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French Supreme Court ruling in the Lafarge case: the private international law side of transnational criminal litigations

Written by Hadrien Pauchard (assistant researcher at Sciences Po Law School)

In the Lafarge case (Cass. Crim., 16 janvier 2024, n°22-83.681, available here), the French Cour de cassation (chambre criminelle) recently rendered a ruling on some criminal charges against the French major cement manufacturer for its activities in Syria during the civil war. The decision addresses several key aspects of private international law in transnational criminal lawsuits and labour law.

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Looking but not Seeing the Economic Unit in Cartel Damage Claims – Opinion of Advocate General in Case C-425/22, MOL Magyar Olaj- és Gázipari Nyrt. v Mercedes-Benz Group AG

By Professor András Osztovits*

I. Introduction

The heart of European economic integration is the Single Market, which can only function properly and provide economic growth and thus social welfare if effective competition rules ensure a level playing field for market players. The real breakthrough in the development of EU competition policy in this area came with Regulation 1/2003/EC, and then with Directive 2014/104/EU which complemented the public law rules with private law instruments and made the possibility to bring actions for damages for infringement of competition law easier.

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„El clásico“ of Recognition and Enforcement – A Manifest Breach of Freedom of Expression as a Public Policy Violation: Thoughts on AG Szpunar 8.2.2024 – Opinion C-633/22, ECLI:EU:C:2024:127 – Real Madrid Club de Fútbol

By Madeleine Petersen Weiner, Research Fellow and Doctoral Candidate at Heidelberg University

Introduction

On 8 February 2024, Advocate General (AG) Szpunar delivered his Opinion on C-633/22 (AG Opinion), submitting that disproportionate damages for reputational harm may go against the freedom of expression as enshrined in Art. 11 Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (CFR). The enforcement of these damages therefore may (and at times will) constitute a violation of public policy in the enforcing state within the meaning of Art. 34 Nr. 1 Brussels I Regulation. The AG places particular emphasis on the severe deterring effect these sums of damages may have – not only on the defendant newspaper and journalist in the case at hand but other media outlets in general (AG Opinion, paras. 161-171). The decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) will be of particular topical interest not least in light of the EU’s efforts to combat so-called “Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation” (SLAPPs) within the EU in which typically financially potent plaintiffs initiate unfounded claims for excessive sums of damages against public watchdogs (see COM(2022) 177 final).

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News

20th IEAF Call for Papers: Evolution or Revolution of European Insolvency Law

The organisers of the 2024 edition of the INSOL Europe Academic Forum kindly shared with us the following call for papers. Please note the deadline for submission is 1 March 2024:

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From Theory to Practice in Private International Law: Gedächtnisschrift for Professor Jonathan Fitchen

Written by Justin Borg-Barthet, Katarina Trimmings, Burcu Yüksel Ripley and Patricia Živkovic

Note: This post is also available via the blog of the European Association of Private International Law.

When our colleague and friend Prof Jonathan Fitchen passed away on 22nd January 2021, we were comforted in our grief by an outpouring of messages of condolence from private international lawyers around the world. We had known, of course, of the impact and importance of Jonathan’s work to the world of private international law scholarship. His monograph on authentic instruments, for example, will remain an essential reference on that subject for many years to come. Jonathan’s impact on the world of private international law scholars was, to a degree, less obvious. He was an unassuming man. He did not seek to command the attention of every gathering he attended, and he might have been surprised to realise how often he did just that. He was tremendously well-liked and well-respected for his wit, his self-deprecating sense of humour, and his empathy.

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Virtual Workshop (in English) on March 5: Marta Pertegás Sender on Current Developments in Cross-Border Enforcement of Patent Rights: Revisiting Territoriality and Reflexive Effect?

On Tuesday, March 5, 2024, the Hamburg Max Planck Institute will host its 42nd monthly virtual workshop Current Research in Private International Law at 11:00-12:30 (CET). Marta Pertegás Sender (Maastricht University and University of Antwerp) will speak, in English, about the topic

Current Developments in Cross-Border Enforcement of Patent Rights: Revisiting Territoriality and Reflexive Effect?

The CJEU preliminary ruling in BSH Hausgeräte Case C-339/22 is eagerly awaited by those involved or interested in cross-border enforcement of patent rights. The forthcoming judgment may have broader repercussions for the position of territoriality in international litigation on intellectual property rights or for the private international law of property more generally.

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