Posts

Franzina on Jurisdiction Regarding Rights in Rem in Moveable Property in the Brussels I Review

Pietro Franzina (University of Ferrara) has posted “The Proposed New Rule of Special Jurisdiction Regarding Rights in Rem in Moveable Property: A Good Option for a Reformed Brussels I Regulation?” on SSRN.  The abstract reads:

On 14 December 2010, the European Commission published a proposal for the recasting of regulation No 44/2001 of 22 December 2000 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters (Brussels I). The proposal purports, inter alia, to add a provision granting non-exclusive jurisdiction “as regards rights in rem and possession in moveable property” to “the courts for the place where the property is situated”. The paper examines the scope of application of the proposed new rule and the connecting factor it employs, in an attempt to determine whether it would be a useful addition to the existing rules on jurisdiction in civil and commercial matters in Europe. It concludes that, although it may in some cases (and subject to some conditions) serve the goals of proximity of predictability underlying the special heads of jurisdiction of the Brussels I regulation, the provision would bring more disadvantages than advantages, and suggests that the Commission’s proposal in this respect should better be abandoned.

Commission’s Proposals On Matrimonial Property Regimes and Property Consequences of Registered Partnerships

As announced in the past months, on 16 March 2011 the Commission presented the proposals for two regulations on property rights of “international” married couples and registered partnerships:

  • Proposal for a Council Regulation on jurisdiction, applicable law and the recognition and enforcement of decisions in matters of matrimonial property regimes, COM(2011) 126 of 16 March 2011;
  • Proposal for a Council Regulation on jurisdiction, applicable law and the recognition and enforcement of decisions regarding the property consequences of registered partnerships, COM(2011) 127 of 16 March 2011.

The proposals are accompanied by a Communication from the Commission “Bringing legal clarity to property rights for international couples” –  COM(2011) 125 of 16 March 2011 – which describes the difficulties faced by international couples in the current framework of EU legislation and national rules of the 27 Member States (see also the figures presented in the press release and the related FAQs).

The origin of the initiative dates back to the early days of the “communitarisation” of the conflict of laws. According to the Explanatory Memorandum to doc. COM(2011) 126:

Jurisdiction in Cross-Border Libel Cases

The Court of Appeal for Ontario has released Paulsson v. Cooper, 2011 ONCA 150 (available here).  The plaintiff, an academic and author resident in Ontario, sued the defendants for publishing an allegedly libellous review of his book.  The defendant publisher was incorporated in New York and had its national office in Massachusetts.  The reviewer was an Australian academic.

The motions judge had held that Ontario lacked jurisdiction, but the Court of Appeal held that Ontario had jurisdiction and that no other forum was more appropriate for the resolution of the dispute.  The court found that there was a “real and substantial connection” to Ontario.  The court applied the orthodox analysis that the tort of libel was committed where the statement was read, and so had happened in Ontario.  In addition, the place of the damage was Ontario since that was where the plaintiff’s reputation was located.

Publication: Baratta (Ed.), Dizionario di Diritto Internazionale Privato

The Italian publishing house Giuffrè has recently published a new book in the law dictionary series Dizionari del diritto privato, directed by Prof. Natalino Irti. The volume, Diritto internazionale privato, edited by Prof. Roberto Baratta, is entirely devoted to Private International Law.

It contains more than 60 entries relating to conflict of laws and jurisdictions, authored by prominent Italian PIL scholars. A detailed TOC is available here.

Title: Diritto internazionale privato, edited by Roberto Baratta, Giuffrè (series: Dizionari del Diritto privato), Milano, 2010, VI-566 pages.

ISBN: 978-88-14-15911-4. Price: EUR 65. Available at Giuffrè.

(Many thanks to Fabrizio Marongiu Buonaiuti, Univ. of Rome “La Sapienza”, for the tip-off)

Tourism and Jurisdiction to take Centre Stage in Supreme Court of Canada

On March 21, 22 and 25, 2011 the Supreme Court of Canada will hear appeals in four private international law cases.  Each is a case in which the Ontario court has held that it has jurisdiction to hear the dispute and that the proceedings should not be stayed in favour of another forum. 

Two of the cases – Van Breda (information here) and Charron (information here) – involve Ontarians who were killed or severely injured while on holiday in Cuba.  They now seek to sue various foreign defendants in Ontario.  These cases involve tourists in the traditional sense of the word.  Two of the cases – Banro (information here) and Black (information here) – involve claims for defamation over the internet and damage to reputation in Ontario.  There is some allegation that these cases involve what has become known as “libel tourism”, especially in England and in the United States.

