Germany’s Position on Pre-trial Discovery Softens!

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civ0062 - Hague ConventionYou read it here first, back in 2013, but at the time with a question mark, and then again in 2014 and 2015. Finally, 2017 is the year it is actually going to happen: Germany is about to change its approach to discovery of documents under the Convention of 18 March 1970 on the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil or Commercial Matters, commonly known as the Hague Evidence Convention. The bill that would remove Germany’s reservation pursuant to Article 23 of the Convention* has been introduced into Parliament. It passed the Upper Chamber (Bundesrat) late last year without any objections. Continue reading

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Seizure of Bank Accounts in Europe: European Account Preservation Order Available Now

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1024px-Flag_Map_of_European_UnionOn January 18, 2017, new rules governing the seizure of bank accounts in the European Union came into force: The EU Regulation No 655/2014 of May 15, 2014 established a European Account Preservation Order (EAPO) to facilitate cross-border debt recovery in civil and commercial matters. The EAPO procedure is available immediately.  Continue reading

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Art Law: Frankfurt Court Allows Limitation Defence in Looted Art Case

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WP_Max_Pechstein_2When the news about the Munich art find in Cornelius Gurlitt’s apartment broke, a legal issue that so far had been of interest only to a small community of lawyers or legal scholars gained prominence: the application of the statute of limitation to restitution claims for looted art. As the law stood, restitution claims against Gurlitt would, in all likelihood, have become time-barred. When the Gurlitt case made headlines worldwide, all of a sudden, politicians paid attention to that rather esoteric question. The newly appointed Bavarian Minister of Justice even initiated legislation to deal with the issue. But the topic disappeared from the political stage as quickly as it had made its appearance when it became clear that Cornelius Gurlitt was not going to invoke the limitation defence. The Bavarian law-making initiative fell into oblivion. Continue reading

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Frankfurt Court of Appeals: Moving Towards Greater Specialization on the Bench

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olg-frankfurt-ganz-neu2The Frankfurt Court of Appeals (Oberlandesgericht) is creating additional specialized senates (a Senat is a division of the court of appeals, sitting with three judges) as of the beginning of this year.

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