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Call for Papers for Conflict of Laws Subject Section at the Society of Legal Scholars Annual Conference 2018

SLS Conflict of Laws Section: Call for Papers and Panels for 2018 SLS Annual Conference at Queen Mary University of London   

This is a call for papers and panels for the Conflict of Laws section of the 2018 SLS Annual Conference to be held at Queen Mary University of London from Tuesday 4th September – Friday 7th September.  This year’s theme is ‘Law in Troubled Times’.

This section is new to the SLS Annual Conference, having been introduced as a trial section last year.

The Conflict of Laws section will meet in the second half of the conference on Thursday 6th and Friday 7th September.

We intend that the section will comprise four sessions of 90 minutes, with 3 or more papers being presented in each session, followed by discussion. At least three of the sessions will be organised by theme. We hope, if submissions allow, to be able to set aside the fourth session for papers by early career researchers (within 5-years of PhD or equivalent).

We welcome proposals from scholars in the field for papers or panels on any issue relating to any topical aspect of the Conflict of Laws (private international law), including but not limited to those addressing this year’s conference theme.

If you are interested in delivering a paper, please submit a proposed title and abstract of around 300 words. If you wish to propose a panel, please submit a document outlining the theme and rationale for the panel and the names of the proposed speakers (who must have agreed to participate), together with their proposed titles and abstracts.   

If you are also interested in delivering a paper or organising a panel, please submit your paper abstract or panel details by 11:59pm UK time on Monday 26th March.  All abstracts and panel details must be submitted through the Oxford Abstracts conference system which can be accessed using the following link – – and following the instructions (select ‘Track’ for the relevant subject section). If you experience any issues in using Oxford Abstracts, please contact

As the SLS is keen to ensure that as many members with good quality papers as possible are able to present, we discourage speakers from presenting more than one paper at the conference.  With this in mind, when you submit an abstract via Oxford Abstracts, you will be asked to note if you are also responding to calls for papers or panels from other sections.

We should also note that the SLS offers a Best Paper Prize which can be awarded to academics at any stage of their career and which is open to those presenting papers individually or within a panel.  The Prize carries a £250 monetary award and the winning paper will, subject to the usual process of review and publisher’s conditions, be published in Legal Studies.  To be eligible:

  • speakers must be fully paid-up members of the SLS;
  • papers must not exceed 12,000 words including footnotes (as counted in Word);
  • papers must be uploaded to the paperbank by 11.59pm UK time on Monday 27th August; and
  • papers must not have been published previously or have been accepted or be under consideration for publication.

We have also been asked to remind you that all speakers will need to book and pay to attend the conference and that they will need to register for the conference by the end of June in order to secure their place within the programme, though please do let me/us know if this is likely to pose any problems for you.  Booking information will be circulated in due course.

We note also that prospective speakers do not need to be members of the SLS or already signed up as members of a section to propose a paper.

We look forward to seeing you, as a speaker or delegate, at the Conflict of Laws session in London.

With best wishes,

Professor Andrew Dickinson, St Catherine’s College, University of Oxford

Dr Lorna Gillies, University of Strathclyde

Dr Máire Ní Shúilleabháin, University College Dublin (Co-Conveners)

New resource on New Zealand conflict of laws

The University of Otago recently set up an online platform dedicated to the conflict of laws in New Zealand:

The platform includes (1) a reference database of New Zealand scholarship on the conflict of laws, originally created by Professor Elsabe Schoeman at Auckland University, (2) a blog, and (3) links to relevant sources and materials.

Feedback and suggestions on the site are much appreciated. In particular, if you are aware of any relevant materials that are currently missing from the database, I would be very grateful if you could let me know.

Issue 2017.4 of Dutch Journal on Private International Law (NIPR)

The fourth issue of 2017 of the Dutch Journal on Private International Law, Nederlands Internationaal Privaatrecht, contains contributions on the likely response of developing countries to the Principles on Choice of Law in International Commercial Contracts 2015 developed by the Hague Conference on Private International Law, the interpretation of Article 9(3) of the Rome I Regulation by the Court of Justice of the European Union in the case Nikiforidis v. Republik Griechenland, the consequences of a ‘hard Brexit’ for the Family Law areas currently covered by EU regulations, and new developments in China’s recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments.

Matthijs ten Wolde & Kees de Visser, ‘Editorial’, p. 725-726.

Akinwumi Ogunranti, ‘The Hague Principles – a new dawn for developing countries?’, 727-746

This paper focuses on the likely response of developing countries to the Principles on Choice of Law in International Commercial Contracts 2015 (hereafter: Principles) developed by the Hague Conference on Private International Law. It makes two claims: that Article 2(4) of the Principles which permits parties to make an unrelated choice of law in international contracts, without generally protecting weaker parties, may not be favourably received by developing countries. Second, that Article 3 of the Principles on non-state law may also not be viewed favourably by developing countries because such provisions are always seen with distrust. In effect, this paper examines the likely reactions of developing countries to these pivotal provisions of the Principles. It then asks the question of whether a new dawn has arrived in private international legislations relating to choice of law or whether developing countries should be charting roads that lead to more places than just The Hague.

A.E. Oderkerk, ‘Buitenlandse voorrangsregels in de context van de Griekse crisis: geen rol voor het unierechtelijk beginsel van loyale samenwerking’, p. 747-758

In its ruling of 18 October 2016, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) answers a number of questions related to the interpretation of Article 9(3) of the Rome I Regulation, two of which confirm the current legal doctrine on this matter. Firstly, it is confirmed that Article 9 should be interpreted restrictively; no other overriding mandatory rules than those of the forum State or the State where the obligations in the agreement are (to be) fulfilled can be applied. Secondly, it is acknowledged that a national court may take into account other overriding mandatory rules as facts in so far as this is in accordance with the lex causae. In this ruling the Court departs from the doctrine with regard to the temporal scope of the Regulation, holding that the phrase ‘the conclusion of the agreement’ in Article 28 must be interpreted autonomously. The Court also clarifies under which circumstances a long-term contract concluded before 17 December 2009 may fall within the temporal scope of the Regulation. Finally, it is of interest that the Court takes the position that the principle of loyal cooperation has no influence on the (strict) interpretation of Article 9(3).

Just van der Hoeven, ‘Zachte conclusies over de betekenis van een harde Brexit voor het internationaal personen- en familierecht’, p. 759-771

This article gives an overview of the consequences of a ‘hard Brexit’ for the Family Law areas currently covered by EU regulations. It examines the applicability of various international instruments in these areas, and gives a brief answer to the question how the current EU regulations differ from these international instruments.

Yahan Wang, ‘A turning point of reciprocity in China’s recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments: a study of the Kolmar case’, p. 772-789

In the case of Kolmar Group AG v. Jiangsu Textile Co. Ltd. (the Kolmar case), a Chinese court has for the first time recognized and enforced a foreign civil judgment based on reciprocity. This article regards this case as a turning point of reciprocity in China’s recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments. Before 2016, the reliance on treaty-based and factual reciprocity led to some defects in China’s judicial practice, which could be attributed to the strict standards of reciprocity and deficient judicial interpretations. Through the Belt and Road initiative, China is seeking to improve international transactions between China and foreign countries – including some EU countries. In line with this development, the Chinese Supreme People’s Court seems to be transforming the strict criteria of reciprocity, adopting presumed reciprocity in its judicial practice. This article argues that execution of the Belt and Road initiative, establishing an efficient court reporting system and participating in international conventions are essential to China’s judicial reform.