Several parties have already been granted leave to appear as intervenors and others are seeking such leave.  The decisions in these four cases could be very important for the Canadian law on jurisdiction.

The Supreme Court of Canada now posts PDFs of the written submissions of litigants as they are received, so those wanting more details about the cases should click on the “factums” button for each case.

Canadian Case on State Immunity

In Kazemi (Estate of) v. Islamic Republic of Iran, 2011 QCCS 196 (available here) the estate of Zahra Kazemi and her son, Stephan Kazemi, sued Iran and certain state officials in Quebec, alleging that in 2003 Ms. Kazemi was tortured and assassinated in Iran.  The defendants argued that the claim could not succeed due to state immunity. 

Much of the court’s analysis involves the provisions of the State Immunity Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. S-18.  The court has to consider whether this statute is a complete code on the issue of state immunity or whether it is open to courts to create exceptions to the statutory immunity beyond those listed in the statute.  The court also has to address whether aspects of the statute are constitutional. 

Italian Forum on the Brussels I Review Proposal (2): Lis Pendens and Related Actions

Following our previous post on the forum on the Brussels I review currently hosted by the website of the Italian Society of International Law (SIDI-ISIL), another comment has been added, on the amendments proposed by the Commission in respect of lis pendens and related actions. The contribution is authored by Fabrizio Marongiu Buonaiuti (University of Rome “La Sapienza”), who has recently published an extensive monograph on the regime of lis pendens and related actions in Italian law, in the European regulations and in other international instruments (Litispendenza e connessione internazionale. Strumenti di coordinamento tra giurisdizioni statali in materia civile, Napoli, 2008):

New Articles in Canadian Publications

Two recent publications contain several topical articles:

In the 2010 issue (volume 60) of the University of New Brunswick Law Journal are the following five articles: Catherine Walsh: “The Uses and Abuses of Party Autonomy in International Contracts”; Joshua Karton, “Party Autonomy and Choice of Law: Is International Arbitration Leading the Way or Marching to the Beat of its own Drummer?”; Stephen Pitel, “Reformulating a Real and Substantial Connection”; John McEvoy, “‘After the Storm: The Impact of the Financial Crisis on Private International Law’: Jurisdiction”; and Elizabeth Edinger, “The Problem of Parallel Actions: The Softer Alternative”.  This journal is available to subscribers, including through Westlaw.

Canadian Articles on Multijurisdictional Class Actions

Three recent articles have been published about multijurisdictional class actions in Canada.  One of the most critical issues is whether the courts of a province will enforce a class action judgment from another province or another country approving a settlement that purports to bind plaintiffs resident in the province.  I know that similar issues are under consideration in other countries, so this literature could be of value as comparative law.

Genevieve Saumier, “Competing Class Actions Across Canada: Still at the Starting Gate after Canada Post v. Levine” (2010) 48 C.B.L.J. 462

Tanya Monestier, “Personal Jurisdiction over Non-Resident Class Members: Have We Gone Down the Wrong Road?” (2010) 45 Texas International Law Journal 537

Brussels I Review: Responses to the Commission’s Green Paper

The contributions received by the European Commission in response to the Green Paper on the review of the Brussels I reg. (published in April 2009 together with the Commission’s report on its application: see our post here) have been recently published on the DG FSJ website.

Over 120 contributions have been collected, from Member States’ governments, parliaments and other public authorities, third States (Switzerland), commercial, financial and civil society organisations, NGOs, and the legal and academic sector.

Readers of this blog had the opportunity to read in draft the excellent contribution prepared by Andrew Dickinson, and some comments and responses to his analysis (see this post by Prof. Jonathan Hill and this one by Martin Illmer and Ben Steinbrück).

Among the recent academic initiatives on the review of reg. 44/2001, see also our post on the latest issue of IPRax (2/2010), where some of the papers presented at the conference held in Heidelberg in December 2009 have been published. A two-day conference, organized by the Spanish Presidency of the EU, will be held in Madrid on 15 and 16 March 2010: “Bruselas I: La reforma de la litigación internacional en Europa“.

(Many thanks to Federico GarauConflictus Legum – and Rafael ArenasÀrea de Dret Internacional Privat)