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Back to the Future – (Re-)Introducing the Principle of Ubiquity for Business-related Human Rights Claims

On 11 September 2020, the European Parliament’s Committee on Legal Affairs presented a draft report with recommendations to the Commission on corporate due diligence and corporate accountability. This report has already triggered first online comments by Geert van Calster and Giesela Rühl; the present contribution aims both at joining and at broadening this debate. The draft report consists of three proposals: first, a directive containing substantive rules on corporate due diligence and corporate accountability; secondly, amendments to the Brussels Ibis Regulation that are designed to grant claimants from third states access to justice in the EU Member States; and thirdly, an amendment to the Rome II Regulation on the law applicable to non-contractual obligations. The latter measure would introduce a new Art. 6a Rome II, which codifies the so-called principle of ubiquity for business-related human rights claims, i.e. that plaintiffs are given the right to choose between various laws in force at places with which the tort in question is closely connected. While the basic conflicts rule remains the place of damage (lex loci damni) under Art. 4(1) Rome II, Art. 6a of the Rome II-draft will allow plaintiffs to opt for the law of the country in which the event giving rise to the damage occurred (the place of action or lex loci delicti commissi in the narrow sense), the law of the country in which the parent company has its domicile, or, where it does not have a domicile in a Member State, the law of the country where it operates.

Chinese Court Holds Arbitral Award by Foreign Arbitration Institutions in China Enforceable

(This is another version of views for the recent Chinese case on international commercial arbitration provided by Chen Zhi, a PhD candidate in the University of Macau, Macau, PRC)

On 6 August 2020, Guangzhou People’s Intermediate Court (“Guangzhou court”) handed down a ruling on a rare case concerning the enforcement of an award rendered by International Commercial Court of Arbitration (“ICC”) in China,[1] which have given rise to heated debate by the legal community in China. This case was thought to be of great significance by many commentators because it could open the door for enforcement of arbitral awards issued by foreign institution with seat of proceeding in China, and demonstrates the opening-up trend for foreign legal service.
[1]Brentwood Industries Inc. v. Guangdong Faanlong Co, Ltd and Others 2015 Sui Zhong Min Si Fa Chu No.62?

UK Supreme Court on law applicable to arbitration agreements

Written by Stephen Armstrong, lawyer practicing in Toronto, Ontario, Canada with an interest in international arbitration. [Linkedin]

On Friday, October 9, 2020, the United Kingdom Supreme Court released an interesting decision concerning the applicable law governing arbitration agreements in international contracts and the jurisdiction of the courts of the seat of the arbitration to grant anti-suit injunctions. The case is Enka Insaat Ve Sanayi A.S. v 000 Insurance Company Chubb, [2020] UKSC 38.

The full text of the Supreme Court’s decision is available here.

A digestible summary of the case, including the facts, the breakdown of votes, and the reasons, is available here.

News

Chukwudi Ojiegbe on International Commercial Arbitration in the European Union

Chukwudi Ojiegbe has just published a book titled: “International Commercial Arbitration in the European Union: Brussels I, Brexit and Beyond” with Edward Elgar Publishing.

The abstract reads as follows:

This illuminating book contributes to knowledge on the impact of Brexit on international commercial arbitration in the EU. Entering the fray at a critical watershed in the EU’s history, Chukwudi Ojiegbe turns to the interaction of court litigation and international commercial arbitration, offering crucial insights into the future of EU law in these fields.

Postponement of the next global Journal of Private International Law Conference

The 9th Journal of Private International Law Conference was due to be hosted by the Singapore Management University in 2021. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the Editors of the Journal (Professor Jonathan Harris QC of King’s College, London and Professor Paul Beaumont FRSE of the University of Stirling) and the conference organiser (Associate Professor Adeline Chong, Singapore Management University) have decided to postpone the conference to 2022 (tentatively June 2022). We will announce further details in due course.

Out now: Rome I and Rome II in Practice

Rome I and Rome II in Practice, a volume edited by Emmanuel Guinchard focusing on the application of the theoretically uniform rules of Rome I and Rome II by the national courts of the Member States, has recently been published by Intersentia. A true treasure trove for scholars of comparative private international law, the book features national reports from 20 Member States and the UK drafted by specialist authors as well as a review of the case law of the CJEU and extensive conclusions by the editor. Each national report contains both general remarks on the jurisprudence of the national courts as well as a structured review of the application of the two Regulations to a wide range of specific questions.