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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.

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News

Cross-border enforcement of debts: EU unified procedures in Belgium

The research on the cross-border collection of debts (in particular through the unified procedures in the EU) in the EC²BE project has produced interesting results. Here is a summary of the Belgian results. For those who want to know more, don’t forget to enrol to our final conference, which will address the matter in various EU States.

(This blog has also referred you to the various national seminars – for an overview, see here or contact one of the partners.)

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Written by Fieke van Overbeeke, translated from Dutch by Albert Kruger

A    INTRODUCTION

Cuadernos de Derecho Transnacional, Vol. 11, No 2 (2019)

The latest issue of Cuadernos de Derecho Transnacional, an open-access online journal focusing on private international law, is out. It can be downloaded here.

The fifty papers included in this issue (written in Spanish, English, French, Portuguese and Italian) address a broad range of topics, including the recognition of registered partnerships, jurisdiction over contractual disputes, the law applicable to donations, surrogate motherhood and the recognition of declaratory arbitral awards.

The next issue is due to be out in March 2020. Submissions will be considered if received before 15 December 2019.

Conference in Verona on 15 November 2019 on “Children Protection in the EU: New Rules and National Trends”

The conference represents the final event of the project “C.L.A.S.S.4EU – 4EU training sessions on family law regulations for Cross-border Lawyers And Social Services” (JUST-JTRA-EJTR-AG-2016-763874, www.univr.it/class4eu), coordinated by the University of Verona in partnership with the University of Milano-Bicocca, University of Minho (Braga), Eötvös Loránd University (Budapest) and the Law Institute of Lithuania.