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Chinese Case Law Collection Adds to the CISG’s Jurisconsultorium: Reflections on the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods and its Domestic Implementations

Dr Benjamin Hayward*

The United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (‘CISG’), currently adopted by 95 States, is a treaty intended to harmonise the laws governing cross-border goods trade: and thereby promote trade itself.  So much is made clear in its Preamble:

The States Parties to this Convention, …

Being of the opinion that the adoption of uniform rules which govern contracts for the international sale of goods and take into account the different social, economic and legal systems would contribute to the removal of legal barriers in international trade and promote the development of international trade,

Have agreed as follows: …

Art. 7(1) CISG’s instruction for interpreters to have regard ‘to its international character and to the need to promote uniformity in its application and the observance of good faith in international trade’ establishes a requirement of autonomous interpretation.  This, in turn, facilitates the CISG’s global jurisconsultorium: whereby courts, arbitrators, lawyers, academics, and other interested stakeholders can influence and receive influence in relation to the CISG’s uniform interpretation.  A recent publication edited by Peng Guo, Haicong Zuo and Shu Zhang, titled Selected Chinese Cases on the UN Sales Convention (CISG) Vol 1, makes an important contribution to this interpretative framework: presenting abstracts and commentaries addressing 48 Chinese CISG cases spanning 1993 to 2005, that may previously have been less accessible to wider international audiences.

A review of this case law collection discloses an interesting phenomenon affecting the CISG’s Chinese application: at least, until very recently.  Pursuant to Art. 142(2) General Principles of the Civil Law (which was effective in the People’s Republic of China until repealed as of 1 January 2021):

[I]f any international treaty concluded or acceded to by the People’s Republic of China contains provisions differing from those in the civil laws of the People’s Republic of China, the provisions of the international treaty shall apply, unless the provisions are ones on which the People’s Republic of China has announced reservations.

(Translation via Jie Luo.)

Numerous contributions to Guo, Zuo and Zhang’s volume – including by Wang, Guo and Zhang; Luo; Luo again; Wang; and Xu and Li – observe that some Chinese courts have interpreted this provision to require the CISG’s application only where it is inconsistent with non-harmonised Chinese law.  Whilst this approach to the CISG’s application is noteworthy for its inconsistency with international understandings of the treaty, it is arguably more noteworthy for highlighting that national law itself is often ‘where the relationship between the convention and national law is regulated’.[1]  Scholarship has given much attention to the success (or otherwise) of Art. 7(1) CISG in securing the treaty’s autonomous interpretation.  However, machinery provisions giving the CISG local effect in any given legal system (themselves being matters of ‘local legislative judgment’) have an apparently-underappreciated role to play, too.

Wang’s contribution quotes Han as writing that the Chinese inconsistency concept’s effective implementation of a reverse burden of proof in establishing the CISG’s application is a situation that ‘I am afraid … is unique in the world’.  On the contrary, and not unlike China’s former Art. 142(2) General Principles of the Civil Law, Australia’s CISG implementing Acts still ostensibly frame the treaty’s local application in terms of inconsistency.  The Sale of Goods (Vienna Convention) Act 1986 (NSW) s 6 is representative of provisions found across the Australian state and territory jurisdictions: ‘[t]he provisions of the Convention prevail over any other law in force in New South Wales to the extent of any inconsistency’.  Case law from Victoria and from Western Australia has read those jurisdictions’ equivalent inconsistency provisions as implying the CISG’s piecemeal application, only where particular provisions are inconsistent with local law.  Looking even further afield, Australia’s own use of the inconsistency device is far from unique.  Singaporean and Canadian legislation make use of the inconsistency concept, as does Hong Kong’s recently-promulgated CISG Ordinance.  In the latter case, the statutory interpretation risks associated with the adoption of an inconsistency provision were drawn to the Hong Kong Department of Justice’s attention.  However, Australia’s statutory model prevailed, perhaps in part because it has previously been put forward as a model for Commonwealth jurisdictions looking to implement the CISG.

