image_pdfimage_print

Views

Paris, the Jurisdiction of Choice?

On January 17th, the President of the Paris Commercial Court (Tribunal de commerce) inaugurated a new international division.

The new division, which is in fact the 3rd division of the court (3ème Chambre), is to be staffed with nine judges who speak foreign languages, and will therefore be able to assess evidence written in a foreign language. For now, the languages will be English, German and Spanish, as one juge speaking Spanish and two speaking German are currently on the court.

In an interview to the Fondation de droit continental (Civil law initiative), the President of the Court explained that the point was to make French justice more competitive and attract international cases. It also made clear that France was following Germany’s lead, where several international divisions were established in 2009 in Hamburg and Cologne.

French Commercial Courts

It should be pointed out to readers unfamiliar with the French legal system that French commercial courts are not staffed with professional judges, but with members of the business community working part-time at the court (and for free). In Paris, however, many of these judges work in the legal department of their company, and are thus fine lawyers.

Also, French commercial courts (and French civil courts generally) virtually never hear witnesses, so the issue of the language in which they may address the court does not arise.

Some issues

So, the new international division will be able to read documents in several foreign languages. However, nothing suggests that parties or lawyers will be able either to speak, or to write pleadings, in any other language than French. Lawyers arguing these cases will still need to file their pleadings in French, and thus to translate them in English beforehand for their clients. Furthermore, the interview of the Court’s President seems to suggest that using a foreign language will not be a right for the parties. Quite to the contrary, it seems that it will not be possible if one of the parties disagrees, and demands documents be translated in French.

Will that be enough to attract additional commercial cases to Paris?

I wonder whether introducing class actions in French civil procedure would have been more efficient in this respect.

For the full interview of the Court’s President, see after the jump.

(more…)

News

Meeting on international transfer of maintenance funds: solutions and good practices

Written by Mayela Celis

A meeting on the international transfer of maintenance funds was held in The Hague, the Netherlands from 16 to 18 September 2019. The Conclusions and Recommendations are available here.

Among the solutions contemplated were the establishment of a centralised point for international transfers for both incoming and outgoing transfer of funds, abolishing the use of cheques and exploring how to increase transparency and cost reduction of the transfer of funds. The meeting also discussed the advantages and disadvantages of bundled payments, as well as the use of blockchain and other payment transfer solutions.

New article on The Hague judgments project: assessing its plausible benefits for the development of the Indian Private International Law

Written by Saloni Khanderia

Associate Professor Saloni Khanderia (Jindal Global Law School, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, India) recently published a new paper in the Commonwealth Law Bulletin, titled The Hague judgments project: assessing its plausible benefits for the development of the Indian Private International Law.

von Hein, Kieninger & Rühl: How European is European Private International Law?

Over the course of the last few decades, the European legislature has adopted a total of 18 Regulations in the area of private international law, including civil procedure. The resulting substantial legislative unification has been described as the first true ‘Europeanisation’ of private international law, and even as a kind of ‘European Choice of Law Revolution’. However, it remains largely unclear whether the far-reaching unification of the ‘law on the books’ has turned private international law into a truly European ‘law in action’: To what extent is European private international law actually based on uniform European rules common to all Member States, rather than on state treaties or instruments of enhanced cooperation? Is the manner in which academics and practitioners analyse and interpret European private international law really different from previously existing domestic approaches to private international law? Or, rather, is the actual application and interpretation of European private international law still influenced, or even dominated, by national legal traditions, leading to a re-fragmentation of a supposedly uniform body of law?