South Asian States’ Practice in Private international law / Il diritto internazionale privato degli Stati dell’Asia meridionale


PIL South Asian States' PracticePrivate International Law – South Asian States’ Practice, edited by / a cura di S. R. Garimella, J. Stellina, Springer, 2017, ISBN 9789811034572, 442 pp., EUR 207,99.

This book shows how, with the increasing interaction between jurisdictions spearheaded by globalization, it is gradually becoming impossible to confine transactions to a single jurisdiction. Presented in the form of a compendium of essays by eminent academics and practitioners in the field, it provides a detailed overview of private, international law practice in South Asian nations, addressing contemporary discourse within this knowledge domain. Conflict of laws/private international law arises from the universal acknowledgment that it is difficult to govern human transactions solely by the local law. The research presented addresses the three major threads of private international law – jurisdiction, choice of law and enforcement – within each of the South Asian countries in the areas of family law and commercial law. The research in family law domain includes traditional areas such as marriage, divorce and maintenance, as well as some of the contemporary concerns in this region – inter-country child retrieval, surrogacy, and the country statement on accession to the Hague Conventions related to this domain. In commercial law the research explores the concerns raised with regard to choice of law issues in transnational contracts, and also enforcement of foreign judgment/arbitral awards in the nations of this region.

The State control on international arbitral awards / Il controllo statale delle sentenze arbitrali internazionali


le-controle-etatique-des-sentences-arbitrales-internationalesLe contrôle étatique des sentences arbitrales internationales, Jérémy Jourdan-Marques, L.G.D.J., 2017, ISBN 978-2-275-05552-7, 576 pp. Eur 56.

Par un étonnant paradoxe, le contrôle étatique des sentences arbitrales internationales conduit à réintroduire la justice étatique là où les parties avaient voulu l’exclure. Mais ce paradoxe pourrait n’être qu’apparent. Une approche fondée sur la distinction entre les intérêts publics et les intérêts privés ouvre de nouvelles perspectives. L’examen réalisé par le juge étatique l’invite à s’assurer, d’une part, du respect par les arbitres des intérêts privés des parties et, d’autre part, à contrôler la compatibilité de la sentence avec ses intérêts publics. Aussi paraît-il concevable que l’intérêt en cause puisse modifier directement la nature du contrôle exercé. Parallèlement, le juge compétent est tantôt indirectement désigné par les parties, tantôt déterminé par le lieu d’exécution de la sentence. Par conséquent, il est légitime d’assigner aux juges de l’annulation et de l’exequatur une mission distincte, mais complémentaire. Le juge de l’annulation examinerait les intérêts privés et le juge de l’exequatur garantirait la conformité de la sentence aux intérêts publics. En définitive, la distinction des intérêts privés et des intérêts publics pourrait devenir un instrument de redéfinition du contrôle étatique des sentences arbitrales internationales. À la fois plus respectueux de la volonté des parties, plus protecteur des intérêts étatiques et offrant une solution au désordre actuel du contrôle des sentences arbitrales, ce nouveau paradigme concourrait à l’efficacité de l’arbitrage.

The (non) applicability of the EU harmonised rules on commercial agency to non-EU agents

Giurisprudenza dell’Unione europea

The Court of Justice rendered on 16 February 2017 its judgment in Agro Foreign Trade & Agency Ltd v Petersime NV (Case C‑507/15), a case involving a commercial agency contract concluded between a Belgian principal and a Turkish agent. The contract had been submitted by the parties to Belgian law and featured a choice-of-forum clause conferring jurisdiction to the courts of Ghent, in Belgium.

The issue submitted to the Court concerned the interpretation of Directive 86/653 on the coordination of the laws of the Member States relating to self-employed commercial agents and of the 1963 Agreement establishing an association between the EU and Turkey, together with the Additional Protocol thereto.

Specifically, the Court was asked to determine whether the above texts preclude national legislation transposing the directive into the law of a Member State (Belgium, in the case at issue), which excludes from its scope of application a commercial agency contract in the context of which the agent is established in Turkey, where it carries out activities under that contract, and the principal is established in that Member State. The exclusion was such that, in the circumstances, the agent could not rely on rights which the directive guarantees to commercial agents after the termination of the contract.

The Court held that the Directive and the Association Agreement do not preclude such national legislation.

In its reasoning, the Court began by focusing on the scope of application of the Directive. Having noted that the situation of a contract between a EU principal and a non-EU agent is not expressly referred to in the Directive, the Court observed, relying on the second and third recitals of the Directive, that the harmonising measures provided thereunder seek to protect commercial agents in their relations with their principals, to eliminate restrictions on the carrying-on of the activities of commercial agents, to make the conditions of competition within the Community uniform, to promote the security of commercial transactions, and to facilitate trade in goods between Member States by harmonising their legal systems within the area of commercial representation.