At the risk of being slightly controversial, at least some scholarship addressing the failings of national CISG interpretations may have been asking the wrong question: or at least, missing an important additional question.  Instead of asking why any given court has failed to apply and respect Art. 7(1) CISG’s interpretative directive, we might instead (or also) usefully ask whether that given State’s CISG implementation legislation has been drafted so as to invite the local law comparisons that have then been made.  Some responsibility for problematic CISG interpretations might lie with the legislature, in addition to the judiciary.

In Australia, the Playcorp decision – Victoria’s inconsistency case referred to above – has been taken by subsequent cases in both the Federal Court and in the Full Federal Court of Australia as authority for the proposition that Art. 35 CISG’s conformity requirements equate to the implied terms contained in the non-harmonised Goods Act 1958 (Vic) s 19.  The Federal Court’s first-instance decision was itself then cited in New South Wales for that same proposition: leading to a problematic CISG interpretation that is now entrenched under multiple layers of precedent.  Whilst the equation being made here is rightly criticised in itself, it has Australia’s inconsistency provisions – in addition to our courts’ failures to apply Art. 7(1) CISG – resting at its core.

Guo, Zuo and Zhang’s Selected Chinese Cases on the UN Sales Convention (CISG) Vol 1 thereby makes a valuable contribution to the Convention’s jurisconsultorium: first, by virtue of its very existence, but secondly, by its additional disclosure of China’s former inconsistency struggles to the wider scholarly community.

[1] Bruno Zeller, ‘The CISG in Australasia: An Overview’ in Franco Ferrari (ed), Quo Vadis CISG?  Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (Bruylant, 2005) 293, 299.

* Senior Lecturer, Department of Business Law and Taxation, Monash Business School

Twitter: @LawGuyPI

International Trade and International Commercial Law research group: @MonashITICL

Disclosure: The author is a confirmed contributor to the forthcoming Selected Chinese Cases on the UN Sales Convention (CISG) Vol 3.

Special Commission on the Hague Adults Convention: Five Takeaways from its First Meeting

This post was written by Pietro Franzina and Thalia Kruger, and is being published simultaneously on Conflictoflaws.net and on the EAPIL blog.

The delegations of more than thirty Member States of the Hague Conference on Private International Law attended the first meeting of the Special Commission charged with reviewing the operation of the Hague Hague Convention of 13 January 2000 on the international protection of adults of 13 January 2000 on the international protection of adults. The meeting took place in The Hague and online from 9 to 11 November 2022 (for a presentation of the meeting, see this post on Conflictsoflaw.net and this one on the EAPIL blog). A dozen organisations, governmental and non-governmental (including the Council of the Notariats of the European Union, the Groupe Européen de Droit International Privé and the European Association of Private International Law), were also in attendance.

The discussion covered a broad range of topics, leading to the conclusions and recommendations that can be found on the website of the Hague Conference. The main takeaways from the meeting, as the authors of this post see them, are as follows.

The Hague Adults Convention Works Well in Practice

To begin with, the Special Commission affirmed that the Convention works well in practice. No major difficulties have been reported either by central authorities instituted under the Convention itself or by practitioners.

Doubts occasionally appear with respect to some provisions. Article 22 for example provides that measures of protection taken by the authorities of a Contracting State “shall be recognised by operation of law in all other Contracting States”, unless a ground for refusal among those listed in the same provisions arises. A declaration of enforceability, as stipulated in Article 25, is only necessary where measures “require enforcement” in a Contracting State other than the State of origin.

Apparently, some authorities and private entities (e.g., banks) are reluctant to give effect to measures of protection that clearly do not require enforcement, such as a judicial measure under which a person is appointed to assist and represent the adult, unless that measure has been declared enforceable in the State where the powers of the appointed person are relied upon. The Special Commission’s conclusions and recommendations address some of these hesitations, so that they should now prove easier to overcome. Regarding exequatur, see para. 33, noting that “measures for the protection of an adult only exceptionally require enforcement under Article 25”, adding that this may occur, for instance, “where a decision is taken by a competent authority to place the adult in an establishment or to authorise a specific intervention by health care practitioners or medical staff”, such as tests or treatments. Other doubts are dealt with in the practical handbook prepared by the Working Group created within the Hague Conference in view of the meeting of the Special Commission. The draft handbook (first version publicly available), which the Special Commission has approved “in principle”, will be reviewed in the coming weeks in light of the exchanges that occurred at the meeting, and submitted to the Council on the General Affairs and Policy of the Conference for endorsement in March 2023).

