The public policy exception and the law applicable to the formal validity of marriage / Ordine pubblico e legge applicabile alla validità formale del matrimonio

Giurisprudenza nazionale

In a judgment of 25 July 2016 (No 15343), the First Chamber of the Italian Court of Cassation held that the application of the law of Pakistan, specifically, the application of the rules that allow marriage proceedings to be conducted over the telephone or by telematic means (subject to certain conditions, such as the presence of witnesses), is not incompatible with the Italian public policy.

Nella sentenza 25 luglio 2016 n. 15343, la Prima Sezione della Corte di cassazione ha escluso che produca effetti contrari all’ordine pubblico italiano la norma pakistana, resa applicabile in forza del richiamo di cui all’art. 28 della legge 31 maggio 1995 n. 218, che ammette — a certe condizioni, come la presenza di testimoni — che uno dei coniugi possa prestare il proprio consenso non già personalmente di fronte all’autorità officiante ma per via telefonica o telematica.

The private international law of companies / Il diritto internazionale privato delle società


Massimo V. Benedettelli, Five Lay Commandments for the EU Private International Law of Companies, in Yearbook of Private International Law, 2015/2016, p. 209-251.

While praising European company law as a “cornerstone of the internal market”, the EU institutions have devoted limited attention to issues of competent jurisdiction, applicable law and recognition of judgments which necessarily arise when companies carry out their business on a cross-border basis. This is a paradox, especially if one considers that in this area the EU often follows a policy of “minimal harmonization” of the laws of the Member States and that this policy leads to the co-existence of a variety of different rules and institutions directly or indirectly impinging on the regulation of companies, thus to possible conflicts of jurisdictions and/or laws. The European Court of Justice’s “Centros doctrine” fills this gap only partially: this is due not only to the inherent limits of its case-law origin, but also to various hidden assumptions and corollaries on which it appears to be grounded and which still need to be unearthed. Hence, time has come for a better coordination of the legal systems of the Member States in the field of company law, possibly through the enactment of an ad hoc instrument. To be properly carried out, however, such coordination requires a preliminary clarification of what the EU private international law of companies really is and how it should be handled at the current stage of the European integration. This article tries to contribute to such clarification by proposing five main guidelines, in the form of “commandments” for the European legislator, courts and practitioners. It is submitted that, first, one should understand the different scope of the three legal disciplines (EU law, private international law and company law) which interact in this field so as to assess when and to what extent the lack of coordination of the Member States’ domestic laws may affect the achievement of the objectives pursued by the EU. As a second analytical step, the impact that the EU constitutional principles of subsidiarity and proportionality may have on the scope of the relevant regulatory powers of the EU and of the Member States should be determined. Third, the issue of “characterization” should be addressed so that the boundaries of company law vis-à-vis neighbouring disciplines (capital markets law, insolvency law, contract law, tort law) are fixed throughout the entire EU legal space in a uniform and consistent way. Fourth, the Member States’ legal systems should be coordinated on the basis of the “jurisdictional approach” method (which de facto inspires the ECJ in Centros and its progenies) by granting a role of prominence to the Member State under the laws of which a company has been incorporated. Fifth, any residual conflict which may still arise among different Member States in the regulation of a given company should be resolved, in principle, by respecting the will of the parties to the corporate contract and the rights “to incorporate” and “to re-incorporate” which they enjoy under EU law. In the author’s opinion, an EU private international law of companies developed on the basis of these guidelines not only would achieve a fair balance between the needs of the integration and the Member States’ sovereignty, but would also create a framework for a European “market of company law” where a “virtuous” forum and law shopping could be performed in a predictable and regulated way.

The temporal scope of application of the Rome I Regulation and overriding mandatory provisions / L’ambito di applicazione temporale del regolamento Roma I e le norme di applicazione necessaria

Giurisprudenza dell’Unione europea

In its judgment of 18 October 2016 regarding the case of Nikiforidis (Case C‑135/15), the Court of Justice ruled as follows.

(1)      Article 28 of Regulation No 593/2008 on the law applicable to contractual obligations (Rome I) must be interpreted as meaning that a contractual employment relationship that came into being before 17 December 2009 (the date on which the Regulation became applicable) falls within the scope of the regulation only in so far as that relationship has undergone, as a result of mutual agreement of the contracting parties which has manifested itself on or after that date, a variation of such magnitude that a new employment contract must be regarded as having been concluded on or after that date, a matter which is for the referring court to determine.

