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Fourth Issue of 2010’s Revue Critique de Droit International Privé

Revue Critique DIPThe last issue of the Revue critique de droit international privé was just released. It contains two articles and several casenotes. The full table of content can be found here.

In the first article, Dr. Marius Kohler and Dr. Markus Buschbaum discuss the concept of recognition of authentic instruments in the context of cross-border successions (La « reconnaissance » des actes authentiques prévue pour les successions transfrontalières. Réflexions critiques sur une approche douteuse entamée dans l’harmonisation des règles de conflits de lois). The English abstract reads:


Proving Foreign Law in U.S. Federal Court: Is The Use Of Foreign Legal Experts “Bad Practice”?

A panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit last week decided a fairly routine contract case—applying French law (opinion here). In doing so, Judges Easterbrook, Posner and Wood stated their views on the best means to prove foreign law. Of course, they each noted (in separate opinions) that the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure give courts a wide berth to rely on any source or authority, including sworn statements by experts in foreign law. But Judges Easterbrook and Posner see the use of such experts as “bad practice”—in their view, it’s better for judges to consult English-language translations and treatises, which will be relatively objective, rather than the statements of experts hired by each party. According to Judge Easterbrook:

Trying to establish foreign law through experts’ declarations not only is expensive (experts must be located and paid) but also adds an adversary’s spin, which the court then must discount. Published sources such as treatises do not have the slant that characterizes the warring declarations presented in this case. Because objective, English-language descriptions of French law are readily available, we prefer them to the parties’ declarations.


Swiss Institute of Comparative Law: Programme of the Conference on the EU’s Proposal on Succession

As we anticipated in a previous post, on Friday, 19th March 2010, the Swiss Institute of Comparative Law (ISDC) will host the 22nd Journée de droit international privé, organised in collaboration with the University of Lausanne (Center of Comparative Law, European Law and International Law – CDCEI). The conference will analyse the Commission’s Proposal on Succession: “Successions internationales. Réflexions autour du futur règlement européen et de son impact pour la Suisse”.

Here’s the programme:

Première session (09h00) – La proposition de règlement européen

Ouverture de la journée: Christina Schmid (director a.i., ISDC); Andrea Bonomi (director, CDCEI, Univ. of Lausanne)

Chair: Lukas Heckendorn Urscheler (Head of Legal Division, ISDC)

  • Mari Aalto (national expert, European Commission, DG FSJ): Introduction au projet européen en matière de succession;
  • Paul Lagarde (Univ. of Paris I): Les grandes lignes de la future réglementation européenne: l’approche unitaire et le rattachement à la résidence habituelle;
  • Andrea Bonomi (Univ. of Lausanne): Le choix de la loi applicable à la succession;


Chair: Andrea Bonomi (Univ. of Lausanne)


Book: Liber Amicorum Hélène Gaudemet-Tallon

The French publisher Dalloz has recently published a very rich collection of essays in honor of Hélène Gaudemet-Tallon, Professor Emeritus at the University of Paris II and Associate Member of the Institut de Droit International, one of French leading scholars in the field of conflicts of laws and jurisdictions (among her recent works, see Le pluralisme en droit international privé, Richesses et faiblesse (le funambule et l’arc en ciel), General Course held in 2005 at the Hague Academy of International Law, and the forthcoming fourth edition of her authoritative book on the Brussels I reg., Compétence et exécution des jugements en Europe).

The volume, Vers de nouveaux équilibres entre ordres juridiques. Liber amicorum Hélène Gaudemet-Tallon, includes 50 articles on almost all fields of Private International Law, written by leading academics.

Here’s the table of contents:


  • Ancel, Jean-Pierre, L’invocation d’un droit étranger et le contrôle de la Cour de cassation
  • Basedow, Ju?rgen, La recherche juridique fondamentale dans les instituts Max Planck
  • Bermann, George A., La concertation réglementaire transatlantique
  • Borra?s, Alegri?a, La fragmentation des sources de droit international privé communautaire, le cas de la responsabilité nucléaire
  • Fauvarque-Cosson, Be?ne?dicte, Droit international privé et droit comparé : brève histoire d’un couple à l’heure de l’Europe
  • Foyer, Jacques, Diversité des droits et méthodes des conflits de loi
  • Herzog, Peter E., Le début de la ” révolution ” des conflits de lois aux États-Unis et les principes fondamentaux de la proposition ” Rome II “, y a-t-il un ” parallélisme inconscient ” ?
  • Idot, Laurence, À propos de l’internationalisation du droit, réflexions sur la Soft Law en droit de la concurrence
  • Kessedjian, Catherine, Le droit entre concurrence et coopération



Book: Conflits de Lois et Régulation Economique

Conflits de lois et régulation économiqueThis interesting book on Conflict of Laws and Economic Regulation gathers the contributions of the speakers to a conference held in Paris a year ago. It is edited by three French scholars, Mathias Audit, Horatia Muir Watt (who was our Guest Editor last month) and Etienne Pataut, who all teach in Paris.