Situations Exist in the Field of Adults’ Protection that Are Not (Fully) Regulated by the Convention 

The Convention deals with measures of protection taken by judicial and administrative authorities, and with powers of representation conferred by an adult, either by contract or by a unilateral act, in contemplation of incapacity. By contrast, nothing is said in the Convention concerning ex lege powers of representation. These are powers of representation that the law of some States (Germany, Austria and Switzerland, for example) confers on the spouse of the adult or a close relative or family member, for the purpose of protecting the adult. Their operation is generally confined to situations for which no measures have been taken and no powers of representation have been conferred by the adult.

The Special Commission acknowledged that ex lege powers of representation fall under the general scope of the Convention, but noted that no provision is found in the Convention that deals specifically with such powers. In practice, ex lege powers of representation may be the subject of cooperation between the authorities of Contracting Parties (notably as provided for under Chapter V), but, where the issue arises of the existence, the extent and the exercise of such powers, the courts and other authorities of Contracting States will rely on their own law, including, where appropriate, their conflict-of-laws rules.

There is yet another gap that the Special Commission discussed. The Commission observed that instructions given and wishes made by an adult in anticipation of a future impairment of their personal faculties (e.g., in the form of advance directives), similarly fall within the general scope of the Convention and are subject, as such, to the cooperation provisions in Chapter V. Whether or not a particular anticipatory act constitutes a power of representation for the purposes of Articles 15 and 16, on powers of representation conferred by the adult, is to be determined on a case-by-case basis. Some unilateral acts plainly come within the purview of Articles 15 and 16, as they actually include a conferral of powers on other persons. Others do not, and may accordingly be dealt with by each Contracting State in conformity with their own law.

States Do Not Currently See an Interest in Modifying the Convention

The question has been raised in preparation of the Special Commission whether the Convention ought to be amended, namely by a protocol to be negotiated and adopted in the framework of the Hague Conference on Private International Law. In principle, a protocol would have provided the States with the opportunity to fill the gaps described above, and address other concerns. However, under international law only those Contracting States that ratify the protocol would be bound by the modifications.

The Special Commission witnessed that, at this stage, no State appears to see an amendment as necessary.

Only one issue remains to be decided in this respect, namely whether the Convention should be modified in such a way as to include a REIO clause, that is, a clause aimed at enabling organisations of regional economic integration, such as the European Union, to join the Convention in their own right. The matter will be discussed at the Council on the General Affairs and Policy of the Conference of March 2023.

The decision lies, in fact, in the hands of the Union and its Member States, as this is currently the only Regional Economic Integration Organisation concerned by such a clause. Their decision will likely be affected by the approach that should be taken in the coming weeks concerning the proposal for a regulation on the protection of adults that the Commission is expected to present in the first half of 2023.

Efforts Should Now Be Deployed Towards Increasing the Number of Contracting Parties

The main problem with the Convention lies in the fact that only relatively few States (fourteen, to be precise) have joined it, so far. Several States stressed the importance of further promoting ratification of, or accession to, the Convention.

It is worth emphasising in this respect that the Hague Adults Convention builds, to a very large extent, on cooperation between Contracting States. This means that a State cannot fully benefit from the advantages of the Convention by simply copying the rules of the Convention into its own legislation, or by relying on such rules on grounds of judicial discretion (as it occurs in the Netherlands and to a large extent in England and Wales), but should rather become a party to it.

Various States expressed an interest in the Convention. The responses to the questionnaires circulated in preparation of the meeting of the Special Commission suggest that at least five States are actively contemplating ratification (Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico and Sweden), and that others have considered ratification (Slovakia) or are considering it (Argentina). For its part, Malta signed the Convention on the occasion of the meeting of the Special Commission, and will likely ratify it in the not too distant future.