(2)      Article 9(3) of Regulation No 593/2008 must be interpreted as precluding overriding mandatory provisions other than those of the State of the forum or of the State where the obligations arising out of the contract have to be or have been performed from being applied, as legal rules, by the court of the forum. The Regulation, however, does not preclude the court from taking such other overriding mandatory provisions into account as matters of fact in so far as this is provided for by the national law that is applicable to the contract pursuant to the regulation. This interpretation is not affected by the principle of sincere cooperation laid down in Article 4(3) TEU. 

Regarding the opinion delivered by SG Szpunar in this case, see here.  

Nella sentenza del 18 ottobre 2016 relativa al caso Nikiforidis (causa C-135/15), la Corte ha affermato quanto segue.

(1)      L’art. 28 del regolamento n. 593/2008 sulla legge applicabile alle obbligazioni contrattuali (Roma I) dev’essere interpretato nel senso che un rapporto contrattuale di lavoro sorto prima del 17 dicembre 2009 (la data di applicabilità del regolamento) rientra nell’ambito di applicazione di tale regolamento solo nei limiti in cui detto rapporto ha subito, per effetto di un consenso reciproco delle parti contraenti che si sia manifestato a decorrere da tale data, una modifica di ampiezza tale da dover ritenere che sia stato concluso un nuovo contratto di lavoro a decorrere dalla medesima data, circostanza che spetta al giudice del rinvio determinare.

(2)      L’art. 9, par. 3, del regolamento n. 593/2008 deve essere interpretato nel senso che esso esclude che norme di applicazione necessaria diverse da quelle dello Stato del foro, o dello Stato nel quale gli obblighi derivanti dal contratto devono essere o sono stati eseguiti, possano essere applicate, in quanto norme giuridiche, dal giudice del foro. Esso non osta, tuttavia, a che il giudice prenda in considerazione siffatte altre norme di applicazione necessaria in quanto elementi di fatto nei limiti in cui ciò è previsto dal diritto nazionale applicabile al contratto in forza delle disposizioni di tale regolamento. Detta interpretazione non è rimessa in discussione dal principio di leale cooperazione enunciato all’articolo 4, paragrafo 3, TUE.

Vedi qui una sintesi delle conclusioni presentate in questa causa dall’Avvocato Generale Szpunar.

The European account preservation order / L’ordinanza europea di sequestro conservativo di conti bancari

Norme e lavori preparatori

By Implementing Regulation 2016/1823 of 10 October 2016, the European Commission has established the forms referred to in Regulation No 655/2014 of 15 May 2014 on the European Account Preservation Order (EAPO) procedure, which is set to become available on 18 January 2017. The forms include, inter alia, the form to be used by the creditor to apply for a EAPO, the forms to be used by the court for the issue and the revocation of a EAPO, and the form to be used by the debtor to apply for a remedy against a EAPO. Each form comes with an explanatory text providing practical guidelines. The Commission is now expected to make publicly available the information that the Member States, pursuant to Article 50 of Regulation No 655/2014, were required to provide before 18 July 2016 as regards the organisation of the EAPO procedure in their legal systems (such as the courts designated as competent to issue a EAPO and the authorities charged with the enforcement of EAPOs).

Con il regolamento di esecuzione 2016/1823 del 19 ottobre 2016, la Commissione europea ha adottato i moduli standard previsti dal regolamento n. 655/2014 del 15 maggio 2015 che istituisce una procedura per l’ordinanza europea di sequestro conservativo su conti bancari, esperibile a partire dal 18 gennaio 2017. Fra i moduli così elaborati rientrano quello di cui deve servirsi il creditore per domandare il rilascio di un’ordinanza, quello che deve adoperare il giudice competente per disporre o revocare l’ordinanza e quello che deve utilizzare il debitore per ricorrere contro l’ordinanza. Ogni modulo è corredato da una nota esplicativa contenente delle istruzioni pratiche. Ci si attende ora che la Commissione renda pubbliche le informazioni che gli Stati membri erano tenuti a fornirle entro il 18 luglio 2016 circa l’attuazione del regolamento n. 655/2014 nei rispettivi ordinamento (come l’indicazione delle autorità competenti alla concessione dell’ordinanza o quelle investite della sua esecuzione).

