Frontiers in Civil Justice – book published

The edited volume Frontiers in Civil Justice: Privatisation, Monetisation and Digitisation (eds. Xandra Kramer, Jos Hoevenaars, Betül Kas and Erlis Themeli) has been published by Elgar.

The book is the third edited volume resulting from the project Building EU Civil Justice, funded by an ERC consolidator grant, at Erasmus School of Law at Erasmus University Rotterdam. Twenty authors from a wide range of countries and with different backgrounds have contributed.

The book studies three interrelated frontiers in civil justice from a European and from national perspectives, combining theory with policy and insights from practice: the interplay between private and public justice, the digitization of justice, and litigation funding. These current topics are viewed against the backdrop of the requirements of effective access to justice and the overall goal of establishing a sustainable civil justice system in Europe.

The combined works take on a pan-European perspective and zoom in on several jurisdictions, thereby providing a holistic exploration of current civil justice debates and frontiers. The book includes chapters dedicated to the interaction between public and private justice (ADR), the digitisation of both private dispute resolution and court litigation, including the rapid development and use of advanced forms of Artificial Intelligence, and the funding of justice, especially collective actions and settlements by means of third party litigation funding and common funds.

More information is available at the publisher’s website here. The first Introductory chapter is open access available on the website.


Lex & Forum 4/2021: A special on the 2019 Hague Convention on the Recognition of Foreign Judgments

In Memoriam Prof. Konstantinos D. Kerameus (21.4.1937-26.12.2021)

Professor Kerameus started his academic career at the Law School of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, in his home town, and completed his career at the University of Athens. He taught Civil Procedure, Comparative and International Procedural Law in Greek and other leading Universities abroad.

He was awarded Honorary Doctor of Laws by the Universities of Hamburg (1993), Paris II Pantheon-Assas (2000), Liege (2003) and Vienna (2003). He was the President of the International Academy of Comparative Law (1998-2006), Director of the Hellenic Institute of International and Foreign Law (1990-2007), member of the European Academy (since 1994), the International Union of Legal Science (since 1993) and the International Union of Procedural Law (since 1995)y. He represented Greece in the conference on the Lugano Convention, in the negotiations for the accession of Greece to the Brussels Convention, as well as in various committees for the harmonization of the law of contracts, torts and civil procedure in the EU.

His Report, co-authored with Dimitrios Evrigenis, on the accession of Greece in the Brussels Convention (OJ C-298/24-11-1986) has always been a leading guide in the field of European procedural law. The breadth of his interests also covered the work of the Hague Conference. In this context, he gave lectures on the topic of ‘Enforcement in the International Context’– Collected Courses of the Hague Academy of International Law (Volume 264), 1997.


The 2019 Hague Convention on the Recognition of Foreign Judgments will make it possible for foreign, non-EU, decisions to be recognized under common terms in EU jurisdictions, and vice versa. The presentation of these developments is the main subject of the present issue (Focus).

The introduction (Praefatio) was conducted by the Greek Attorney General to the ECJ, Honorary President of the Council of State, Mr. Athanasios Rantos. The main topic of the issue was the subject of an online conference (3.12.2021), with the participation of experienced professionals on the topic in our country,and of leading foreign scientists, who participated in the works of the 2019 Hague Convention.

The general introduction was assigned to the Director of the Directorate-General for Justice of the European Commission, Dr. Andreas Stein, who participated in the works of the 2019 Convention as the head of the EU delegation.

The Chair of the meeting, Emeritus Professor of the Law School of Thessaloniki Ms. Anastasia Grammatikaki-Alexiou, who has repeatedly represented Greece in the works of the Plenary or Committees of the Hague Conference, and has taught at the  Hague Academy of International Law, outlined ‘[t]he great contribution of the Hague Conference in the field of private international law’.

Directly from the USA, the President of the American Association of Comparative Law, Professor of the Law School at Willamette University, Mr. Symeon Symeonides, who participated in the work of the 2019 Convention as the representative of the Republic of Cyprus, gave his valuable thoughts on the topic. Professor Symeonides presented the theme ‘The Hague Treaty for the Recognition of Foreign Decisions-The Lowest Common Denominator’, identifying the most interesting points of the Convention and highlighting critical aspects of its text.

