In the Lafarge case (Cass. Crim., 16 janvier 2024, n°22-83.681, available here), the French Cour de cassation (chambre criminelle) recently rendered a ruling on some criminal charges against the French major cement manufacturer for its activities in Syria during the civil war. The decision addresses several key aspects of private international law in transnational criminal lawsuits and labour law.
Tag Archive for: overriding mandatory provisions
By virtue of an ‘Act of Legislative Content’ pursuant to Article 44 Greek Constitution, the Hellenic Republic passed on April 13 a series of urgent measures for the overall protection of the public against the virus. Among the multitude of provisions emanating from various ministries, four articles feature an identical overriding mandatory rule.
In particular, the rule concerns four categories: Cancellation of flights [Article 61]; cancellation of marine transport (carriage of passengers) [Article 65]; package travel and linked travel arrangements [Article 70]; and contracts between tourism industry enterprises [Article 71]. The content of the provisions is common: instead of reimbursement, it offers the option of vouchers by carriers and businesses in the respective branches.
The wording is the following:
Provided that the pertinent rights are regulated by EU law, the above provisions shall additionally apply mandatorily to contracts concluded between the parties, irrespective whether they agreed on the application of Greek or foreign law.
Understandably, the above provisions raise interesting questions of PIL; Matthias Lehmann provided a first glance of the potential problems here.
This blog has dealt with the topic in respect to Italy here.
In Agostinho da Silva Martins v Dekra Claims Services Portugal SA (C-149/18), between Mr Agostinho da Silva Martins, who suffered damages in a car accident, and the insurance company Dekra Claims Services Portugal SA, the CJEU was called to rule on two different issues of qualification: one related to the interpretation of Article 16 of the Rome II Regulation on overriding mandatory provisions and the other related to interpretation of Article 28 of Directive 2009/103 on protection of victim in case of a motor vehicle accident.
Regarding the overriding mandatory provisons under the Rome II Regulation, the CJEU refers to the definition in Article 9(1) of the Rome I Regulation and reasons that in order to qualify a national rule on statutory limitation period as an overriding mandatory the national court has to be satisfied that there exist “particularly important reasons, such as a manifest infringement of the right to an effective remedy and to effective judicial protection arising from the application of the law designated as applicable”. The relevant part of the CJEU holding uses careful phrasing suggesting restrictive interpretation of overriding mandatory rules: a rule
cannot be considered to be an overriding mandatory provision, […] unless the court hearing the case finds, on the basis of a detailed analysis of the wording, general scheme, objectives and the context in which that provision was adopted, that it is of such importance in the national legal order that it justifies a departure from the law applicable.
Regarding the conflict of law nature of Article 28 of Directive 2009/103, which regulates the Member States’ obligation to provide measures guaranteeing that the victim of a road traffic accident and the owner of the vehicle involved in that accident are protected, the CJEU states that this is not the conflict-of-law provision and that, consequently, it does not take precedence over the Rome II Regulation under Article 27 of the latter.