International contracts / Contratti internazionali


ancelMarie-Elodie Ancel, Pascale Deumier, Malik Laazouzi, Droit des contrats internationaux, Sirey, 2016, ISBN 9782247084784, 742 pp., EUR 36.

Le présent ouvrage est le premier manuel consacré au seul droit des contrats internationaux, ce qui se justifie pleinement en raison du développement du phénomène et des évolutions constantes de la matière. Il en donne une présentation riche et rigoureuse, prenant en compte les textes récemment adoptés ou discutés au plan national, européen ou international. Une fois posés les principes généraux de la matière, examinés à travers le prisme du contentieux judiciaire et de la justice arbitrale, le lecteur pourra prendre connaissance des régimes des contrats les plus fréquents dans l’ordre international, selon qu’il s’agit de contrats d’affaires (vente de marchandises et contrats d’intermédiaire), relatifs à des secteurs spécifiques (assurances et transports), impliquant une partie faible (contrats de travail et de consommation) ou une personne publique (française ou étrangère).


Punitive damages / Danni punitivi


vanleenhoveCedric Vanleenhove, Punitive Damages in Private International Law, Intersentia, 2016, ISBN 9781780684161, 260 pp., EUR 60.

Although European scholars have called U.S. punitive damages an “(undesired) peculiarity of American law” and the “Trojan horse of the Americanisation of continental law”, the European Union cannot close its eyes to this important feature of U.S. law. Despite being under constant scrutiny, punitive damages have a strong foothold on the other side of the ocean. Moreover, due to increased globalisation, transnational litigation is arguably on the rise. In cross-border law suits, it is inevitable that a jurisdiction will encounter legal institutions that are alien to the substantive law of the forum. This book examines the private international law treatment of American punitive damages in the European Union. It poses the crucial question whether U.S. punitive damages (should) penetrate the borders of the European Union through the backdoor of private international law. More specifically, three areas of private international law are analysed: service of process, applicable law and enforcement of judgments. In addition to describing the current positions in case law and scholarship, the book takes a normative perspective and attempts to formulate concrete guiding principles that can be used when the European legal order faces U.S. punitive damages. It, therefore, provides an invaluable resource for practitioners, judges and authorities confronted with this controversial remedy. Furthermore, as a nation’s private international law attitude indicates the country’s level of tolerance towards a foreign concept unknown in its own legal system, the book can form an essential building block for discussions amongst legislators surrounding the introduction of the remedy of punitive damages in substantive law.

Jurisdiction in matters of marriage annulment / La giurisdizione in materia di annullamento del matrimonio

Giurisprudenza dell’Unione europea

In its judgment of 13 October 2016, case C-294/15, Mikołajczyk, the Court of Justice stated as follows.

(1)    Article 1(1)(a) of Regulation No 2201/2003 concerning jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in matrimonial matters and the matters of parental responsibility, must be interpreted as meaning that an action for annulment of marriage brought by a third party following the death of one of the spouses falls within the scope of that Regulation.

(2)    The fifth and sixth indents of Article 3(1)(a) of Regulation No 2201/2003 must be interpreted as meaning that a person other than one of the spouses who brings an action for annulment of marriage may not rely on the grounds of jurisdiction set out in those provisions.

Nella sentenza resa il 13 ottobre 2016, relativa alla causa C-294/15, Mikołajczyk, la Corte di giustizia ha affermato quanto segue.

(1)     L’art. 1, par. 1, lett. a), del regolamento n. 2201/2003 relativo alla competenza, al riconoscimento e all’esecuzione delle decisioni in materia matrimoniale e in materia di responsabilità genitoriale va interpretato nel senso che un’azione per l’annullamento del matrimonio proposta da un terzo successivamente al decesso di uno dei coniugi rientra nell’ambito di applicazione di detto regolamento.

(2)      L’art. 3, par. 1, lett. a), del medesimo regolamento, segnatamente il quinto e il sesto trattino (che valorizzano la residenza abituale dell’attore come titolo di giurisdizione in materia matrimoniale), va interpretato nel senso che una persona diversa da uno dei coniugi che proponga un’azione per l’annullamento del matrimonio non può avvalersi dei criteri di competenza previsti in tali disposizioni.