Judge Dimitrios Titsias, Justice Counselor, Permanent Representation of Greece to the EU, explored ‘[t]he limits of EU’ s external jurisdiction over the Hague Conventions’. The rest of the panel analyzed the individual provisions of the Hague Conventions, which will be of considerable concern to our courts in the near future. Dr. Ioannis Revolidis, Lecturer of Media, Communications and Technology Law at the University of Malta, discussed the topic of the ‘Recognition and enforcement of international judgments after the revival of the Hague Convention’; Ms. Anastasia Kalantzi, Doctoral Candidate at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki analyzed the topic ‘Points of convergence and divergence of the Hague Convention of 2005 and Regulation 1215/2012 on issues of extension of jurisdiction’; Dr. Vassilios Sarigiannidis, Head of the competent authority at the Ministry of Justice, presented the issue of ‘The system of cooperation between Central Authorities in the framework of the implementation of the 1980 and 1996 Hague Conventions on the protection of children’.

Among the judgments presented in this issue, a special mention has to be made of the following: the ECJ decision of 18.5.2021, Asocia?ia ‘Forumul Judec?torilor din Rumania’, with a comment by the associate in the International Hellenic University Ms. Raf. Tsertsidou, on the relationship between the regulations on the organization of justice in Romania and the requirements of the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary; the ECJ decision of 9.9.2021, Toplofikatsia Sofia, with a case comment by Judge Mr. Ant.Vathrakokilis; the ECJ decision of 3.9.2020, mBank S.A./PA, with a case comment by Judge Ms. St.-Ag. Kapaktsi.

Concerning national court decisions, it is worth mentioning the 2020 Supreme Court of Cyprus judgment (No 122/13, 143/13), with a case comment by Cypriot jurists Dr. N. Mouttotos, University of Bremen, and Dr. N. Kyriakides, University of Nicosia, regarding the effect of the Directive No 93/13 on consumer contracts in the reversal of the final judgment under national law; the judgment of the Greek Supreme Court No 820/2021, with a note by Dr. Ap. Anthimos and Solicitor (England/Wales) Dr. K. Voulgarakis, on the obstruction of the right to judicial protection by orders of courts of another Member State, which led to the submission of relevant preliminary question to the ECJ, as well as the decision of the Athens First Instance Court No 312/2019, with a case note by Dr. Ch. Meidanis, on the role of the jurisdiction of torts in case of the fall of a Greek warplane in a NATO exercise in Spain.

In the column of Scientific Topics, the volume hosts a study by Dr. G.-A. Georgiadis, on the 10-year anniversary of the 2007 Hague Protocol on the law applicable to maintenance obligations, while the L&F Praxis section presents the main problems of the EAPO, which raise many practical concerns, by Judge Mr. I. Valmantonis.

Latest issue Dutch PIL journal (NIPR)

The latest issue (21/1) of the Dutch journal Nederlands Internationaal Privaatrecht has been published. It includes the following articles.

Vriesendorp, W. van Kesteren, E. Vilarin-Seivane & S. Hinse, Automatic recognition of the Dutch undisclosed WHOA procedure in the European Union / p. 3-17

On 1 January 2021, the Act on Court Confirmation of Extrajudicial Restructuring Plans (‘WHOA’) was introduced into the Dutch legal framework. It allows for extrajudicial debt restructuring outside of insolvency proceedings, a novelty in the Netherlands. If certain requirements – mostly relating to due process and voting – are met, court confirmation of the restructuring plan can be requested. A court-confirmed restructuring plan is binding on all creditors and shareholders whose claims are part of that plan, regardless of their approval of the plan. WHOA is available in two distinct versions: one public and the other undisclosed. This article assesses on what basis a Dutch court may assume jurisdiction and if there is a basis for automatic recognition within the EU of a court order handed down in either a public or an undisclosed WHOA procedure.

Arons, Vaststelling van de internationale bevoegdheid en het toepasselijk recht in collectieve geschilbeslechting. In het bijzonder de ipr-aspecten van de Richtlijn representatieve vorderingen / p. 18-34

The application of international jurisdiction and applicable law rules in collective proceedings are topics of debate in legal literature and in case law. Collective proceedings distinguish in form between multiple individual claims brought in a single procedure and a collective claim instigated by a representative entity for the benefit of individual claimants. The ‘normal’ rules of private international law regarding jurisdiction (Brussel Ibis Regulation) and the applicable law (Rome I and Rome II Regulations) apply in collective proceedings. The recently adopted injunctions directive (2020/1828) does not affect this application.

