Droit international général

French Court annuls market authorisation of Roundup. Contrary to public perception, it neither used nor needed the precautionary principle to do so.

GAVC - il y a 3 heures 38 min

In March 2017, France’s ANSES, the relevant food, environment, and occupational health and safety agency, approved Monsanto’s Roundup Pro 360. That authorisation has now been annulled by the Courts at Lyon – around the same time the story broke of extensive unquestioned copy /pasting by regulators of industry dossiers.

At the beginning of its reasoning the court cites France’s environment charter, to which its Constitution refers. The Charter guarantees everyone in its first Article the right to live in a balanced environment and one with respect for human health. Article 5 entails the precautionary principle, with reference (of course) to scientific assessment and proportionality.

Yet this intro is made for dramatic effect only. The judgment is in fact nothing but a straightforward application of risk assessment requirements on the basis of prevention, not precaution, and a simple observation of infringement of EU law.

At 3 (p.7) the court points out the consequences of the relevant EU authorisation regime. Active ingredients such as glyphosate are authorised (or not; and potentially with conditions) by the EU. Applications in wich these substances are used, by the Member States.

France’s Centre International de Recherche sur le Cancer (CIRC) had classified glyphosate as ‘probably carcinogenic’. Its report on same is referred to by the court as a ‘handbook’, based on peer reviewed studies, the data of which are objectively verifiable as well as replicable. In the other corner, one study referred to by Monsanto (at 7). Relevant EFSA studies only look at the active ingredient and it is these studies upon which ANSES’ decision was based. These studies do not assess the active ingredients’ actual use in preparations such as Roundup Pro 360 which is 41.5% glyphosate. Consequently ANSES quite straightforwardly violates Regulation 1107/2009, particularly its Article 36(6), which prescribes that interaction between the active substance, safeners, synergists and co-formulants shall be taken into account in the evaluation of plant protection products.

The judgment is convincing and straightforward. The road to it was all but easy.

Geert.

EU environmental law (with Leonie Reins), Edward Elgar, soft cover edition 2018, p.28 ff.

New Publication: Ronald A. Brand, International Business Transactions Fundamentals

Conflictoflaws - mer, 01/23/2019 - 23:14

Professor Ronald Brand has published the second edition of his book, International Business Transactions Fundamentals, with Kluwer Law International. It is designed primarily for use in a course on International Business Transactions, but is suitable as a desk reference on important basic issues raised on cross-border contractual relationships. Unlike some International Business Transactions casebooks which focus on WTO-related aspects of international trade regulation, this book draws extensively on private international law and the ways in which it can be used to structure cross-border commercial transactions. Coverage includes basic commercial law issues including price-delivery terms and letter of credit financing, dispute resolution issues and how to avoid them by proper planning at the transaction stage, the legal framework for import and export regulations planning, contracting with foreign sovereigns, compliance with anti-corruption legislation, legal relationships created by foreign investment, antitrust regulation and compliance, and a chapter on professional responsibility and the unique legal representation issues raised in cross-border transactions.

The second edition incorporates nearly four decades of work by the author to present the fundamentals of the law of international business transactions organized in a manner designed to help the reader identify risks inherent in cross-border transactions; eliminate risks where possible; reduce risks that cannot be eliminated, and reallocate risks through the use of contractual relationships. It provides an organized progression of materials from the simple export-import transaction to complex international investments, all designed to help the reader understand how to avoid risk in transnational transactions through the use of the legal framework available for providing institutional protection; the purchased protection available for transnational transactions; and the ways in which negotiated protection may be provided to build on institutional and purchased protections

Professors interested in considering the book for adoption in a course may contact Laurien Roos at Laurien.Roos@wolterskluwer.com.

Cunico v Daskalakis. Lugano Convention, employment and choice of court.

GAVC - mar, 01/22/2019 - 09:09

In [2019] EWHC 57 (Comm) Cunico v Daskalakis Baker J applies the employment and choice of court titles of the Lugano Convention 2007. Mr Daskalakis and the second defendant, Mr Mundhra, worked for the Cunico group. The group operated in base metals industries and markets. Defendants’ primary jobs were CEO and CFO respectively of Feni Industries AD (‘Feni’), the main industrial operating subsidiary of the group, incorporated and operating in FYR Macedonia. Feni owned and operated a ferronickel production plant in Kavadarci and the Rzanovo iron and nickel mine 50 km or so south of the city.

It is necessary to give a little bit of factual background to appreciate the jurisdictional issues.

Cunico Resources NV (‘Resources’) was incorporated in the Netherlands, to become the group holding company, in May 2007. Marketing was incorporated in Dubai, UAE, in July 2007, and operated in the Jebel Ali Free Zone as the main market-facing trading entity in the group. Resources had no operating activities. It existed as a holding company for the operating subsidiaries as investment assets, with a single dedicated (full-time) employee. Marketing traded by purchasing ore from other Cunico subsidiaries, and bailing the ore to a ferronickel plant within the group under a ‘tolling agreement’, for conversion by the plant to finished ferronickel. Marketing then sold the finished product to the market. Under the tolling agreement, fees for converting Marketing’s ore into finished ferronickel would be payable by Marketing to the operator of the ferronickel plant (e.g. Feni).