Tools to Enhance the Successful Operation of the Convention

Some of the practitioners present drew the participants’ attention to practical difficulties in the cross-border protection of adults. To minimise practical difficulties, the Permanent Bureau, in some instances together with the Working Group on the Adults Convention, developed a number of tools.

The first is an extensive country profile, to be completed by Contracting States and made available on the website of the Hague Conference. This profile includes various matters of national law, such as names and content of measures of protection, jurisdiction of courts or other authorities to issue these measures, transfer of jurisdiction, and names, forms and extent of powers of representation.

The second is a toolkit on powers of representation, which contains detailed information about the national laws of States that provided responses, on for instance who can be granted powers of representation, how this granting must take place, and the permitted extent of the representation.

Concluding remarks

All in all, the issue of the cross-border protection of Adults has rightly gained attention over the past ten years. While States amend their domestic legislation to be in conformity with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, they seem to be increasingly aware of the importance of ensuring cross-border continuity. This includes continuity of measures of protection issued by authorities such as courts, as well as the powers of representation granted by adults themselves. These matters of private international law require dialogue on the international and European Union level, more States to join the Convention, and tools to assist practice.

Report from the 2022 Hague Academy Summer Course in PIL

Written by Martina Ticic, University of Rijeka, Faculty of Law; Croatian Science Foundation (HRZZ) doctoral student

For anyone interested in the area of private international law, the Hague Academy of International Law and its Summer Courses on Private International Law have been one of the must-do’s ever since the Academy opened its doors in 1923. Each year, hundreds of students, academics and practitioners attend the courses given by renowned lecturers, while the Academy also offers multiple social and embassy visits, an access to the famous Peace Palace Library, as well as ample opportunities for discussion between the attendees who all come from different backgrounds. It seems that this report comes in quite timely as the programme for the 2023 Summer Course has just been announced.

The 2022 edition once again proved the immense value that the Summer Courses offer. From 1 to 19 August, the Academy hosted the attendees of over 60 different nationalities, providing them with lectures and seminars on various relevant topics, some time for research and visits to many of the Hague’s international organisations, but also an opportunity for exchange of ideas, networking and creating friendships. As such, the Academy was truly a place to be this summer for everyone wanting to learn more on the matters of private international law, as well as to connect with others who share the same or similar interests.

After the welcome speech by prof. Jean-Marc Thouvenin, Secretary-General of the Academy, this year’s inaugural lecture was given by Dominique Hascher, judge at the Supreme Judicial Court of France. Judge Hascher opened the Summer Courses with the lecture on ‘The Role of International Law in the Review of Awards’.

The General Course was given by Louis d’Avout, a professor of private international law at the Université Paris II Panthéon-Assas. Titled ‘Towards Worldwide Law Consistency’, the course provided the attendees with an overview of the core idea on which the discipline of conflict of laws was built upon: the coherence of rules of individual conduct on the global level. By analysing the sole definition of private international law, coordination mechanisms, the concept of legal relativity, connecting rules and factors, transnational cooperation and vertical disciplines in the regional context, prof. d’Avout offered a holistic view on the discipline of private international law itself, making the course a necessity for anyone wishing to excel in this area of law, either as a practitioner or as an academic. Through his lecture, prof. d’Avout invited all of the participants, particularly the younger generation of lawyers, to work towards the global coherence of law, as the desirable state of the system of law in general is that of a ‘social construction’ which guarantees predictability and security for its subjects that are faced with various sources of law and modes of conflict resolution. The course lasted for two weeks, which meant that there was plenty of time for participants to acquaint themselves with the matter at hand. Two of the seminars on the chosen topics were also held in the course of the two weeks.

Prof. Arnaud Nuyts, from the Université Libre de Bruxelles, held a Special Course on ‘The Forum for Cyber-Torts’, which is an excellent topic in today’s day and age. He highlighted the diversity of civil cyber-torts, as well as the challenges of locating the torts that are committed on-line. The course also touched particularly upon European legal framework and the guiding principles of its case law, while also analysing the ‘trichotomy’ of the forum for cyber-torts: the forum for the place of the causal event, the forum for the place of accessibility of the website and the forum for the centre of interests of the victim.

