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Court of Appeal allows in England claims against English-based multinational for overseas human rights violations

Written by Ekaterina AristovaPhD in Law Candidate, University of Cambridge

On 14 October 2017, the London’s Court of Appeal passed its long awaited decision in Lungowe v Vedanta confirming that foreign citizens can pursue in England legal claims against English-based multinationals for their overseas activities.

In 2015, Zambian villagers commenced proceedings against Vedanta, an English-based mining corporation, and its indirect Zambian subsidiary, KCM, alleging responsibility of both companies for the environmental pollution arising out of the operation in Zambia of the Nchanga Copper Mine by KCM. In 2016, the High Court allowed claims against both companies to be heard in England. The overall analysis of the judgement (see the author’s earlier post on this blog) suggested that (1) claims against the parent company on the breach of duty of care in relation to the overseas operations of the foreign subsidiary can be heard in the English courts and (2) the existence of an arguable claim against the English-domiciled parent company also establishes jurisdiction of the English courts over the subsidiary even if the factual basis of the case occurs almost exclusively in the foreign state. The Court of Appeal has entirely upheld a High Court ruling.

Dutch collective redress dangerous? A call for a more nuanced approach

Prepared by Alexandre Biard, Xandra Kramer and Ilja Tillema, Erasmus University Rotterdam

The Netherlands has become dangerously involved in the treatment of mass claims, Lisa Rickard from the US Chamber of Commerce recently said to the Dutch financial daily (Het Financieele Dagblad, 28 September 2017) and the Dutch BNR newsradio (broadcast of 28 September 2017). This statement follows the conclusions of two reports published in March and September 2017 by the US Institute for Legal Reforms (ILR), an entity affiliated with the US Chamber of Commerce. Within a few hours, the news spread like wildfire in online Dutch newspapers, see for instance here.

I thought we were exclusive? Some issues with the Hague Convention on Choice of Court, Brussels Ia and Brexit

This blog post is by Dr Mukarrum Ahmed (Lancaster University) and Professor Paul Beaumont (University of Aberdeen). It presents a condensed version of their article in the August 2017 issue of the Journal of Private International Law. The blog post includes specific references to the actual journal article to enable the reader to branch off into the detailed discussion where relevant. It also takes account of recent developments in the Brexit negotiation that took place after the journal article was completed.    

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‘Reasonableness’ Limits in Extraterritorial Regulation: A Public Lecture by Hannah Buxbaum at LSE, 30 January 2020

The Law Department at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) is pleased to host a Public Lecture by Visiting Professor Hannah Buxbaum, on ”Reasonableness’ Limits in Extraterritorial Regulation’.


About the topic:
Extraterritorial regulation has become commonplace. States frequently apply their laws to foreign conduct in order to protect local economic interests—and sometimes to advance shared interests, such as the protection of human rights. Are there limits to these exercises of state authority? If so, what is the source and content of those limits? This lecture will investigate the role of “reasonableness” as a limitation on extraterritorial regulation. It will focus in particular on developments in the United States, where the recently adopted Restatement (Fourth) of Foreign Relations Law has reframed the role of international law in limiting the reach of national legislation.

The 2019 Hague Judgments Convention – A Game Changer?

UPDATE: The conference has been cancelled.

The Hague Convention of 2 July 2019 on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Civil or Commercial Matters will form the object of a conference (in English) scheduled to take place on 23 April 2020 at the Catholic University of Milan.

Speakers include Gilles Cuniberti (University of Luxembourg), Elena D’Alessandro (University of Turin), Francisco Garcimartín Alférez (Autonomous University of Madrid), Marko Jovanovic (University of Belgrade), Antonio Leandro (University of Bari) and Matthias Weller (University of Bonn). Fausto Pocar (University of Milan) will chair the conference while Luca Radicati di Brozolo (Catholic University of Milan) will offer some concluding remarks.

Inaugural Lecture by Alex Mills (UCL): The Privatisation of Private (and) International Law

Speaker: Professor Alex Mills (Faculty of Laws, UCL)

Chair: Professor Campbell McLachlan QC (Victoria University Wellington)

Date and time: 06 February 2020, 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Location: Bentham House, UCL Laws, London, WC1H 0EG, United Kingdom