It added that the purpose of the regime established in Articles 17 to 19 of the Directive is to protect freedom of establishment and the operation of undistorted competition in the internal market.

Accordingly, where the commercial agent carries out its activities outside the EU, the fact that the principal is established in a Member State does not present a sufficiently close link with the EU for the purposes of the application of the Directive.

The Court then moved on to determine whether the application of the Directive to commercial agents established in Turkey can follow from the Association Agreement.

The Court acknowledged that, pursuant to the Agreement, the provisions of the Treaties on the free movement of workers and the freedom to provide services must be extended, so far as possible, to Turkish nationals to eliminate restrictions on the freedom to provide services between the contracting parties.

It noted, however, that the interpretation given to the provisions of EU law concerning the internal market cannot be automatically applied by analogy to the interpretation of an agreement concluded by the EU with a non-Member State, and that the Association Agreement, which is intended essentially to promote the economic development of Turkey, does not establish any general principle of freedom of movement of persons between Turkey and the European Union. Its purpose is rather to guarantee the enjoyment of certain rights only within the territory of the host Member State.

By contrast, the Court stressed that, in the context of EU law, the protection of the freedom of establishment and the freedom to provide services, by means of the regime provided for by Directive 86/653 with respect to commercial agents, reflects the objective of establishing an internal market, conceived as an area without internal borders, by removing all obstacles to the establishment of such a market.

The Court concluded that the differences between the Treaties and the Association Agreement preclude the system of protection laid down by the Directive from being held to extend to commercial agents established in Turkey, in the context of that agreement.

Jean-Sylvestre Bergé (University of Lyon) has published an interesting analysis of the judgment in his blog Droit & Pluriel.   

The Grand Chamber of the ECtHR in the case of Paradiso and Campanelli v. Italy / La Grande Camera della Corte EDU nel caso Paradiso e Campanelli c. Italia

Giurisprudenza della Corte europea dei diritti dell’uomo

On 24 January 2017, the Grand Chamber of the ECtHR rendered its judgment in the case of Paradiso and Campanelli v. Italy. The case involves a child born in Russia following a gestational surrogacy contract entered into by an Italian couple with a Russian woman. The couple complained that the measures taken by the Italian authorities in respect of the child, which resulted in the latter’s permanent removal, had infringed their right to respect for private and family life, guaranteed by Article 8 of the Convention.

The Grand Chamber held that Italy did not violate Article 8 of the ECHR. Having regard to the absence of any biological tie between the child and the intended parents, the short duration of the relationship with the child and the uncertainty of the ties between them from a legal perspective, and in spite of the existence of a parental project and the quality of the emotional bonds, the Court considered that the conditions for the existence of family life had not been met. The Court accepted, however, that the facts of the case fell within the scope of the applicants’ private life.

In the Court’s opinion, the Italian authorities, having concluded that the child would not suffer grave or irreparable harm as a result of the separation from the Italian couple, struck a fair balance between the different interests at stake, while remaining within the State’s margin of appreciation. 

Il 24 gennaio 2017, la Grande Camera della Corte europea dei diritti dell’uomo si è pronunciata nel caso Paradiso e Campanelli c. Italia. Il caso riguarda un minore nato in Russia a seguito di un contratto di maternità surrogata concluso da una coppia di italiani con una donna russa. La coppia si lamentava del fatto che le misure assunte dalle autorità italiane, che avevano comportato l’allontanamento del minore, integravano una violazione del diritto alla vita privata e familiare garantito dall’art. 8 della Convenzione europea dei diritti dell’uomo.

La Grande Camera ha concluso che non vi è stata alcuna violazione dell’art. 8 da parte delle autorità italiane. Considerata la mancanza di un legame biologico tra il bambino ed i genitori committenti, la breve durata del rapporto con il minore e l’incertezza dei legami giuridici, e nonostante l’esistenza di un progetto genitoriale nonché la qualità dei legami affettivi, la Corte ha ritenuto che le condizioni per l’esistenza della vita familiare non fossero soddisfatte. La Corte ha riconosciuto, tuttavia, che la fattispecie interessasse la vita privata dei ricorrenti.

Per la Corte, le autorità italiane, nel considerare che il minore non avrebbe sofferto un pregiudizio grave o irreparabile dalla separazione dalla coppia, hanno effettuato un giusto bilanciamento tra tutti gli interessi in gioco, nel rispetto del margine di apprezzamento lasciato allo Stato.

A series of seminars in Messina / Un ciclo di seminari a Messina


The University of Messina and ILSA, the International Law Students Association, organise a series of seminars on current problems of international law. Two seminars will be devoted to private international law issues. They are scheduled to take place on 26 April 2017 (Marcella Distefano will address surrogate motherhood) and on 11 May 2017 (Livio Scaffidi will speak of registered partnerships). See here for more information.

