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Italo-German Cooperation in the Brussels I Recast: Conference in Milan (25-26 November 2011)

The University of Milan will host a two-day conference on 25 and 26 November 2011 on the review of the Brussels I regulation, organized with the University of Padova, the University of Heidelberg and the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München: “Cooperazione Italo-Tedesca nella revisione del Regolamento Bruxelles I – Deutsch-Italienische Kooperation im Rahmen der Neufassung der Brüssel I-Verordnung“. The working languages will be English, Italian and German. Here’s the programme (.pdf):

I Session: Friday 25 November 2011, 10h00

Saluti introduttivi – Grußworte: Prof. Dr. Marino Regini (Università degli Studi di Milano); Prof. Dr. Angela Lupone (Università degli Studi di Milano)

Chair: Prof. Dr. Ilaria Viarengo (University of Milan)

  • Prof. Dr. Rainer Hausmann (Universität Konstanz): L’ambito di applicazione del regolamento – Der Anwendungsbereich der Verordnung;
  • Prof. Dr. Andrea Gattini (Università degli Studi di Padova): I rapporti con le convenzioni internazionali – Das Verhältnis zu internationalen Abkommen;

Clearer Patrimonial Regimes for International Couples: Joint Conference of the European Commission and CNUE

On Monday 17 October 2011 the Council of the Notariats of the European Union (CNUE) is organising, jointly with the EU Commission, a conference in Brussels on the proposals for two regulations on property rights of “international” married couples and registered partnerships: “Clearer Patrimonial Regimes for International Couples”. A dedicated section of the CNUE website has been set up for the event, for further information and registration (there are still some places left to attend the conference). Here’s the programme (interpretation will be available in English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Romanian and Spanish):

9.30 – 9.40 Opening: Rudolf Kaindl, CNUE President

9.40 – 10.20 Keynote speeches:

  • Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the European Commission
  • Frank Molitor, President of the Luxembourg Chamber of Notaries

10.20 – 10.40 Proposals for Regulations on jurisdiction, applicable law and the recognition and enforcement of decisions in matters of matrimonial property regimes and regarding the property consequences of registered partnerships: Salla Saastamoinen, Head of Unit, DG Justice, European Commission

11.00 – 12.40 Panel discussion: Session 1 – The applicable law

Moderator: Prof. Katharina Boele-Woelki, University of Utrecht

European Parliament’s Workshop on the Brussels I Proposal (rescheduled)

The workshop organized by the EP JURI Committee on the review of the Brussels I regulation, originally scheduled on 20 September 2011 (see our previous posts here and here) is taking place in Brussels this morning (h 10.00 – 12.00).

The live video streaming is broadcasted on this page. The link to the recorded session can be found here.

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:

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)

Kuwait Airways Corporation v. Iraq in the Supreme Court of Canada

In yet another, but not the final, step in the very long-running litigation between KAC, IAC and the Republic of Iraq, the Supreme Court of Canada has held that the enforcement in Quebec of a 2008 judgment of the English Commercial Court ordering Iraq to pay CAD$84 million to KAC is not barred by soveriegn immunity (decision here).

Many on this list will be familar with the facts.  After the 1990 invasion of Kuwait, KAC sued IAC in England for conversion of several airplanes.  As part of that litigation, KAC was able to claim against Iraq for the costs of the actions that had been brought.  This claim flowed from Iraq’s having controlled and funded IAC’s defence, and it was not barred by sovereign immunity in England because it fell within the commercial activity exception.  Iraq did not defend this claim and default judgment was granted.

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.

Court of Appeal for Ontario Rejects “Fourth Defence” to Enforcement of Foreign Judgments

The long-running litigation between the United States and a group of defendants who operated a cross-border telemarketing business selling Canadian and foreign lottery tickets to Americans has reached another mile-post with the decision of the Court of Appeal for Ontario in United States of America v. Yemec, 2010 ONCA 414 (available here).  The defendants were likely riding high before this decision, having done quite well in resisting the enforcement of the judgment of an Illinois court finding them liable for $19 million and permanently enjoining them from telemarketing any product or service to anyone in the United States.  But the tables are now turned, with the Court of Appeal for Ontario ordering enforcement of the Illinois judgment.

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

Canadian National Class Action Judgment Not Recognized in Quebec

The Supreme Court of Canada has confirmed the decision of the Quebec Court of Appeal in Canada Post Corp. v. Lepine (available here).  The decision flows from Canada Post’s termination, after only a year, of a lifetime internet service it sold to customers.  This led to class proceedings in Quebec and Ontario.  While aware of the proceedings in Quebec, the parties settled the class proceedings in Ontario in a judgment that purported to cover residents of Quebec.  When the Quebec proceedings continued (due to dissatifaction with what was obtained under the Ontario settlement) the defendant sought to have the Ontario judgment recognized in Quebec.

Recognition of foreign judgments in Quebec is governed by Art 3155 of the Civil Code, and so this case is very centrally concerned both with civil law (rather than common law) and with interpreting the specific provisions of the Code.  Art 3155 provides several bases for refusing to recognize a foreign judgment (see para. 22).