The Cunico group was owned, at the time of the events said to give rise to claims against the defendants, as a joint venture between International Mineral Resources BV (‘IMR’) and BSGR Cooperatief UA (‘BSGR’). Latterly, IMR has effectively all but bought BSGR out, via the intervention of proceedings in the Amsterdam Enterprise Chamber, so that today Resources is owned as to c.80% by Summerside Investments S.a.r.l., IMR’s parent company, with 50% of the remainder owned by each of IMR and BSGR.

Now, crucially (at 6): so-called ‘Advisory Contracts’ were signed as between Marketing and each of the defendants, in 2007 and again in 2010, that contained a jurisdiction provision in these words: “In case of disagreements, they shall be solved in the Court of the United Kingdom“. The claimants say that provision gives this court jurisdiction over their respective claims against the defendants under Article 23 of the Lugano Convention. It is common ground that the defendants were domiciled in Switzerland when proceedings were brought and that the claims brought against them are within the material scope of the Lugano Convention, so indeed it governs the question of jurisdiction in this case. It is also common ground that, in this international business context, the reference in the Advisory Contracts to “the Court of the United Kingdom” should be interpreted to mean the courts of England and Wales.

Marketing claims that defendants received bonus payments from Marketing to which they were not entitled and/or to procure payment of which they acted in breach of contractual and fiduciary duties owed to it.

The principal issue is whether the claims made are matters relating to individual contracts of employment so as to engage Section 5 of the Lugano Convention. Any claims that do engage Section 5 cannot be brought in England.

At 23: For each claim advanced by each claimant against either defendant, the question of jurisdiction gives rise to the following issues in this case:

i) Is that claim a matter relating to the employment of the defendant by that claimant, for the purpose of Section 5 of the Lugano Convention?

ii) If not, is that claim within the scope of the jurisdiction provision in either of the defendant’s Advisory Contracts?

iii) If so, for a claim by Resources or Feni, does that jurisdiction provision confer on the claimant an effective benefit? (This is a question under the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999, as each Advisory Contract was a contract only between the respective defendant and Marketing.)

Baker J decides following lengthy overview of the ’employment’ history of defendants that they were indeed employed across the group, and that Lugano’s employment heading therefore points away from jurisdiction in England. Surprisingly he does not refer at all to any CJEU precedent such as Holterman. The employment argument having succeeded, no assessment is made of Lugano’s choice of court provisions.

Geert.

 

Italian-Spanish Journal of Procedure Law (RIEDP)

Conflictoflaws - mar, 01/22/2019 - 00:25

Text provided by Laura Carballo Piñeiro – thanks!

A new online journal was born in late 2018: <http://www.rivitsproc.eu/en/>

The Italian-Spanish Journal of Procedure Law (RIEDP) is an editorial endeavour that aims to mainly publish clearly innovative papers, i.e. with the potential of making Procedure Law evolve by providing ideas and approaches that may help reform and enhance both civil and criminal procedures.

Papers written in Spanish, Italian or English are accepted for publication.

The Journal was launched by a group of scholar from Italy and Spain. Professors Jordi Nieva Fenoll, Michele Taruffo, Llorenç Bujosa Vadell, Giulio Illuminati, Rosa Ruggiero, Marien Aguilera Morales, Gina Gioia, and Laura Carballo Piñeiro have joined forces to offer a meeting point for authors that wish to share their innovative research with a wider audience. The essential requirement to be accepted for publication is the academic value of the paper regardless of whether it has already been published elsewhere. An anonymous peer-reviewed publication, RIEDP will publish accepted paper on an open-access basis and immediately after acceptance. In order to learn more about RIEDP, please visit its webpage.

Job Vacancy: PhD Position/Fellow at the University of Bonn, Germany

Conflictoflaws - lun, 01/21/2019 - 18:44

Professor Dr Matthias Lehmann is looking for a highly skilled and motivated PhD candidate and fellow (Wissenschaftliche/r Mitarbeiter/in) to work at the Institute for Private International and Comparative Law, University of Bonn, Germany, on a part-time basis (50%) as of 1 April 2019.

The successful candidate holds a first law degree (ideally the First German State Examination) and is interested in the international dimensions of private law, in particular private international law, European law and/or comparative law. A very good command of German and English is expected; good IT skills are required.

The fellow will be given the opportunity to conduct his/her PhD project (according to the Faculty’s regulations). The position is paid according to the German public salary scale E-13 TV-L, 50% (about 1,300 Euro net per month). The initial contract period is two to three years, with an option to be extended; the candidate is free to leave before at any point subject only to timely notification. Responsibilities include supporting the Institute’s director in his research and teaching as well as independent teaching obligations (2 hours per week during term time).

If you are interested in this position, please send your application (cover letter in German; CV; and relevant documents and certificates, notably university transcripts and a copy of law degree) to lehrstuhl.lehmann@jura.uni-bonn.de by February 4, 2019. The University of Bonn is an equal opportunity employer.

Liberato: violation of lis alibi pendens rules does not justify refusal of enforcement on grounds of ordre public.