Prof. Ulla Liukkunen, from the University of Helsinki, presented her Special Course on ‘Mandatory Rules in International Labour Law’, another important topic considering the rising number of cross-border workers. As labour law is often connected to domestic rules, it is interesting to observe more closely the relationship between labour law and private international law. Throughout the course, the special nature of cross-border employment was acknowledged and the participants were acquainted with the concepts of triangular contracts, weaker-party protection, International Labour Organisation, the ‘decent work’ objective, etc. Prof. Liukkunen particularly highlighted the pluralism of regulatory sources in international labour law, and pointed to the fact that labour rights-based approach to decent work in developing regulatory private international law would advance the necessary protection for workers and ensure decent work for all.

Prof. Tiong Min Yeo, from the Singapore Management University, held a Special Course titled ‘Common Law, Equity, and Statute: Effect of Juridical Sources on Choice of Law Methodology’. The course offered insight into the topic of choice of law methodology and the analysis that must be done in order to select the applicable law rules. It presented three juridical sources in hierarchy: statute, equity and common law. The analysis of various case law served to explain the effects that these sources have on the choice of law methodology.

Prof. Kermit Roosevelt III, from the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School, presented the topic of ‘The Third Restatement of Conflict of Laws’. Throughout this Special Course, the history of American choice of law was examined so as to better understand the context of the Third Restatement of Conflict of Laws, a current project of the American Law Institute. From the beginnings of American choice of law characterised by territorialist approach in the First Restatement and the Second Restatement as a ‘transitional document’, to the goals and framework of the Third Restatement, the course portrayed the full picture of the American choice of law rules. One of the core ideas that prof. Roosevelt developed throughout the course is that there are two different sets of values that a choice of law system should promote: so-called ‘right answer’ values and ‘systemic’ values. While the former one relates to selecting the law of the state with the best claim to regulatory authority, the latter relates to the certainty, predictability, uniformity and ease of application of the system.

Prof. João Bosco Lee, from the Universidade Positivo Brazil, presented an arbitration-related topic titled ‘The Application of International Conventions by Arbitrators in International Trade Disputes’. On the one hand, this Special Course examined the application of international conventions pertaining to the law applicable to the merits of the dispute in international commercial arbitration, either according to the choice of the parties or by the effect of determination of the lex cause by the arbitrator(s). On the other hand, the participants got the chance to study the cases in which international conventions could intervene in the resolution of international commercial arbitration without being the applicable law on the merits.

Prof. Marco Frigessi di Rattalma, from the Brescia University, held a Special Course on the ‘New Trends in the Private International Law of Insurance Contracts’. By focusing on the specific cases that emerged in the recent years in the field of private insurance, the attendees of the course were immersed in diversity of topics relating to jurisdiction and applicable law in the matters of insurance contracts, the specific types of insurance contracts, compulsory insurance against civil liability in respect of the use of motor vehicles, as well as the impact of fundamental rights on such matters. Prof. Frigessi di Rattalma posed various important questions during his analysis of the relevant issues, e.g. what can characterise as an insurance contract; whether EU law may permit derogation from the equal treatment of men and women provided by insurance contracts in accordance with the applicable national law to persist indefinitely; what exactly falls under the notion of ‘use of vehicles’ in regards to Directive 2009/103 on the insurance against civil liability in respect of the use of motor vehicles; etc.

Additionally, special lectures were given in tribute to the late Professor Emmanuel Gaillard who was originally meant to hold the General Course at the 2022 Summer Courses. These lectures were held by Yas Banifatemi, Diego P. Fernandez Arroyo, Dominique Hascher, Horatia Muir Watt and Luca Radicati di Brozolo respectively, each of them focusing on a particular issue related to arbitration, the topic most dear to prof. Gaillard, as well as familiarising the attendees with the persona of Emmanuel Gaillard.