L’Università di Messina organizza assieme a ILSA, la International Law Students Association, un ciclo di seminari dedicati a questioni attuali del diritto internazionale. Due seminari riguardano tematiche internazionalprivatistiche e sono programmati rispettivamente per il 26 aprile 2017 (Marcella Distefano parlerà di maternità surrogata) e per l’11 maggio 2017 (Livio Scaffidi si occuperà di unioni civili). Maggiori informazioni a questo indirizzo.


The Special Commission on the Judgments Project meets for the second time / La Commissione speciale incaricata del Judgments Project si riunisce per la seconda volta

Norme e lavori preparatori

The Special Commission convened by the Council on General Affairs and Policy of the Hague Conference on Private International Law to prepare a preliminary draft convention on the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters will meet between 16 and 24 February 2017. Discussions will be based on the draft text that resulted from the first meeting, held in 2016. The agenda of the meeting is available here. For further information on the Judgments Project, see here.

La Commissione speciale istituita dal Consiglio sugli affari generali della Conferenza dell’Aja di diritto internazionale privato per predisporre un progetto di convenzione sul riconoscimento e l’esecuzione delle decisioni in materia civile e commerciale si riunirà fra il 16 e il 24 febbraio 2017. La base dei lavori è rappresentata dal testo sortito dal primo incontro della Commissione, svoltosi nel 2016. L’ordine del giorno dell’incontro si trova qui. Ulteriori informazioni sul Judgments Project a questo indirizzo.

The Dieselgate: A Legal Perspective / Aspetti giuridici del Dieselgate


dieselgateThe Dieselgate: A Legal Perspective, edited by / a cura di Marco Frigessi di Rattalma, Springer, 2017, ISBN 9783319483221, pp. X+218, EUR  145,59.

This book explains, compares and assesses the legal implications of Dieselgate within a range of selected jurisdictions and at the EU, international and comparative law level.The book analyses the US EPA-VW $14.7 billion dollar settlement of 2016, one of the largest civil settlements in the history of environmental law. As it shows, the Dieselgate affair has raised a host of issues concerning corporate and social responsibility, tort liability, environmental liability, contractual defective products, warranty, and false environmental claims in a range of jurisdictions. Issues like repurchasing or retrofitting cars from consumers and making direct payments to consumers through car buy-backs and compensation are analysed. Further, the book relates how Dieselgate has also contributed to the discussion about the introduction of more effective collective measures of redress for consumers, such as class actions, in Germany, France, Italy and the UK.The book subsequently reviews the criminal offences Volkswagen is currently confronted with in Germany, France and Italy, i.e. fraud and manipulation of capital markets (by belatedly providing shareholders with essential information relevant for the share value), and, potentially, environmental crimes. It demonstrates how Dieselgate has sparked new debates in Germany, Italy, France and the UK about the need to introduce enterprise liability for organised crimes, lack of compliance and control structures, and intentional violations of the law.Lastly, the book discusses how EU law has sought to respond to Dieselgate and thus investigates the controversial EU Regulation No. 2016/646 introducing a “temporary conformity factor” of 2.1 (equivalent to a 110% increase on the current limit) to be applied for NOx in the new RDE testing cycle, and the works of the EU committee of inquiry into Emissions Measurements in the Automotive Sector (EMIS).

Towards EU rules on the cross-border recognition of adoptions? / Verso regole europee sul riconoscimento delle adozioni?


On 2 February 2017 the European Parliament adopted a resolution urging the EU Commission to propose rules aimed at facilitating the recognition of ‘domestic’ adoptions, i.e. in cases where the adopters and the adopted child are resident in the same country. It is worth noting that the 1993 Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoptions requires automatic recognition of adoptions between contracting States, which include all EU Member States, but applies only to cases in which the parents and the adopted child are from different countries. The resolution further suggests creating a European Certificate of Adoption and calls for common minimum standards for adoption, in the form of ‘best practice’ guidelines. The resolution is accompanied by a study drawn up by the European Parliamentary Research Service, with a contribution by Ruth Cabeza, Claire Fenton-Glynn and Alexander Boiché.

Il 2 febbraio 2017 il Parlamento europeo ha adottato una risoluzione che invita la Commissione a proporre regole che agevolino il riconoscimento delle adozioni fra uno Stato membro dell’Unione e l’altro nei casi in cui chi adotta e chi viene adottato risiedono nello stesso paese. Giova ricordare che la convenzione dell’Aja del 1993 sulle adozioni internazionali richiede il riconoscimento automatico delle adozioni in tutti gli Stati contraenti, fra cui rientrano tutti gli Stati membri, ma si applica solo quando gli adottanti e l’adottato risiedono in paesi differenti. La risoluzione suggerisce inoltre la creazione di un Certificato europeo di adozione e propone l’elaborazione di standard minimi comuni da seguire in caso di adozione, sotto forma di buone pratiche. La risoluzione è accompagnata da uno studio elaborato dal Servizio ricerca del Parlamento europeo, con un contributo di Ruth Cabeza, Claire Fenton-Glynn e Alexander Boiché.