GAVC - lun, 01/21/2019 - 08:08

I reviewed Bot AG’s Opinion in C-386/17 Liberato here. The Court confirmed last week. Whether lis alibi pendens applies, entails applying jurisdictional rules (in essence an assessment as to whether parties are the same etc.). Except in the very rare cases of (now) Article 45 1(e) Brussels I Recast, infringement of jurisdictional rules does not feature among the reasons for refusal of recognition. Alleged infringement of the lis alibi pendens rule does not therefore qualify as ordre public.

Geert.

(Handbook of) EU Private International Law, 2nd ed. 2016, Chapter 2, Heading 2.2.16.1.3, 2.2.16.1.4.

 

 

Registration for OAS XLVI Course on International Law is now open

Conflictoflaws - dim, 01/20/2019 - 23:10

As announced by the Department of International Law of the Organization of American States (OAS), registration is now open for the XLVI Course of International Law to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 22 July to 9 August 2019. Further information is available here in Spanish and English.

The preliminary draft agenda is available here.

HCCH Revised Draft Explanatory Report (version of December 2018) on the Judgments Convention is available on the HCCH website

Conflictoflaws - dim, 01/20/2019 - 23:00

A revised Draft Explanatory Report (version of December 2018) on the HCCH Draft Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Civil or Commercial Matters is available in both English and French on the Hague Conference website.

In my opinion, particularly complex topics in this Draft Explanatory Report include intellectual property (IP) rights (in particular, Art. 5(3) of the draft Convention– there are several provisions dealing with IP rights in addition to this Article) and the relationship of the draft Convention with other international instruments (Art. 24 of the Draft Convention). Some of the text is in square brackets, which means that such text has tentatively been inserted due perhaps to a lack of consensus at the Special Commission meetings, and thus a final decision will be taken at the Diplomatic Session scheduled for the summer 2019.

With regard to intellectual property rights, the draft Convention distinguishes between IP rights that require to be granted or registered (such as patents, registered trademarks, registered industrial designs and granted plant breeders’ rights) and those that do not require grant or registration (i.e.  copyrights and related rights, unregistered trademarks, and unregistered industrial designs – this is a closed list for these specific rights). See paragraph 238 of the Draft Explanatory Report.

The draft Convention’s approach to IP rights, which is based on the territoriality principle, is set out very clearly in paragraph 235 of the Draft Explanatory Report. In particular, the draft Convention reflects a compromise according to which the State of Origin of the judgment will coincide with the lex loci protectionis i.e., the law of the State for which protection is sought, so as to avoid the application of foreign law to these rights (see also paragraph 236).

With respect to the relationship of the draft Convention with other international instruments, it is important to note that this draft Convention will cover, among many other things, non-exclusive choice of court agreements so as to give preference to the application of the HCCH Hague Convention of 30 June 2005 on Choice of Court Agreements to exclusive choice of court agreements. See paragraphs 220-225 and 410-430 of the Draft Explanatory Report.

The latest information about the Judgments Project is available here.

Conference on “The CISG at Middle Age” at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law

Conflictoflaws - sam, 01/19/2019 - 00:46

On March 22-23, 2019, the Center for International Legal Education (CILE) at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law will host an international conference on the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (“CISG”). The conference is entitled “The CISG at Middle Age.” It will be held in the Teplitz Memorial Courtroom of the Barco Law Building.

On Friday morning, panelists will discuss topics dealing with “The Past of the CISG: Its Successes and Failures.” This session will honor the memory of Peter Schechtriem and his suggestion that the CISG could provide “an International Linqua Franca.” The Friday afternoon panels will consider “The Present of the CISG: Is Uniform Interpretation Possible?,” honoring the memory of John Honnold and his exhortation towards “Resisting the Homeward Trend.” A dinner on Friday evening will feature a keynote address by Pitt Emeritus Professor Harry Flechtner on “The Past, Present and Future of the CISG (and Other Uniform Commercial Law Initiatives).” Saturday morning’s panels will focus on “The Future of the CISG: Have we come to Praise it or Bury it?”

The conference presents the opportunity to consider whether the widespread state ratification of the CISG indicates success in international law development, or whether the common practice of opting out of the CISG in private contracts demonstrates that its impact has been limited at best.

Conference speakers include: Ronald Brand (University of Pittsburgh), Petra Butler (Victoria University Wellington), Susanna Cook (Cohen & Grigsby), John Coyle (University of North Carolina), Milena Djordjevic (University of Belgrade), Johan Erauw (University of Ghent), Harry Flechtner (University of Pittsburgh), Henry Gabriel (Elon University), Jack Graves (Touro University), Joseph Gulino (Diaz, Reus & Targ), Stefan Kröll (Bucerius University), Ulrich Magnus (University of Hamburg), Francesco Mazotta (International Contract Manual), Chiara Giavannucci (University of Bologna), Vjosa Osmani (University of Pristina), Alejandro Osuna, (Tijuana, Mexico), Francesca Ragno (University of Verona), Ingeborg Schwenzer (University of Basel), Nina Tepic (University of Zagreb), Marco Torsello (University of Verona), Mark Walter (DAI Inc)

A link to more information on the conference, including additional links to the program and registration can be found here.