In the afternoons, participants could attend seminars and some of the lectures on specific topics which were organised each week, e.g. Lecture on the Permanent Court of Arbitration by Brooks Daly, Lecture on the use of the Library by Candice Alihusain, Lecture on the International Court of Justice by Florence Zaoui, Lecture on ‘Fighting Human Trafficking: the Dutch Approach’ by Warner ten Kate, Lecture on the Hague Conference on Private International Law by Philippe Lortie, and ‘International Commercial Arbitration: the Role of Private International Law in the Lifespan of an Arbitral Procedure’ by Gerard Meijer and Camilla Perera-de Wit. For those eager to learn more, two extra short courses were held in addition: one on the law of the European Union held in the span of the first week and given by dr. Thomas Vandamme, and the other on the matters of Comparative Law, held on Saturday of the first week and given by dr. Brooke Marshall.

The participants were also given an opportunity of visiting some of the international organisations that are stationed in the Hague. For this year’s session, the Academy planned visits to the Hague Conference on Private International Law, the International Criminal Court, the Kosovo Specialist Chambers, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone. By visiting various organisations that deal with such variety of matters, the attendees got a truly immersive experience. Besides the international organisations, visits to multiple embassies were organised, so the participants also got the feel of diplomacy. Various other activities were also held, e.g. a reception at the City Hall, Beach Party, Grotius Peace Palace Library Tour and a visit of the extraordinary Peace Palace itself.

During the Courses, the most advanced attendees had the opportunity to attend the Directed Studies sessions which delved deep into many intricate questions of private international law. An even smaller fraction of those students in the end got the chance to participate in the prestigious Diploma Exam of the Academy. In this year’s Private International Law session, one Diploma by the Academy was awarded to Ms. Madeleine Elisabeth Petersen Weiner.

As it is obvious from the overview presented above, the 2022 Summer Courses on Private International Law were, as always, a huge success. Over 200 participants from all over the world and from various professional backgrounds got the experience of a lifetime thanks to the Academy, its Summer Courses and all the additional benefits that come with it. For anyone still doubting whether the Summer Courses, or perhaps the newer addition of the Winter Courses, are worth to attend, this post can serve as a clear answer and affirmative one at that.

News

One Private International Law Article published in the First Issue of the International and Comparative Law Quarterly for 2023

One recent article on private international law was published today in International and Comparative Law Quarterly:

A Chong, “Characterisation and Choice of Law for Knowing Receipt”

Knowing receipt requires the satisfaction of disparate elements under English domestic law. Its characterisation under domestic law is also unsettled. These in turn affect the issues of characterisation and choice of law at the private international law level, as knowing receipt sits at the intersection of the laws of equity, restitution, wrongs and property. This article argues that under the common law knowing receipt ought to be considered as sui generis for choice of law purposes and governed by the law of closest connection to the claim. Where the Rome II Regulation applies, knowing receipt fits better within the tort rather than unjust enrichment category and the escape clause in Article 4(3) of the Regulation ought to apply.

Conference on PIL Aspects of the Digital Market Act (DMA) and the Digital Services Act (DSA)

On Friday, January 20, 2023, the University of Strasbourg (France) will host a conference on the PIL aspects of the Digital Market Act (DMA) and the Digital Services Act (DSA), organized by Etienne Farnoux, Nicolas Gillet, Kansu Okyay and Delphine Porcheron.

The conference is structured in two parts. The first will be dedicated to general presentation of the new regulations. The second will address specific topics in private international law.

Full Programme:

14h00 : Propos Introductif
Delphine Porcheron, Maître de conférences à l’Université de Strasbourg – CDPF
et Etienne Farnoux, Professeur à l’Université de Strasbourg – DRES

1re session – Présentation générale des règlements et étude du conflit de lois
Présidence : Delphine Porcheron, Maître de conférences à l’Université de Strasbourg – CDPF

14h10 : Présentation du règlement DMA
Frédérique Berrod, Professeure à Sciences Po Strasbourg – CEIE

14h30 : Présentation du règlement DSA
Stéphanie Carre, Maître de conférences HDR à l’Université de Strasbourg – CEIPI

14h50 : Scope of the regulations and conflicts of laws
Tobias Lutzi, Professeur à l’Université de Augsburg

