Brexit: The Spectre of Reciprocity Evoked Before German Courts

The following post has been written by Ennio Piovesani, PhD Candidate at the Universities of Turin and Cologne.

While negotiations for an agreement on the future partnership between the EU and the UK are pending, a spectre haunts Europe: reciprocity.

I. The Residual Role of the Requirement of Reciprocity

In some EU Member States, provisions of national-autonomous aliens law enshrine the requirement of reciprocity. Those provisions are largely superseded by exceptions established in international law, including international treaties (so-called “diplomatic reciprocity”). EU (primary and secondary) law establishes broad exceptions concerning EU citizens and legal persons based in the EU.

The Chinese villages win a lawsuit in China to repatriate a Mummified Buddha Statue hold by a Dutch Collector —What Role has Private International Law Played?

The Chinese villages win a lawsuit in China to repatriate a Mummified Buddha Statue hold by a Dutch Collector

—What Role has Private International Law Played?

By Zhengxin Huo, Professor of Law, China University of Polit’l Science and Law; Associate Member of International Academy of Comparative Law; Observer of the UNESCO 1970 Convention. Email: The author would like to thank Dr. Meng YU for valuable comments.

  1. Introduction

On 4 December 2020, the Sanming Intermediate People’s Court of China’s southeastern Province of Fujian rendered a judgment ordering the Dutch defendants to return a stolen 1,000-year-old Buddhist mummy, known as the statue of Zhanggong-zushi, to its original owner: two village committees in the Province within 30 days after the verdict comes into effect. [1]

The Gordian knot is cut – CJEU rules that the Posting of Workers Directive is applicable to road transport

Written by Fieke van Overbeeke[1]

On 1 December 2020 the Grand Chamber of the CJEU ruled in the FNV/Van Den Bosch case that the Posting of Workers Directive(PWD) is applicable to the highly mobile labour activities in the road transport sector (C-815/18). This judgment is in line with recently developed EU legislation (Directive 2020/1057), the conclusion of AG Bobek and more generally the ‘communis opinio’. This question however was far from an ‘acte clair’ or ‘acte éclairé’ and the Court’s decision provides an important piece of the puzzle in this difficult matter.


New Year, “New” ICC Arbitration Rules

The latest amendments to the International Chamber of Commerce (“ICC”) Arbitration Rules enter into force today, providing for a restyling to the 2012 rules (as earlier amended in 2017). The restyling aims to fine-tune the current rules by increasing flexibility, efficiency and transparency of the ICC arbitrations and taking in the practice that the International Court of Arbitration (“Court”) has meanwhile developed and consolidated.

This post briefly lists the main novelties.

HCCH Monthly Update: December 2020


On 4 December 2020, Mongolia was issued with a certificate confirming an affirmative vote in favour of its admission as a Member of the HCCH, following a six-month voting period which ended on 3 December 2020. Mongolia has now been invited to deposit an instrument of acceptance of the HCCH Statute to become a Member of the HCCH.

Meetings & Events

On 2 December 2020, the HCCH and the German Presidency of the Council of the European Union co-hosted the HCCH a|Bridged – Edition 2020, the focus of which was the Golden Anniversary of the HCCH 1970 Evidence Convention. More information about the event is available here.

Brexit Deal: What Happens To Judicial Cooperation in Civil Matters?

The Brexit deal (officially the [draft] EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement) was agreed upon, finally, on December 24. Relief in many quarters (except Universities participating in the Erasmus program, which is discontinued in the UK).

But private international lawyers worry what happened to judicial cooperation in civil matters: is there any agreement at all? Peter Bert provides a detailed analysis of all available documents and finds almost no mention, which leads him to think we are facing  a sectoral hard brexit. (Update: he provides a more comprehensive analysis in German here.) Other experts on social media do not know more. The Law Society also seems worried. There seems to be no new information on the UK application to join the Lugano Convention, let alone any of the other areas of judicial cooperation. Given the intense discussion on these matters since the day of the Brexit vote, this can hardly be an oversight, but on the other hand it seems strange that such a core issue remained unaddressed.