 Nonetheless, the particularities of collective proceedings require an application that differs from its application in individual two-party adversarial proceedings. This article focuses on collective redress proceedings in which an entity seeks to enforce the rights to compensation of a group of individual claimants.

Collective proceedings have different models. In the assignment model the individual rights of the damaged parties are transferred to a single entity. Courts have to establish its jurisdiction and the applicable law in regard of each assigned right individually.

In the case of a collective claim brought by an entity (under Dutch law, claims based on Art. 3:305a BW) the courts cannot judge on the legal relationships of the individual parties whose rights are affected towards the defendant. The legal questions common to the group are central. This requires jurisdiction and the applicable law to be judged at an abstract level.

Bright, M.C. Marullo & F.J. Zamora Cabot, Private international law aspects of the Second Revised Draft of the legally binding instrument on business and human rights / p. 35-52

Claimants filing civil claims on the basis of alleged business-related human rights harms are often unable to access justice and remedy in a prompt, adequate and effective way, in accordance with the rule of law. In their current form, private international law rules on jurisdiction and applicable law often constitute significant barriers which prevent access to effective remedy in concrete cases. Against this backdrop, the Second Revised Draft of the legally binding instrument to regulate, in international human rights law, the activities of transnational corporations and other business enterprises has adopted a number of provisions on private international law issues which seek to take into account the specificities of such claims and the need to redress the frequent imbalances of power between the parties. This article analyses the provisions on jurisdiction and applicable law and evaluate their potential to ensure effective access to remedy for the claimants.

Conference report

Touw, The Netherlands: a forum conveniens for collective redress? / p. 53-67

On the 5th of February 2021, the seminar ‘The Netherlands: a Forum Conveniens for Collective Redress?’ took place. The starting point of the seminar is a trend in which mass claims are finding their way into the Dutch judicial system. To what extent is the (changing) Dutch legal framework, i.e. the applicable European instruments on private international law and the adoption of the new Dutch law on collective redress, sufficiently equipped to handle these cases? And also, to what extent will the Dutch position change in light of international and European developments, i.e. the adoption of the European directive on collective redress for consumer matters, and Brexit? In the discussions that took place during the seminar, a consensus became apparent that the Netherlands will most likely remain a ‘soft power’ in collective redress, but that the developments do raise some thorny issues. Conclusive answers as to how the current situation will evolve are hard to provide, but a common ground to which the discussions seemed to return does shed light on the relevant considerations. When legal and policy decisions need to be made, only in the case of a fair balance, and a structural assessment thereof, between the prevention of abuse and sufficient access to justice, can the Netherlands indeed be a forum conveniens for collective redress.


Latest PhDs

Van Houtert, Jurisdiction in cross-border copyright infringement cases. Rethinking the approach of the Court of Justice of the European Union (dissertation, Maastricht University, 2020): A summary / p. 68-72

The dissertation demonstrates the need to rethink the CJEU’s approach to jurisdiction in cross-border copyright infringement cases. Considering the prevailing role of the EU courts as the ‘law finders’, chapter four argues that the CJEU’s interpretation must remain within the limits of the law. Based on common methods of interpretation, the dissertation therefore examines the leeway that the CJEU has regarding the interpretation of Article 7(2) Brussels Ibis in cross-border copyright infringement cases.


Symeonides’ Codifying Choice of Law Around the World

For those readers that did not know yet, early this summer ‘Codifying Choice of Law Around the World’ (OUP, 2014) authored by Symeon Symeonides, was published. One can only agree with Lawrence Collins in the foreword to this book that it is ‘a truly monumental contribution to the study of codification in the conflict of laws’.

The blurb reads:

Codifying Choice of Law Around the World chronicles, documents, and celebrates the extraordinary, massive country-by-country codification of Private International Law (PrIL) or Conflict of Laws that has taken place in the last 50 years from 1962-2012. During this period, the world has witnessed the adoption of nearly 200 PrIL codifications, EU Regulations, and international conventions—-more than in all preceding years since the inception of PrIL. This book provides a horizontal comparison and discussion of these codifications and conventions, firstly by comparing the way they resolve tort and contract conflicts, and then by comparing the answers of these codifications to the fundamental philosophical and methodological dilemmas of PrIL. In the process, this book re-examines and dispels certain widely held assumptions about choice of law, and the art and science of codification in general.

More information is available here.