DES v Clarins. The law applicable to ending commercial agency: Granarolo (and Rome I’s /Rome Convention’s overriding mandatory law rules) applied by Paris Court of Appeal.

GAVC - ven, 01/18/2019 - 08:08

In RG 16/05579 DES v Clarins (I have a copy on file for those finding it difficult to get access) the Paris Court of Appeal on 19 September 2018 effectively applied the CJEU’s Granarolo judgment on jurisdiction, to issues of applicable law. Yet it leaves many questions unanswered and does not carry out a neat and tidy analysis at all.

The case was signalled to me by , who has complete analysis here in French as well as here in English.

Companies belonging to the Clarins group (of France and Luxemburg) were sued for breach of their business relationship with a French company that distributed Clarins cosmetics in Algeria through local companies there, and for the alleged sudden halt in negotiations to try and resuscitate their contractual relationship.

The Court of appeal first of all (p.16-17 of the PDF version of the judgment) summarily rejects objections to the anchoring of non-France based defendants onto Clarins, with domicile in département 92 – Hauts de Seine: claimants request damages from all defendants, on the basis of the same facts and the same legal basis. So as to avoid conflicting judgments the Court sees no reason at all not to join the cases.

In terms of applicable law, the Court refers to Granarolo to qualify the relationship as contractual (reference is made to a tacit contract), yet then skips the application of the cascade rules of the Rome Convention (which applied ratione temporis rather than Rome I) to simply jump straight to the qualification as the relevant French rules as lois de police. As Christophe points out, there are plentry of the Convention’s default categories which could have applied to the case. Skipping the cascade to go straight to the exception is not the right way to go about conflict of laws.

The Court similarly cuts plenty a corner by summarily qualifying the sudden stop to negotiations to resuscitate a previous contractual relationship as non-contractual and applying French law as lex loci damni per Rome II (p.18), particularly as Rome II has a specific rule for culpa in contrahendo.

I am assuming an appeal with the Supreme Court is underway.

Geert.

(Handbook of) European Private International Law, 2nd ed. 2016, Chapter 2, Heading 2.2.11.2, Heading 2.2.11.2.9; Chapter 3, Heading 3.2.8, Heading 3.2.8.3).

Global Private International Law: Adjudication without Frontiers

Conflictoflaws - jeu, 01/17/2019 - 13:58

Agatha Brandão de Oliveira, Senior Research Assistant at the University of Lucerne, brought to my attention a forthcoming publication bearing the above title. The official book launch will take place on February 7 in Paris

The book was edited by: Horatia Muir Watt, Professor of Law, SciencesPo Law School, Paris, France, Lucia Bíziková, Trainee in an international law firm, London, UK, Agatha Brandão de Oliveira, Guest Lecturer, Federal University of Espirito Santo (UFES), Brazil and member of the Brazilian Bar and Diego P. Fernandez Arroyo, Professor of Law, SciencesPo Law School, Paris, France. 

Contributors include: F. Antunes Madeira da Silva, S. Archer, C. Avasilencei, G.A. Bermann, R. Bismuth, L. Bíziková, S. Bollée, J. Bomhoff, S. Brachotte, A. Brandão de Oliveira, H. Buxbaum, L. Carballo Piñeiro, C. Chalas, D. Coester-Waltjen, G. Cordero-Moss, S. Corneloup, F. Costa Morosini, G. Cuniberti, J. d’Aspremont, J. Daskal, S. Dezalay, R. Fentiman, D.P. Fernández Arroyo, T. Ferrando, S. Fulli-Lemaire, U. Grusic, H. Harata, L. Hennebel, J. Heymann, P. Kinsch, H. Kupelyants, K. Langenbucher, F. Latty, O. Le Meur, G. Lewkowicz, F. Licari, F. Marchadier, T. Marzal, R. Michaels, A. Mills, H. Muir Watt, N. Najjar, V.H. Pinto Ido, E. Pataut, D. Restrepo-Amariles, D. Rosenblum, C. Salomão Filho, M. Sanchez-Badin, P. Schiff Berman, J. Sgard, D. Sindres, E. Supiot, C. Thomale, K. Trilha, H. van Loon, J. Verhellen, M. Weidemaier, M. Wells-Greco.

Key Features of the publication are presented as follows:
• the specific global scope allows the reader to gain a contextualised understanding of legal transformation
• each case has two commentaries from different viewpoints, ensuring a nuanced perspective on the implications of the global turn in private international law and its importance for adjudication
• an astute combination of theory and practice ensures readers gain an understanding of the relevance of innovative legal theories in interpreting concrete cases in a changing world
• comparative material and ground-breaking analysis make this book eminently suitable for use with students and a useful tool for researchers and courts confronted with novel topics or issues.

For more info, check here.

 

 

Call for applications: grants for young scholars wishing to carry out their research in Turin

Conflictoflaws - mer, 01/16/2019 - 22:21

The Department of Law of the University of Turin intends to award three early-career fellowship grants. The value of each grant is 9.000 Euros.

