Review of: PP Penasthika, Unravelling Choice of Law in International Commercial Contracts: Indonesia as an Illustrative Case Study (The Hague: Eleven Publishers 2022)

Very recently, Indonesian private international law has attracted significant scholarship in the English language.[1] Dr Penasthika’s monograph (‘the monograph’)[2] is one such work that deserves attention for its compelling and comprehensive account of choice of law in international commercial contracts in Indonesia. My review attempts to capture the methodology, summarise the contents, and give a verdict on the quality of this monograph.


Mbatha v. Cutting: Implications for Litigants of Indian Origin

Guest Post by Chytanya S. Agarwal*

I. Introduction

Rising cross-border migration of people and concomitant increase in lawsuits relating to matrimonial disputes between couples brings to the forefront the issue of conflict of jurisdictional laws (219th Law Commission Report, ¶1.1-¶1.2). Mbatha v. Cutting is one such recent case that grapples with conflict of laws pertaining to divorce and division of matrimonial property when the spouses are domiciled in separate jurisdictions. In this case, the Georgian Court of Appeal dealt with competing claims from a couple who married in New York and had their matrimonial domicile in South Africa. The wife, domiciled in Georgia, USA, argued for the application of the matrimonial property regime of South Africa – their only (though temporary) common matrimonial domicile. In determining the applicable law, the Court upheld the traditional approach, which favours lex situs for real property and lex domicilii for personal property.


Views and News from the 9th Journal of Private International Law Conference 2023 in Singapore

Four years after the 8th JPIL conference in Munich, the global community of PIL scholars finally got another opportunity to exchange thoughts and ideas, this time at Singapore Management University on the kind invitation of our co-editor Adeline Chong.

The conference was kicked off by a keynote speech by Justice Philip Jeyaretnam (Singapore International Commercial Court), providing an in-depth analysis of the Court of Appeal’s decision in Anupam Mittal v Westbridge Ventures II [2023] SGCA 1 (discussed in more detail here).

The keynote  was followed by a total of 23 panels and four plenary sessions, a selection of which is summarised below by our editors.



HCCH Asia Pacific Week 2023

HCCH Asia Pacific Week 2023 – Access to Justice and Sustainable Development: The Impact of the HCCH in an Inter-Connected World, was successfully held from 11 to 14 September 2023 in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), China.

The HCCH celebrated its 130th Anniversary during the HCCH Asia Pacific Week. During the week, many important conventions and instruments of the HCCH were promoted and examined by the experts from around the Asia Pacific Region.


Rivista di diritto internazionale privato e processuale (RDIPP) No 2/2023: Abstracts

The second issue of 2023 of the Rivista di diritto internazionale privato e processuale (RDIPP, published by CEDAM) was just released. It features:

Yuriko Haga, Professor at Seikei University, Avatars, Personalities in the Metaverse: Introductory Analysis on Conflict-of-Laws

When people perform various activities in the metaverse, another world on the Internet, they make avatars as their “proxy”, representing their personality. However, the connection between an avatar and its user is often unclear. In fact, avatars do not necessarily resemble to their user’s figure or face because people can decide its appearance at their disposal. The first question thus arises as to whether the attack on an avatar can be assimilated to an attack on the personality of a user, a person in real world. An avatar should be deemed part of the online personality of its user, and, considering the existing theory of personality rights, it is not completely separate from the person in the real world. Therefore, an attack brought against an avatar can deemed more or less an infringement against the user’s personality. The second question is then how to select the applicable law to such cases. An infringement of personality rights in the metaverse is by nature “international” because users can connect to that virtual “world” from all corners of the planet. This leads to a difficulty in determining the place that the connecting factor designates. This paper examines the applicability of actual Japanese conflict-of-laws rule to issues occurring in the metaverse to show its boundary. The traditional theory posits to apply national laws to resolve legal issues, but the world of metaverse is often governed by rules of its own. It follows that the conflict-of-laws theory should now consider the applicability of the rules of other communities, such as the metaverse.


Giustizia consensuale No 1/2023: Abstracts

The first issue of 2023 of Giustizia Consensuale (published by Editoriale Scientifica) has just been released, and it features:

Annalisa Ciampi (Professor at the University of Verona), La giustizia consensuale internazionale (International Consensual Justice; in Italian)

All means of dispute settlement between States, including adjudication, are based on the consent of the parties concerned. The post-Cold War era saw an unprecedented growth of third-party (judge or arbitrator) dispute resolution systems. In more recent years, however, we are witnessing a weakening of the international judicial function. This paper analyses and explains similarities and differences between dispute settlement between States and dispute resolution between private parties at the national level. Whilst doing so, it makes a contribution to the question of whether the de-judicialisation taking place in Italy and elsewhere, as well as in the international legal system, can be considered a step in the right direction.


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