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On the way towards a representative action for the protection of the collective interests of consumers in the EU

Today, the EU Commission presented its long awaited proposal for a directive on representative actions for the protection of the collective interests of consumers (COM (2018) 184/3). The proposal and other related documents are available here. The directive shall appply to domestic and cross-border infringements (Article 2(1), 2nd sentence). With regard to the latter group of cases, the directive “is without prejudice to the Union rules on private international law, in particular rules related to court jurisdiction and applicable law” (Article 2(3)). However, Article 16 sets out some rules relevant for cross-border representative actions. It ensures the mutual recognition of the legal standing of qualified entities designated in advance in one Member State to seek representative action in another Member State. Moreover, it enables qualified entities from different Member States to act jointly within a single representative action in front of a single forum competent under relevant Union and national rules. The pertinent provision reads as follows:

Article 16
Cross-border representative actions

1. Member States shall take the measures necessary to ensure that any qualified entity designated in advance in one Member State in accordance with Article 4(1) may apply to the courts or administrative authorities of another Member State upon the presentation of the publicly available list referred to in that Article. The courts or administrative authorities shall accept this list as proof of the legal standing of the qualified entity without prejudice to their right to examine whether the purpose of the qualified entity justifies its taking action in a specific case.

2. Member States shall ensure that where the infringement affects or is likely to affect consumers from different Member States the representative action may be brought to the competent court or administrative authority of a Member State by several qualified entities from different Member States, acting jointly or represented by a single qualified entity, for the protection of the collective interest of consumers from different Member States.

3. For the purposes of cross-border representative actions, and without prejudice to the rights granted to other entities under national legislation, the Member States shall communicate to the Commission the list of qualified entities designated in advance. Member States shall inform the Commission of the name and purpose of these qualified entities. The Commission shall make this information publicly available and keep it up to date.

4. If a Member State or the Commission raises concerns regarding the compliance by a qualified entity with the criteria laid down in Article 4(1), the Member State that designated that entity shall investigate the concerns and, where appropriate, revoke the designation if one or more of the criteria are not complied with.”

Call for Papers: Second German Conference for Young Scholars in PIL

Building on the success of the first German Conference for Young Scholars in PIL, which took place almost exactly one year ago at the University of Bonn, a second conference for young scholars in private international law will be held on 4 and 5 April 2019 at the University of Würzburg. Young scholars are invited to submit proposals for presentations in German or English that engage with the conference theme ‘IPR zwischen Tradition und Innovation – Private International Law between Tradition and Innovation’.

Further information on possible approaches to the conference theme can be found in the official Call for Papers; contributions may discuss any aspect of private international law relating to the theme, including questions of international jurisdiction, choice of law, recognition and enforcement, international arbitration, and loi uniforme. Submissions describing the proposed 30-minute talk in no more than 800 words can be made until 1 July 2018. While the conference language will be German, individual submissions may be made (and presented) in German or English.

All accepted contributions will be published in a conference volume.

Constitutional and Treaty-based Review of Foreign Law – Studies in Private International Law

A new book co-edited by Gustavo Cerqueira and Nicolas Nord has been published:

Contrôle de constitutionnalité et de conventionnalité du droit étranger – Études de droit international privé (Amérique Latine – États-Unis – Europe), Société de législation comparée, Paris, 2017, 285 p.

The application of foreign law is increasingly frequent in the settlement of international disputes, both before the judge and the arbitrator. At the same time, the impact of constitutional and treaty standards on private law is a widespread phenomenon. The question of a dual constitutional and treaty-based review of foreing law by the forum seized inevitably arises. It could be carried out in the light of the hierarchy of the standards of the system of the lex causae, the hierarchy of the forum or even the hierarchy of the State in which the judgment given is intended to be enforced. The operation of the classic mechanisms of private international law and arbitration law is put to the test, both in terms of applicable law and the international effectiveness of decisions.

Because of its innovative nature, this book updates the essential issues of the subject. The national reports show the different approaches to the question of double-checking in Europe (Germany, France, Italy and Switzerland), North America (United States) and Latin America (Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay). More generally, prolegomena contextualize the places and forms of application of foreign law subject to a constitutional and treaty-based review, and explore the figure of otherness in these contextes.

The debates raised during the round tables of the colloquium that gave rise to this book, which was held at the Grand Chamber of the Court of Cassation on 23 September 2016, revealed not only differences of assessment, but also certain convergences worthy of an overall vision of the problem. More than a juxtaposition of systems, the debates provided an opportunity to explore new avenues for resolution. Some of them seek to establish an international cooperation in this area. At a time when we are discussing the adoption of a supranational instrument aimed at strengthening the system for determining and applying foreign law and judicial cooperation in the field of information on the law applicable within the European Union, this book is intended to be the starting point for new reflections.


Table of Contents

Dominique HASCHER

Gustavo CERQUEIRA et Nicolas NORD

Lieux et formes d’application du droit étranger soumis à un contrôle de constitutionnalité et de conventionnalité
Jean-Sylvestre BERGÉ

Contrôle de constitutionnalité, contrôle de conventionnalité, et la figure de l’altérité


Le conflit hiérarchique étranger de normes devant le juge judiciaire français. Application à la constitutionnalité et à la conventionnalité de la loi étrangère

Le droit étranger à l’épreuve de la Constitution française et des conventions internationales liant l’ordre juridique français


Amérique latine : Argentine-Uruguay, Brésil
Les contrôles de constitutionnalité et de conventionnalité du droit étranger
au regard de l’ordre juridique de l’État d’origine – Perspectives argentines et

Les contrôles de constitutionnalité et de conventionnalité du droit étranger en Argentine et en Uruguay
Fernanda MUNSCHY

La conformité du droit étranger à l’ordre constitutionnel et conventionnel de l’État d’origine – Fondements et défis du double contrôle au Brésil

La place de la Constitution brésilienne et des conventions liant le Brésil dans le système de contrôle du droit étranger

Amérique du nord : États-Unis d’Amérique

Constitutional and Treaty-based review of foreign law : comparative and U.S. perspectives
Alejandro M. GARRO

Europe : Allemagne-Suisse, Italie
Le droit étranger face à la hiérarchie des normes en droit international privé allemand et suisse
Patrick KINSCH

Le juge italien face au contrôle de constitutionnalité et de conventionnalité du droit étranger

Le droit étranger à l’épreuve des contrôles de constitutionnalité et de conventionnalité – Rapport de synthèse