Applications are welcome from young scholars, ideally with a PhD in law, in any field of law, including private international law.

Each grant is meant to finance a three-month research stay in Turin, as a result of which the grant-holder is expected to draw up a proposal for a Marie Sklodowska Curie Standard European Fellowship, indicating the Department of Law of the University of Turin as the host institution.

Candidates must not have resided or carried out their main activities in Italy for more than 12 months in the three years ending on 11 September 2019.

The deadline for applications is 11 March 2019 at 12.00 a.m. CET.

For further information see here.

Forget what you have read. Szpunar AG does not restrict EU ‘Right to be forgotten’ /data protection laws to European territory.

GAVC - mar, 01/15/2019 - 12:12

I have previously reported extensively on various national and European developments re the right to have search results delisted, more popularly referred to as the ‘right to be forgotten’ (‘RTBF’ – a product of the CJEU in Google Spain) and its territorial limits. (Search string ‘Google’ or ‘rtbf’ ought to assist the reader). Szpunar AG opined mercifully  succinctly last Thursday in C-505/17.

Possibly because of the English-language press release (‘Advocate General Szpunar proposes that the Court should limit the scope of the de-referencing that search engine operators are required to carry out to the EU‘) and because of the actual text of the Opinion hitherto being available in French only, general reporting has been almost unequivocally (note Michèle Finck’s 10th Tweet in an early thread on the Opinion as a cautious exception), that the AG suggests that the RTBF is limited to EU soil only.

Except, he does not.

The Conseil d’Etat has referred one or two specific Qs but also, just to be sure, has also asked the Court of Justice for general insight into how data protection laws apply to the internet.

The AG of course departs from the core objective of the data protection Directive and now the GDPR, and Google Spain, and points out that the CJEU has put the protection of the fundamental rights of the data subject at the centre. At 46 he summarises his view before justifying it:

‘in my opinion one should distinguish according to the place in which the search is carried out. Searches carried out outside the EU ought not to be made subject to delisting’. (My translation from the French).

Geo-blocking can be ordered and ensures that within the EU territory, no Google extension may be used to access the information at issue (at 64 ff) after duly having balanced the right of freedom of information against the right to be forgotten.

Turning to his arguments, the AG points out at 47 ff first of all – briefly: see e.g. Belgian case-law on Facebook for more extensive discussion –  that public international law defines the borders of the EU and its Member States. The AG sees no reason (48-49) exceptionally to extend the scope of application beyond that border in the case of the Directive or the GDPR.

(51-52) Other examples of ‘extraterritoriality’ do not sway him, such as the Trademark Directive or EU competition law. He argues that in these cases the Internal Market is impacted and EU law applies to these situations ex-EU only because the Internal Market is a finite, territorial unit. The internet is not (at 53: Le marché intérieur est un territoire clairement délimité par les traités. En revanche, l’internet est, par nature, mondial et, d’une certaine manière, est présent partout. Il est donc difficile de faire des analogies et des comparaisons).

Note that references to other instances of ‘extraterritoriality’ (or not) could have been made: such as the cases surrounding animal welfare (Zuchtvieh), cosmetics, or the EU’s emissions trading scheme.

The AG also briefly discusses ‘extraterritorial’ protection of rights under the ECHR, but distinguishes the EU Charter from same. (On the topic of the ‘extraterritorial’ impact of the EU’s human rights obligations, see excellently Lorand Bartels here).

At 60-61 the AG argues (paras which have been more or less literally translated in the Press release) that if worldwide de-referencing were permitted, the EU authorities would not be able to define and determine a right to receive information, let alone balance it against the other fundamental rights to data protection and to privacy. This, the AG argues, is all the more so since ‘the right of the public to access such information’ (un tel intérêt du public à accéder à une information; this word string bizarrely translated in the press release as ‘such a publication’) will necessarily vary from one third State to another depending on its geographic location. There would be a risk, the AG suggests, that if worldwide de-referencing were possible, persons in third States would be prevented from accessing information and, in turn, that third States would prevent persons in the EU Member States from accessing information. This might in turn lead to a race to the bottom in the right to access of information.

This is an important point, because it essentially encapsulates a core argument made by Google: that particularly in the US, the constitutional right to free speech and the corollary of the freedom to receive information, gazumps a right to be forgotten – putting Google in the event of worldwide delisting orders between SCOTUS’ rock and CJEU’s hard place.

Crucially however at 62 the AG then in my view perhaps not quite torpedoes but certainly seriously softens his overall general analysis by suggesting that his views on territoriality are the default position only, which may be varied should specific instances of the balancing act of fundamental rights, so require: it’s just that the specific circumstances of the case do not.

Les enjeux en cause n’exigent donc pas que les dispositions de la directive 95/46 soient d’application au-delà du territoire de l’Union. Cela ne signifie pas pour autant que le droit de l’Union ne saurait jamais imposer à un exploitant de moteur de recherche tel que Google qu’il entreprenne des actions au niveau mondial. Je n’exclus pas qu’il puisse y avoir des situations dans lesquelles l’intérêt de l’Union exige une application des dispositions de la directive 95/46 au-delà du territoire de l’Union. Mais dans une situation telle que celle de la présente affaire, il n’y a pas de raison d’appliquer les dispositions de la directive 95/46 d’une telle manière.

