Singapore to Ratify Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements

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Coat_of_arms_of_Singapore_(blazon)_svgWe have covered the Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements on several occasions (see, most recently, here and here). Now, the Convention is about to get a new party, and Patrick Dahm, a partner in my firm’s Singapore office, has the details:

On April 14, 2016, the Singapore Parliament has passed the Choice of Court Agreements Bill, about a year after Singapore signed the Convention on March 2015. The Bill is pending presidential assent and publication in the Government Gazette, which will bring it into force.

With this, the number of Convention parties will increase to three nominally, but effectively to 28: prior to Singapore, the Convention had been signed and ratified by Mexico and the European Union (spanning the EU itself and its members except Denmark). Signatories which have yet to ratify the Convention are the USA and Ukraine. Continue reading

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Federal Constitutional Court: Failure of Court To Seek International Judicial Assistance Violates Right to Effective Judicial Protection

BVerfGThe Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) has held that a court’s failure to avail itself of the tools of international judicial co-operation can amount to a violation of the party’s right to effective judicial protection (Recht auf effektiven Rechtsschutz).

The decision was made in a family law matter, where the existence and validity of an adoption in Romania was in dispute. In the proceedings before the Local Court (Amtsgericht) Frankfurt am Main, the aggrieved party had been unable to produce the underlying Romanian files, but had submitted communication from the respective Romanian authority, that a request from a German court to be granted access to the files would be entertained.

The local court, however, did not attempt to get hold of these files. Its failure to use  “institutionalised facilities and measures of judicial assistance”, in particular those offered by the European Evidence Regulation and the European Judicial Network in Civil and Commercial Matters, in the circumstances of the case rendered its decision unconstitutional. Continue reading

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TV Cameras to Be Allowed in German Courtrooms?

Kassel, BundesarbeitsgerichtThe Federal Ministry of Justice has put forward a proposal that would allow TV cameras into German courtrooms. But before you get all the excited about the prospect of bringing Court TV to Germany, look at the small print: the proposal would allow cameras only into the highest courts of the five branches of the judiciary in Germany*. And the TV cameras would be allowed to roll only when the presiding judge delivers a judgment, but not during a hearing. So what you would see on TV would just be five judges on the bench, with one of them reading a – no doubt well-reasoned – judgment. That’s as exiting as will it get, if the proposal is implemented. Continue reading

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Law Made In Germany On Tour: Madrid, April 21, 2016

Law Made in Germany - MadridLaw Made in Germany is the initiative of the German legal profession to promote the use of German law and German courts in international commercial transactions. Its third symposion will take place in Madrid, and will focus on project finance and arbitration.

Here is a link to the programme. To register, please click here.

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