15h10 : Questions et échange avec la salle

15h30 : Pause

2e session – Les règlements et le contentieux
Présidence : Etienne Farnoux, Professeur à l’Université de Strasbourg – DRES

16h00 : Le contentieux devant les juridictions étatiques
Yves El Hage, Maître de conférences à l’Université Lyon 3 – CREDIP

16h20 : Les modes extrajudiciaires de règlement des litiges
Nurten Kansu Okyay, Maître de conférences contractuelle à l’Université de Strasbourg – CEIE

16h50 : Conclusions
Delphine Porcheron, Maître de conférences à l’Université de Strasbourg – CDPF
Etienne Farnoux, Professeur à l’Université de Strasbourg – DRES

17h00 : Clôture

The conference will be held both in site and online. The full program and details about the location and registration can be found here.

Conference on the evaluation of the European Succession Regulation, 20 January 2023

Colleagues at the University of Heidelberg are organising this conference on 20 Januari 2023 at the

Auditorium of the Neue Universität at Heidelberg University, Universitätsplatz 1, 69117 Heidelberg.

Simultaneous interpretation will be provided in German, English and French.

Background:

The European Succession Regulation (Reg. 650/12) is due for evaluation ten years after its entry into force in August 2015 (Art. 82 Reg. 650/12).

The European Commission must submit its report on the application of the European Succession Regulation by 18 August 2025.

The upcoming evaluation gives an opportunity to reflect on various questions in light of the practical experience gained so far. Although the European Succession Regulation has proven successful in practice, there are many open questions which the ever-growing body of European Court of Justice case-law has not yet answered. These questions fuel a lively debate, both internationally and within the Member States. Hence, the outcome of the evaluation process is not predictable and the German view is only one of many that will contribute to the political decision-making process. Contrasting national views must be reconciled.

The first findings of a pan-European study on the experiences and expectations of legal practice with regard to Reg. 650/12 are now available. The study (MAPE Successions) is carried out by the Council of the Notariats of the European Union (C.N.U.E.) with the cooperation of the German Federal Chamber of Notaries (Bundesnotarkammer).

This study is an opportunity to map out the future objectives of the discussion on the evaluation of Reg. 650/12 from the perspective of academia and legal practice. At the same time, the conference provides a broad circle of legal practitioners with the opportunity to feed their experiences and insights into the reform process and discuss with renowned stakeholders.

Participation is free, but registration is required by 5 January 2023: notareg@igr.uni-heidelberg.de

Programme:

1 p.m. Welcome reception with lunchtime snack

2.15 p.m. Welcoming address and introduction

Prof. Dr. Christian Baldus, Heidelberg

2.30 p.m. The European Succession Regulation in the System of European Private International and Procedural Law: More “Brussels-Rome 0” after the Revision?

Prof. Dr. Martin Gebauer, Tübingen, Judge at the Higher Regional Court of Stuttgart

3.15 p.m. Presentation of the MAPE Successions study: What do practitioners expect from the revision of the European Succession Regulation?

Notary Christian Schall, LL.M. (Edinburgh), Marktheidenfeld

4 p.m. Questions and discussion

4.15 p.m. Coffee break

4.45 p.m. The European Succession Regulation in German judicial practice

Dr. Carl-Friedrich Nordmeier, Judge at the Regional Court of Frankfurt

5.30 p.m. Panel discussion followed by questions from the audience: European experiences with the application of the European Succession Regulation

Presenter: Notary Dr. Thomas Raff, Ludwigshafen

France, Maître de conférences HDR Paul Klötgen, Nancy

Luxembourg, Notary Anja Holtz, Esch-sur-Alzette

Poland, Notary Tomasz Kot, Krakow, Vice President of the Polish Chamber of Notaries (Krajowa Rada Notarialna)

Portugal, Notary Prof. Sofia Henriques, Lisbon

Sweden, Attorney Ulf Bergquist, Stockholm

Spain, Notary Dr. Isidoro Calvo Vidal, A Coruña

7 p.m.Closing remarks

Notary Dr. Andrea Stutz, Konstanz, Vice President of the Chamber of Notaries of Baden-Württemberg

7.15 p.m. End of conference