The circumstances of the case do not justify worldwide blocking. Yet other circumstances might. This is a crucial section for the French data protection authority’s (CNIL) decision at issue, 2016/054 [thank you again to the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs for providing the factual background to the case; also note that in the French decision Google’s name, amusingly, is anonymised] is a general CNIL instruction to Google to carry out global delisting in instances where natural persons request removal; not a case-specific one. In other words the ‘circumstances of the case’ concern a generic, not a factual balancing.

In yet other words: there could be many instances where national data protection authorities might find worldwide delisting to be the only proper means to balance the various fundamental rights at stake. The AG Opinion offers little to no support that such worldwide delisting in concrete cases were to infringe the Directive /the GDPR. Such balancing act would be akin to X v Google LLC at the Tribunal de grande instance de Paris on which I reported last week.

Note that in his Opinion of the same day in C-136/17, the AG Opines that the default response of search engine providers must be to honour requests for delisting, and to only exceptionally not do so.

Some issues for the Grand Chamber to chew on. And then some more.

Geert.

(Handbook of) EU Private International Law, 2nd ed. 2016, Chapter 2, Heading 2.2.8.2, Heading 2.2.8.2.5.

Conference ‘Families Beyond Borders. Migration with or without private international law’, Ghent University, 28 and 29 March 2019 (start 28 March at 1 pm)

Conflictoflaws - lun, 01/14/2019 - 08:21

On 28 and 29 March 2019, the international conference ‘Families Beyond Borders. Migration with or without private international law’ will take place in Ghent at the Faculty of Law of Ghent University (Belgium). The conference, organised by Jinske Verhellen, will focus on the challenging interactions between private international law, migration law and human rights law.

Speakers will deal with legal problems encountered by refugees and migrants with regard to their personal status acquired in one country and taken along to another country. How do people prove their family ties? How can families be reunited? How do unaccompanied refugee and migrant children prove their minority? How do asylum and migration authorities assess foreign documents that relate to the personal status of refugees? What happens if no (authentic) documents can be presented? How to combat fraud relating to personal status documents in an efficient manner without depriving migrants of their right to family life? These are just some questions that will be discussed.

The conference will put the spotlight on the ‘people’ (subject of all kinds of legal procedures). Therefore, the programme will be centred around three groups of people: persons in need of international protection, refugee and migrant children, migrants and their families. Both academics and experts with experience from the field will take and share the floor.

Ghent University is very honoured to welcome the following keynote speakers: Prof. James C. Hathaway (University of Michigan Law School) and Judge Ksenija Turkovic (European Court of Human Rights).

Confirmed speakers and rapporteurs are: Prof. Laura Carpaneto (University of Genoa), Prof. Sabine Corneloup (Université Paris II), Judge Martina Erb Klünemann (Family Court Germany, EJN and International Hague Network of Judges), Katja Fournier (Coordinator Platform Minors in Exile), Dr. Susanne Gössl (University of Bonn), Steve Heylen (Vice-President European Association of Civil Registrars), Christelle Hilpert (Head of the French Central Authority – 1996 Hague Convention), Prof. Maarit Jänterä-Jareborg (Uppsala University), Prof. Fabienne Jault-Seseke (Université Versailles), Prof. Thalia Kruger (University of Antwerp), Dr. Andrea Struwe, (attorney), Lise Van Baelen (Restoring Family Links Officer, Belgian Red Cross), Dr. Hans van Loon (former Secretary General of the Hague Conference on Private International Law), Prof. Jinske Verhellen (Ghent University) and Prof. Patrick Wautelet (Université de Liège).

Prof. Jean-Yves Carlier (Université catholique Louvain) will draw the conference conclusions.

The full program and information on registration is available here.

SAS Institute v World Programming. Ordre Public, res judicata, fraus and (European) statute conspire against enforcement.

GAVC - lun, 01/14/2019 - 08:08

SAS Institute Inc v World Programming Limited [2018] EWHC 3452 (Comm) is a rare example of refusal by an English court of enforcement of a US judgment. 20 Essex Street have excellent analysis here and I am happy generally to refer.

The outcome of English Proceedings was that WPL defeated SAS’ claims regarding software licence and copyright infringements, with an important role played by the European software Directive as applied by the CJEU in Case C-406/10 upon preliminary reference in the very case.

Meanwhile SAS had commenced concurrent proceedings in the US. WPL initially objected to the US Proceedings on forum non conveniens and other jurisdictional grounds. These objections were later withdrawn and WPL submitted to the jurisdiction of the US District Court and participated in the process before it. Judgment was awarded against it. SAS curtailed its claim of enforcement to as to increase chances of success: it only seeks to enforce the US Judgment in England insofar as it is for compensatory damages based on WPL’s fraud (an issue which was litigated in the US but not in the UK); it does not seek to enforce the breach of contract claim or that part of the US Judgment which awarded multiple damages.

