European Private International Law at 50. Celebrating and Contemplating EEX and its Successors

Jura Falconis Conference 23 March 2018, 10 AM – 5:30 PM (College De Valk, Leuven)

In 2018 we celebrate the 50th year since the adoption of the 1968 Brussels Convention on jurisdiction and the enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters. The 1968 attempt to facilitate the free movement of judgments in the EU, helped lay the foundations for the exciting developments in European private international law which have occurred since. Many of the outstanding issues in what is now the Brussels I Recast (also known as EEX-bis; or Brussels Ibis) continue to have an impact on other parts of European civil procedure.

Co-organised by Leuven Law’s Institute of Private International Law and Jura Falconis, KU Leuven’s student law review, this event will consider, capita selecta wise, the application and implications of the Convention and its successors. It will also discuss the future direction of EU private international law both for civil and commercial matters, and for issues outside of commercial litigation. At a time when in most Member States the majority of commercial transactions have some kind of international element, this is a timely refresher for practitioners, judges, students and scholars alike.
PROGRAM Continue reading “European Private International Law at 50. Celebrating and Contemplating EEX and its Successors”

European Commission announces proposals on covered bonds, cross-border distribution of investment funds and cross-border transactions in claims and securities

“Capital Markets Union: breaking down barriers to cross-border investments and accelerating delivery”

The European Commission announced today proposals on (i) covered bonds, (ii) cross-border distribution of investment funds and (iii) the law applicable to cross-border transactions in claims and securities (press release).

The latter issue was dealt with in a previous post on this blog by Louis Coussée. The assignment of a claim refers to a situation where a creditor transfers the right to claim a debt to another person in exchange of a payment. This system is used by companies to obtain liquidity and access credit. At the moment, there is no legal certainty as to which national law applies when determining who owns a claim after it has been assigned in a cross-border case. The new rules proposed today clarify according to which law such disputes are resolved: as a general rule, the law of the country where creditors have their habitual residence would apply, regardless of which Member State’s courts or authorities examine the case.

The measures presented today, and the applicable to cross-border transactions in claims and securities.

The proposals will be presented by May 2018 in order to make it possible that legislation can be adopted before European Parliament elections in 2019.

More information is available from a Fact Sheet issued by the Commission.

Parent Companies Are Not Parents, Subsidiaries Are Not Children

Okpabi v Shell Judgment Puts the Brakes on the Expansion of Parent Company Liability for Damage Caused By Its Subsidiaries

A recent judgment of the England and Wales Court of Appeal addressed important jurisdictional questions in relation to a parent company’s liability for damages caused by its subsidiaries. The court did not rule on the merits of the claim; rather, it analysed the preliminary issue of whether UK courts have jurisdiction to hear such claims. In determining whether there is jurisdiction, however, the English court did have to examine substantive law issues. This makes the case of great interest to parent company liability, and, as parent company liability overlaps with supply chain liability, also to the latter. Continue reading “Parent Companies Are Not Parents, Subsidiaries Are Not Children”

Cross-border Insolvencies after Brexit: Views from the United Kingdom and Continental Europe

A recent paper of the Centre for International Governance Innovation and the British Institute of International and Comparative Law examines the consequences of Brexit for cross-border insolvencies. The conclusion of the paper reads as follows:

Whatever the outcome of the Brexit negotiations might be, it is possible that the United Kingdom will lose at least part of its attraction as a restructuring and insolvency hub for the remaining member states of the European Union.

Swiss Referendum on Implementing Supply Chain Liability

a post by guest blogger Penelope Bergkamp

Following a clear trend, Switzerland is now also considering proposals to hold  Swiss companies liable for environmental damage and human rights violations in their supply chains. Possibly inspired by the French Corporate Duty of Vigilance Law, the Swiss Coalition for Corporate Justice (SCCJ) launched the Responsible Business Initiative (“RBI”) in 2015. The RBI involves a citizens’ petition to amend the Swiss Federal Constitution to impose “appropriate due diligence” obligations on Swiss companies in  accordance with  their responsibilities under the UN Guiding Principles, along with liability for breaches by their subsidiaries. In response to the RBI, the Swiss Senate adopted a somewhat narrower, less ambitious proposal. Pursuant to Article 139 of the Federal Constitution, the Swiss people will be asked to vote on the RBI in a popular referendum

This post discusses the RBI and highlights the key differences between the RBI and the Senate proposal. First, the background to the RBI proposal is briefly reviewed. I will then turn to the procedural and substantive provisions of the RBI. Finally, the international private law aspects of the proposal will be analyzed. Continue reading “Swiss Referendum on Implementing Supply Chain Liability”

Heremans Lectures 2018: “Judicial Analytics and The Great Transformation of American Law” – Professor Daniel Chen (Toulouse School of Economics) at KU Leuven

Opening Lecture of the Heremans Lectures 2018 on 26 March 2018 (11 am)

The 2018 Heremans Lectures in Law & Economics at KU Leuven will be delivered by Professor Daniel Chen of the Toulouse School of Economics. The lectures will investigate a set of ideas related to legitimacy in law, how to formalize recognition-respect theory, and what it means for legal institutions, actors, and judges to be indifferent, such that it violates our notion of justice. The lectures will investigate how economic theory, experiments, causal inference, and machine learning can shed light on these issues.

The Inaugural Lecture will take place on 26 March 2018 at 11:00 am in the University Halls at Naamsestraat 22, 3000 Leuven, Belgium and is titled:

Judicial Analytics and The Great Transformation of American Law

Continue reading “Heremans Lectures 2018: “Judicial Analytics and The Great Transformation of American Law” – Professor Daniel Chen (Toulouse School of Economics) at KU Leuven”

Insolvency proceedings and human rights

In its judgment of 11 January 2018 in the case of Cipolletta v. Italy, the European Court of Human Rights held that there had been a violation of Article 6 § 1 (right to a fair hearing within a reasonable time) of the European Convention on Human Rights and a violation of Article 13 (right to an effective remedy). Continue reading “Insolvency proceedings and human rights”