European and international company law / Il diritto societario europeo e internazionale


il_diritto_societario_europeo_e_internazionale_612610Il diritto societario europeo e internazionale, edited by / a cura di M. Benedettelli, M. Lamandini, Utet, 2016, ISBN 9788859814733, 832 pp., EUR 90.

Pur non esistendo di fatto un diritto societario europeo codificato, la legislazione dell‘Unione prevede norme minime applicabili alle imprese in tutto il territorio. Due importanti strumenti legislativi adottati dal Consiglio hanno portato alla creazione della figura della “società europea” che avrebbe dovuto essere regolata da un diritto sovranazionale, mentre invece gli Stati membri continuano ad applicare norme societarie proprie, modificandole di tanto in tanto, per conformarsi alle direttive e ai regolamenti emanati. In un contesto economico nel quale società e imprese operano sempre più in differenti contesti, all’interno dell’Unione europea e non, l’opera rappresenta un importante strumento per l’approfondimento dei regimi normativi vigenti a livello comunitario e internazionale. 


Moroccan family law viewed from Europe / Il diritto marocchino della famiglia nella prospettiva europea


fobletsLe code marocain de famille en Europe – Bilan comparé de dix ans d’application, edited by / a cura di Marie-Claire Foblets, La charte, 2017, ISBN 9782874034312, 720 pp., EUR 80.

Dans cet ouvrage sont regroupés les résultats d’une recherche comparée qui s’est penchée sur l’application concrète du Code dans cinq pays d’Eu¬rope (la France, les Pays-Bas, l’Espagne, l’Italie et la Belgique) ainsi qu’au Maroc, en portant un intérêt particulier pour les situations de familles de MRE résidant dans ces pays. La recherche couvre deux volets, d’une part, sont étudiées les principales questions que soulevaient depuis 2004 les dossiers et litiges impliquant des MRE vivant en Europe et la manière dont ceux-ci sont traités non seulement par les tribunaux et les administrations publiques, mais également par les services consulaires marocains ; d’autre part, comment sont reçus en droit interne marocain, les décisions judiciaires ainsi que les actes délivrés par les autorités compétentes en matières civiles et familiales dans les pays de résidence de MRE en Europe. À ce jour, très peu est su à propos de cette réception. Ce qui rend cet ouvrage si précieux et utile est la démonstration qui est faite, à travers les diverses contributions, de la difficulté majeure qui – plus de dix années à compter depuis l’entrée en vigueur du Code – continue à se poser pour les autorités administratives et judiciaires des deux rives de la Méditerranée et qui consiste à savoir comment correctement appréhender la manière dont en Europe, d’une part, et au Maroc, de l’autre, est conçue la famille et la manière de réguler les relations, tant entre partenaires, qu’entre parents et leurs enfants.

The cross-border movement of cultural goods / La circolazione internazionale dei beni culturali


frigo-circulation-des-biens-culturelsManlio Frigo, Circulation des biens culturels, détermination de la loi applicable et méthodes de règlement des litiges, Brill, 2016, ISBN: 9789004321298, 552 pp., EUR 18.

La pratique internationale des différends concernant la circulation des biens culturels est devenue très riche pendant les dernières années, grâce à la prolifération de normes internationales applicables et à la multiplication de juridictions compétentes à saisir les litiges. La recherche des liens entre biens culturels et collectivité humaine et territoriale et de l’intérêt protégé à la lumière de l’expérience directe en matière de différends et de négociations, conduisent l’auteur à examiner les critères de rattachement utilisés, aussi bien que la question de la loi matérielle applicable par rapport à l’issue des différends. Les problèmes sont abordés soit par rapport à la spécificité des biens culturels vis-à-vis des règles ordinaires en matière de circulation des meubles, soit en fonction de la recherche du rattachement à l’ordre juridique d’origine des biens concernés. Cet ouvrage évalue les inconvénients découlant de l’application des règles générales édictées par les principaux systèmes de droit international privé en matière de circulation de biens et de constitution de droits réels. L’analyse est conduite aussi à l’égard de la validité des solutions proposées, sur le plan du droit international privé et du droit uniforme, notamment en cas de revendication, de retour ou de restitution de biens culturels, ainsi que de la vérification de l’efficacité des réponses données par la jurisprudence et la doctrine concernant les règles nationales et internationales applicables.