At 35-36 Cockerill J summarises the law: ‘There are three strands of potential preclusion: cause of action estoppel (not live here) issue estoppel and Henderson v Henderson abuse of process. As Lord Sumption observed in Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd v Zodiac Seats UK Ltd [2013] UKSC 46[2014] AC 160 at p.180H at [17]:

“…the policy underlying all of the…[res judicata] principles…” is “…the more general procedural rule against abusive proceedings…”.

The different doctrines therefore have different requirements, but they shoot at the same target – that of ensuring that nobody should be vexed twice in respect of one and the same cause: “nemo debet bis vexari pro una et eadem causa“: as it was put by Lord Diplock in Vervaeke v Smith [1983] AC 145 at p.160A-B, G. A more modern version was given by Lord Bingham in Johnson v Gore Wood [2002] 2 AC 1 at p.31A-B in the context of the Henderson doctrine:

Henderson v Henderson abuse of process, as now understood, although separate and distinct from cause of action estoppel and issue estoppel, has much in common with them. The underlying public interest is the same: that there should be finality in litigation and that a party should not be twice vexed in the same matter. This public interest is reinforced by the current emphasis on efficiency and economy in the conduct of litigation, in the interests of the parties and the public as a whole.” ‘

Issue estoppel per Dicey (referred to by Cockerill J) at paragraph 14-156 means that a “foreign judgment will not be recognised if it is inconsistent with a previous decision of a competent English court in proceedings between the same parties“. Akin therefore in residual English private international law (EU law is not engaged, the judgment having been issued ex-EU) to Brussels I Recast’s Article 45(1)c ‘s rule.

The fundamental point is that issue estoppel bars relitigation not of all issues, but only of issues determined as an essential part of the cause of action (at 40). The Henderson principle is concerned with protecting the integrity of the cause of action and issue estoppel defences and preventing them from being deliberately or inadvertently circumvented by a party which did not advance an argument in England which would otherwise have created such an estoppel (at 47).

This is the core of the abuse investigation and this formulated one can see why it is a difficult test to apply.

At 55: ‘There are two issues: was the Fraud claim “parasitic” on the breach of contract claim and the related question of whether the Fraud claim was a separate, distinct and independent cause of action. Both of these really go to the question of whether there is sufficient identity of issue.’ At 73 Cockerill J concludes that there was such abuse: ‘Ultimately, I have come to the conclusion that the existence of the terms of the contract was a fundamental building block for the Fraud Claim and that without it that claim – as it was formulated in the US – could not have been run. The essence of the case in the US Proceedings related to alleged fraudulent representations concerning its “present intention to comply with those terms”. It was fundamental to the claim that WPL “had no intention of abiding by those terms“. It was inherent in that case that those terms did exist; and yet the courts of this country had already held that those terms did not exist.’

Obiter, at 156 ff, Cockerill J adds that enforcement would also have been refused for reasons of the public policy embodied in the Software Directive. Authority in the arbitration context was referred to to pro inspiratio, including CJEU authority C-168/05 Mostaza Claro and C-126/97 Eco Swiss (at 163). At 179: ‘The fundamental problem for SAS is that the Directive plainly envisages the rendering null and void of provisions such as those on which SAS wants to rely, indeed that is explicitly the policy enunciated in the case-law and yet SAS’s fraud case is dependent upon those terms’ existence. The effect of the Directive is, as I have indicated above, to make SAS’s fraud claim (as formulated) impossible to express. It is therefore unrealistic to analyse the matter as the Directive “authorising frauds“.’ And at 184: ‘It is clear that the Software Directive gives expression to two important public policy objectives of preventing the monopolisation of ideas and promoting competition and consumer welfare.’

A very lengthy judgment which merits full reading.

Geert.

 

 

New publication: Silvia Marino, I rapporti patrimoniali della famiglia nella cooperazione giudiziaria civile dell’Unione europea

Conflictoflaws - dim, 01/13/2019 - 01:33

Silvia Marino has just published her new book on cross-border family patrimonial relationships. Here’s an abstract prepared by the author in English:

This study tackles the PIL-related aspects of the cross-border family’s patrimonial relationships. The main focus is on the coordination and the coherence of the different International and European sources of law, taking as cornerstones the two recent EU Regulations on the matrimonial property regimes and the patrimonial effects of registered partnerships. The other fields dealt with are international successions and maintenance, as part of the global patrimonial organization of the family. Due to the high number of International and European measures within this fields, the volume offers an accurate evaluation of the final coherence of the legislation, with particular regard within the EU.

The book starts with an historical introduction and a first analysis of the definitions (with particular regard to the current notion of family). Then, it  tackles all the classical topics of PIL, under the light of the coherence of the patrimonial organization within the family. The first chapter analyses the coordination of International, European and National sources, as a necessary step to determine the applicable normative measure. Then, the study presents an examination of the convergences and divergences of the regulations in the different sources of law. The first parameter is the role of party autonomy, both within the determination of international jurisdiction and the conflict of laws. Indeed, all the measures examined leave a margin of freedom of choice in favour of the parties, which should stem into coherent outputs. The second parameter is the determination of the international jurisdiction, followed by the connecting factors, and the impact of their application to the coherence of the property regime’s regulation. The third parameter is the (scarce) legislation on the general issues of PIL, as rules on the correct functioning and application of the conflict of law rules. Finally, the last part is devoted to the different models of transnational circulation of judicial decisions, authentic instruments and Court settlements, which might have evidentiary and even enforceable effects within EU Member States. The number of acts that can freely circulate within the EU risks creating difficulties at the enforcement stage. The conclusions offer some few further ideas on the future developments of an EU Area of Freedom, Security and Justice.

