Climate Change Litigation: International Jurisdiction and Applicable Law, Lecture, 7 July 2020

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We have covered climate change litigation here before, in particular the case of a Peruvian farmer against German utility company RWE currently pending before the Court of Appeals (Oberlandesgericht) Hamm. So I thought I ought to alert readers to food for thought on the topic that is on offer: Continue reading

Frankfurt Court of Appeal: Arbitrator’s Dissenting Opinion Violates Public Policy

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To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time that a German court has gone on the record on the issue of dissenting opinions in arbitration: The Frankfurt Court of Appeals (Oberlandesgericht) has taken the view that the publication of a dissenting opinion by the minority arbitrator violates the procedural ordre public, thus constituting a reason to set aside the arbitral award pursuant to Section 1059 para. 2 no 2 b) of the German Code of Civil Procedure (Zivilprozessordnung, ZPO). I discuss the decision in detail in a post at the Kluwer Arbitration Blog. Here’s the summary: Continue reading

Federal Supreme Court on Court Assistance to Arbitral Tribunals in Taking of Evidence

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Anyone summoned by a state court to be heard as a witness is in principle obliged to appear and testify (Section 380, 395 et seq. Code of Civil Procedure ZPO) and the courts can enforce that obligation. Things are different, however, in arbitration: There is no duty to appear before an arbitral tribunal. Continue reading

New Justice at the Federal Constitutional Court: Astrid Wallrabenstein

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On 15 May 2020, the Bundesrat (literally “Federal Council”, a legislative body that represents the sixteen federal states at the federal level), elected Astrid Wallrabenstein as a justice to serve on the Second Senate of the Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht).

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Corona and the German Courts – A Tale in Three Acts

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SARS-CoV-2_49534865371Like every other area of public life, the Corona crisis has hit the German courts with full force and did not leave it unscathed. But the reactions vary: They range from judges and courts still holding ordinary sessions and carrying on with oral hearings to courts being virtually closed except for on-call judges for very urgent matters, with standard civil and commercial matters being postponed ex offico. Three aspects of the current situation are of particular interest: Continue reading