Nigeria and AfCFTA: What Role has Private International Law to Play?


Written by Abubakri Yekini, Lecturer at Lagos State University, Nigeria.

The idea of economic integration is not new to Africa. It is a phenomenon that has been conceived as far back as the 1960s when many African countries gained independence. In 1980, the Organisation of African Unity (now African Union) came up a blueprint for the progressive development of Africa: the Lagos Plan of Action for the Economic Development of Africa, 1980–2000. However, the first concrete step towards achieving this objective was taken in 1991 when the African Heads of State and Government (AHSG) signed the treaty establishing the African Economic Community (AEC) (Abuja Treaty) in Nigeria.  One of the operational stages of the AEC was the creation of a Continental Free Trade Area by 2028. In 2013, the AHSG further signed a Solemn Declaration during the 50th anniversary of the African Union. The Declaration sets another blueprint for a 50-year development trajectory for Africa (Agenda 2068). Item C of that Declaration is a commitment from the Member States to the speedy implementation of the Continental Free Trade Area. At last, this is now a reality.

Determining the applicable law of an arbitration agreement when there is no express choice of a governing law – Enka Insaat Ve Sanayi A.S. v OOO Insurance Company Chubb [2020] UKSC 38.

This brief note considers aspects of the recent litigation over the identification of an unspecified applicable law of an arbitration agreement having an English seat. Though the UK Supreme Court concluded that the applicable law of the arbitration agreement itself was, if unspecified, usually to be the same as that of the contract to which the arbitration agreement refers, there was an interesting division between the judges on the method of determining the applicable law of the arbitration agreement from either the law of the arbitral seat (the view favoured by the majority) or from the applicable law of the underlying contract (the view favoured by the minority). As will become clear, the author of this note finds the views of the minority to be more compelling than those of the majority.

The enforcement of Chinese money judgments in common law courts

By Jack Wass (Stout Street Chambers, Wellington, New Zealand)

In the recent decision of Hebei Huaneng Industrial Development Co Ltd v Shi,[1] the High Court of New Zealand was faced with an argument that a money judgment of the Higher People’s Court of Hebei should not be enforced because the courts of China are not independent of the political arms of government and therefore do not qualify as “courts” for the purpose of New Zealand’s rules on the enforcement of foreign judgments.

The High Court rejected that argument: complaints of political interference may be relevant  if a judgment debtor can demonstrate a failure to accord natural justice in the individual case, or another recognized defence to enforcement, but there was no basis for concluding that Chinese courts were not courts at all.


Out now: Jayme/Hausmann (eds.), Internationales Privat- und Verfahrensrecht, 20th ed. 2020

Abbildung von Internationales Privat- und Verfahrensrecht | 20. Auflage | 2020 |

For those of us who read German: Jayme and Hausmann have just published the 20th edition of their collection of PIL norms on German national, EU and international level. The book has grown considerably in volume over the decades and has particularly done so for its latest edition – from 1441 to now 1537 pages. An indispensable working tool – even in times of the internet.

Out now: Guinchard (ed.), Rome I and Rome II in Practice

Rome I and Rome II in Practice

This book is devoted to the applicable law to contractual and non-contractual obligations in the European Union as applied before the Courts. It should be a valuable resource for practitioners, the judiciary, and academics who are interested in understanding how EU law is applied on national level. The Rome I and II Regulations are meant to provide for uniform conflict-of-laws rules. In theory, all national courts of EU Member States (excluding Denmark) apply the same rules determining the applicable law. Rome I and Rome II in Practice examines whether the theory has been put into practice and assesses the difficulties that may have arisen in the interpretation and application of these Regulations. The book contains a general report by the editor and a number of national reports.

Out now: Calliess/Renner (eds.), Rome Regulations, Commentary, Third Edition 2020

Rome Regulations: Commentary, Third Edition by CALLIESS

This book is an article-by-article ‘German-style’ commentary on the Rome I, II and III Regulations on European Union (EU) conflict of laws. It describes and systematically explains black letter law as applied by the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) and the Member State courts.