Request for consultations under the Trade and Sustainable Devlopment chapter of the EU-Korea FTA.

GAVC - sam, 01/12/2019 - 09:09

This is a short posting for completeness and filing purposes. The EU have requested consultations with South Korea under the Trade and Sustainable Development chapter of the EU-Korea FTA. Labour rights are at the heart of the request. The request is a first trigger of the ‘Trade and’ consultations chapters under recent EU FTAs. I am not in a position to say more at this stage.

Geert.

 

Menon CJ of Singapore’s Supreme Court on cross-border insolvency.

GAVC - ven, 01/11/2019 - 08:08

Many thanks to Filbert Lam for alerting me to Menon CJ’s most exquisite 2018 speech on cross-border insolvency law. His honour’s talk addresses forum shopping (including for cram down reasons), the Model Law, a most enlightening comparison between international commercial arbitration (particularly: the New York Convention’s role) and insolvency, and of course modified universalism (on which see also this recent post by Bob Wessels, with ia analysis of the EU position). A delightfully sharp observation of key elements of international insolvency practice and policy.

Geert.

(Handbook of) EU Private International Law, 2nd edition 2016, Chapter 5.

Kalma v African Minerals. Vicarious liability for human rights abuses at the hands of Sierra Leone police.

GAVC - jeu, 01/10/2019 - 05:05

[2018] EWHC 3506 (QB) Kalma v African Minerals et al was held by the High Court on 19 December 2018. It essentially entails vicarious liability of UK-incorpored companies (jurisdiction firmly settled therefore) for human rights abuses committed by Sierra Leone police (SLP), who ensured security at the defendants’ mine. All claims were held to have failed. The judgment is lengthy and very factual, please refer to same.

Matrix have brief analysis here, critical reception of the judgment is inter alia here. The case does not raise the kind of jurisdictional or applicable law issues which trigger interest of this blog (such as yesterday’s post on Nevsun Resources). Nevertheless discussion of the factual involvement of the companies with SLP activities, required to establish vicarious liability, has echoes of the discussion on the level of oversight required for mother companies to be held liable for subsidiaries’ actions (such as e.g, in Apartheid or in various CSR cases making their way through UK courts).

Of additional note:

  • Turner J’s discussion at 61 ff headed ‘keeping things in proportion’: the difficulty of a judge;s task, particularly at 63: ‘I make no complaint about the volume of written material which has been provided for my assistance. I have read all of it carefully. Both sides have been extremely well served by the industry and thoroughness of their respective legal teams. Inevitably, however, and for the sake of proportionality, I have had to leave a very considerable number of these points on the cutting room floor. This does not mean that I have failed to consider them or that I have discarded them as being entirely redundant but merely that the inclusion of their analysis or resolution in an already lengthy judgment would not have a material impact on the determination of the central issues.’ Less can be more.
  • At 84: irrelevance of CSR discussions: ‘Both sides were very enthusiastic about the idea of setting the parameters of their evidence and submissions to cover broad issues concerning the general level of social responsibility displayed by the defendant – upon which topic they predictably entertained very different views. This, however, I have not permitted. The consequences of the exploration of such issues would have been entirely disproportionate, in terms both of time and costs, to the limited value of resolving them. For the same reason, I do not propose to adjudicate upon the rights and wrongs of the community and employment disputes which lay behind the incidents to which they gave rise.’

Geert.

(Handbook of) European Private International Law, 2nd ed. 2016, Chapter 8, Heading 8.3.

 

Nevsun Resources Ltd. v. Gize Yebeyo Araya, et al. Some of the unanswered Kiobel and Jesner Bank issues now at the Canadian Supreme Court.

GAVC - mer, 01/09/2019 - 10:10

Plenty of goings-on in the Corporate Social Responsibility /mass torts category, as regular readers of the blog and /or my Twitter-feed will know. Thank you Jutta Brunnée for alerting us to Nevsun Resources v Gize Ybeyo et al, currently making its way through the Canadian Supreme Court. Thank you also Cory Wanless for pointing out the core of the issue: Nevsun are not contesting jurisdiction (its existence is secure; much like in the EU context) e.g. on forum non conveniens grounds. Rather, the Supreme Court is asked whether there should be a new tort of breach of international law, and whether the “act of state” doctrine prevents adjudication.

The first question undoubtedly will lead to a discussion of similar issues raised in Kiobel, where they were not discussed by the USSC, and in Jesner Bank, where the USCC refused to be the dealmaker on public international law. The second issue is likely to imply consideration of the very foreign poicy considerations which featured heavily in circuit considerations prior to Kiobel.

Geert.

(Handbook of) European Private International Law, 2nd ed. 2016, Chapter 8, Heading 8.3.

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