The protection of adults in cross-border situations / La protezione internazionale degli adulti

Dottrina / Norme e lavori preparatori

The European Parliamentary Research Service has published a study accompanying a legislative initiative report on the protection of vulnerable adults to be prepared by the French MEP Joëlle Bergeron for the purposes of Article 225 of the TFEU. Its purpose is to assess the potential added value of taking legislative action at EU level in this field, in particular as regards situations where a cross-border element is present. The study builds on expert research carried out for the purpose, inter alia, by Ian Curry-Sumner (Voorts Juridische Diensten, Dordrecht), and Joëlle Long (Univ. Turin). The research papers are annexed to the study.

Il Servizio Ricerca del Parlamento europeo ha pubblicato uno studio destinato ad accompagnare una relazione di iniziativa legislativa ai sensi dell’art. 225 del TFUE dedicata alla protezione degli adulti e affidata alla Parlamentare europea francese Joëlle Bergeron. Lo studio punta ad accertare il valore aggiunto di un’azione legislativa condotta in quest’ambito a livello europeo, in particolare per quanto concerne le situazioni caratterizzate da elementi di internazionalità. Lo studio si basa su ricerche svolte, fra gli altri, da Ian Curry-Sumner (Voorts Juridische Diensten, Dordrecht) e Joëlle Long (Univ. Torino). Il testo integrale di tali lavori di ricerca è allegato allo studio.

Turkey joins the Hague Conventions on children protection and maintenance / La Turchia ratifica le Convenzioni dell’Aja sulla protezione dei minori e gli alimenti

Norme e lavori preparatori

On 7 October 2016, Turkey ratified the 1996 Hague Convention the Protection of Children and the 2007 Hague Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance. Both Conventions will enter into force for Turkey on 1 February 2017.

Il 7 ottobre 2016, la Turchia ha ratificato la Convenzione dell’Aja del 1996 sulla protezione dei minori e la Convenzione dell’Aja del 2007 sulle obbligazioni alimentari. I due strumenti saranno internazionalmente in vigore per la Turchia dal 1° febbraio 2017.

The EU Succession Regulation / Il regolamento europeo sulle successioni

Corsi, convegni, eventi formativi / Dottrina

eu-succession-regulationThe EU Succession Regulation – A Commentary, edited by Alfonso-Luis Calvo Caravaca, Angelo Davì, Heinz-Peter Mansel, Cambridge University Press, 2016, ISBN 9781107127302, GBP 125.

The European Succession Regulation is a landmark in the field of EU private international law. It unifies the conflicts of laws, jurisdiction and recognition of foreign judgments and some other legal instruments in the field of succession and wills. This volume provides an article-by-article commentary on the individual provisions of the Regulation, introduced by an overview of its general framework and underlying principles. As a reference tool for the Regulation, this book is intended to promote a high standard of interpretation and application. With contributions from leading scholars in the field, it uses a comparative approach in its analysis to enrich the academic debate and highlight the problems likely to arise in the practical application of the Regulation.

The University of Rome La Sapienza will host a conference, on 13 October 2016, on the occasion of the publication of the book. Speakers include Cristina Campiglio (Univ. Pavia), Sergio Maria Carbone (Univ. Genova), Javier Carrascosa González (Univ. Murcia), Claudio Consolo (Univ. Roma La Sapienza), Erik Jayme (Univ. Heidelberg), Peter Kindler (LMU Munich), Paolo Pasqualis (Italian Council of Notaries), Ugo Villani (Univ. Bari).

Il 13 ottobre 2016, si svolgerà a Roma, all’Università La Sapienza, un convegno in occasione della pubblicazione del volume. Interverranno, fra gli altri, Cristina Campiglio (Univ. Pavia), Sergio Maria Carbone (Univ. Genova), Javier Carrascosa González (Univ. Murcia), Claudio Consolo (Univ. Roma La Sapienza), Erik Jayme (Univ. Heidelberg), Peter Kindler (LMU Monaco), Paolo Pasqualis (Consiglio Nazionale del Notariato), Ugo Villani (Univ. Bari).