Law Shopping in Relation to Data Processing in the Context of Employment: The Dark Side of the EU System for Criminal Judicial Cooperation?

This post was written by Ms Martina Mantovani, Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute Luxembourg. The author is grateful to her colleague, Ms Adriani Dori, for pointing out the tweet.

On 26th September 2019, Dutch MEP Sophie in ‘t Veld announced through her Twitter account the lodging of a question for written answer to the EU Commission, prompting the opening of an investigation (and, eventually, of infringement proceedings) in relation to a commercial use of the European Criminal Record Information System (ECRIS). A cornerstone of judicial cooperation in criminal matters, this network is allegedly being exploited by a commercial company operating on the European market (hereinafter name, for the purposes of this entry, The Company), in order to provide, against payment, a speedy and efficient service to actual or prospective employers, wishing to access the criminal records of current employees or prospect hires.


The Role of Private International Law Academia in Latin America

Written by Alexia Pato, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Bonn
On 10 September 2019, I had the immense pleasure to attend a Conference on the role of private international law (PIL) academia in Latin America (LATAM), which took place in the fast-paced environment of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law (MPI) in Hamburg. The Conference was organised and chaired by Ralf Michaels and Verónica Ruiz Abou-Nigm. I thank them both for their warm welcome and congratulate them for the success of the Conference, which honours the long-standing PIL tradition in LATAM and encourages collaborative learning beyond borders.

This well-structured event encompassed two roundtables: whereas the first one dealt with PIL culture in LATAM, the second one discussed the impact of PIL schools of thought. Speakers of both roundtables prepared short handouts and submitted research questions to the audience, which created a fertile ground for interactions. The following paragraphs summarise the content of the presentations, as well as the follow-up discussions.

The PIL Culture in LATAM