German Institution of Arbitration: New Arbitration Rules 2018

dis-logoThe German Institution of Arbitration DIS has comprehensively revised its rules and regulations. The new rules come into force on March 1, 2018. I have summarized the key changes for Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, and here is an English version of this short article: Continue reading

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Düsseldorf: Justice Department vs. Department of Justice

1280px-Justizministerium_in_Duesseldorf-Stadtmitte,_von_NordostenIn other news, the newly elected government of North Rhine Westphalia (Nordrheinwestfalen) in Düsseldorf decided to change the name of the Justice Department (Justizministerium) to Department of Justice (Ministerium der Justiz). Reminds me of Monthy Python‘s The Judean People’s Front, not to be confused with The People’s Front of Judea. When asked in parliament, the government conceded that the name change was neither increasing efficiency nor reducing bureaucracy.

Photo by Jörg Wiegels, showing the department’s building. Built from 1866 to 1870, it originally housed the Düsseldorf District Court (Landgericht).

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The Month in Retrospect: What Else Happened in July

Robert BoyleEvaluation of the Mediation Act

Five years ago, the Mediation Act (Mediationsgesetz) came into force. We did cover the legislative process on the blog in quite some detail. The Act provided for an evaluation to take place at the fifth anniversary. This report has now been published by the Federal Ministry of Justice. Here is a link to the full report, and here is a link to a summary produced by Professor Reinhard Greger, who served as a judge at the Federal Supreme Court before becoming a full-time academic. His summary is critical of the success of the Act: In essence, the total number of mediations remains low, and has not increased significantly since the Act came into force. Only very few mediators can actually earn a meaningful income by providing mediation services. Continue reading

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Case of the Week: Federal Constitutional Court Issues Interim Order in Jones Day/Volkswagen Case

BundesverfassungsgerichtThis Case of the Week is hot off the press – the case originally scheduled for today will have to wait: Today, the Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) announced that it had issued a rare interim order in support of a constitutional challenge (Verfassungsbeschwerde) of the law firm Jones Day against a court order that allowed the seizure of potentially privileged documents from Jones Day’s Munich Offices. Continue reading

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Case of the Week: No English Translation Required for Service of German Proceedings on Facebook in Ireland

Le_palais_de_justice_de_Littenstrasse_(Berlin)_(6303550695)This case of the week deals with the question if and when a translation is required if service of proceedings is effected abroad. It arose in an action brought by a German Facebook user against Facebook Ireland, the Facebook entity through which Facebook apparently conducts its business in mainland Europe. As always in matters of service, we are not really concerned with the underlying facts, but it appears that Facebook blocked the user’s account, and the user wanted to have this measure removed. Initial correspondence by email led to nothing. Facebook Ireland refused to de-block the account with an email; an email, it must be noted, written in German. The user then issued proceedings in the Local Court (Amtsgericht) Berlin-Mitte, filing a statement of claim in German. No translation was ordered, and all the papers were served on Facebook in Ireland in German only. Facebook challenged the validity of Service. Continue reading

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