Here is how the conference was presented:

Within the specific instance of the internal market, the installation and the operation of mechanisms of economic regulation raise a well identified difficulty. Building legal instruments suitable to ensure this regulation supposes indeed to resort to community instruments, which have by nature vocation to transcend national legal orders. However, it is the object of private international law to implement the management tools of this normative diversity. Consequently, this raises the question which will be at the center of this conference: the relationship between the internal market’s tools of regulation (set up by the European Union) and private international law.


Guest Editorial: Dickinson on Trust and Confidence in the European Community Supreme Court?

Throughout 2008, CONFLICT OF LAWS .NET will play host to twelve guest editors: distinguished scholars and practitioners in private international law, who have been invited to write a short article on a subject of their choosing. It is hoped that these guest editorials will provide a forum for discussion and debate on some of the key issues currently in the conflicts world, and I would very much encourage everyone to post comments.

The first editorial is on “Trust and Confidence in the European Community Supreme Court?” by Andrew Dickinson.

IMG_0003 Andrew Dickinson is a practising solicitor advocate (England and Wales) and consultant to Clifford Chance LLP. He is also a Visiting Fellow in Private International Law at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law. Andrew is the co-author of State Immunity: Selected Materials and Commentary (OUP, 2004) and an editor of the International Commercial Litigation Handbook (LexisNexis, 2006). He has written widely in the areas of private and public international law – recently published papers include “Third-Country Mandatory Rules in the Law Applicable to Contractual Obligations: So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Adieu?” (2007) 3 J Priv Int L 53 and “Legal Certainty and the Brussels Convention – Too Much of a Good Thing?”, ch 6 in P de Vareilles-Sommières (ed), Forum Shopping in the European Judicial Area (Hart Publishing, 2007).

Trust and Confidence in the European Community Supreme Court


CLIP conference: Intellectual Property and Private International Law

As we announced in the last posting concerning the CLIP group, they are preparing an international conference on issues arising where in the intersection of intellectual property law and private international law. The conference program includes the following topics and speakers:

Are there any Common European Principles of a Private International Law with regard
to Intellectual Property?
Prof. Dr. Annette Kur, Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property Law, Munich

The ALI Principles Governing Jurisdiction, Choice of Law and Judgments in
Transnational Intellectual Property Disputes
Prof. Dr. Rochelle C. Dreyfuss, New York University

“Contracts Relating to Intellectual or Industrial Property Rights” under the Rome I
Prof. Dr. Matthias Leistner, University of Bonn

The Law Applicable to Non-Contractual Obligations Arising from an Infringement of
Registered IP Rights
Prof. Dr. Peter Mankowski, University of Hamburg

The Law Applicable to Infringements of Non-Registered IP Rights
Prof. Dr. Haimo Schack, University of Kiel


Court Limits Extraterritoriality of Federal Patent Law

In a case previously blogged on this site, the Supreme Court today decided to limit the extaterritorial application of the federal patent laws. The 7-1 decision authored by Justice Ginsburg started off by noting the:

“general rule under United States patent law that no infringement occurs when a patented product is made and sold in another country. [But,] [t]here is an exception. Section 271(f) of the Patent Act, adopted in 1984, provides that infringement does occur when one “supplies . . . from the United States,” for “combination” abroad, a patented invention’s “components.” 35 U.S.C. 271(f)(1). This case concerns the applicability of section 271(f) to computer software first sent from the United States to a foreign manufacturer on a master disk, or by electronic transmission, then copied by the foreign recipient for installation on computers made and sold abroad.”


U.S. Federal Courts and Foreign Patents: Recent Decisions Affecting the Global Harmonization of Patent Law

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit recently held that a U.S. district court did not possess subject matter jurisdiction over the alleged infringement of a foreign patent. The case of Voda v. Coris Corp., concerned several patents owned by Dr. Jan Voda, a cardiologist who invented and patented a catheter for coronary angioplasty. Believing that Cordis Corp. infringed his U.S. patents, Voda brought suit in the Federal District court for the Western District of Oklahoma. Voda ultimately obtained a large damages award from the trial court based upon Cordis' willful infringement of his U.S. patent.  Voda also sought, however, to assert patents on the same invention that he had procured in Britain, Canada, France, and Germany.

There was no question that the court had jurisdiction to hear his claim of infringement of his U.S. patents.  The interlocutory appeal to the Federal Circuit, however, concerned whether his claims of foreign infringement could be adjudicated on a consolidated basis under the discretionary power of Federal courts to hear "supplemental" claims within the same "case of controversy" as those under the courts' original jurisdiction.  See 28 U.S.C. 1367 (the "supplemental jurisdiction statute").  Voda asserted that supplemental jurisdiction over the foreign patents was proper, and that exercising such jurisdiction would be fair and efficient for both litigants.