Month: November 2011

A Passage to India

All litigation starts with service of process – and sometimes it looks as though it ends there as well. Some time ago, we needed to serve proceedings in India. One action originated from the Stuttgart District Court, one from Frankfurt. At first sight, things looked straightforward, since India had become a party to the Hague Service Convention of 1965 in August 2007, just in time for our matters which started in 2008 and 2009. So far, so good. But real life is different. Service never happened. And here is one of the reasons why: Read More

English Language in German Courts – An Insider’s View from the Experts’ Hearing

As reported previously, the draft law on English language proceedings in international commercial matters is currently being deliberated in parliament. Martin Illmer, a senior research fellow at Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law in Hamburg, was one of the experts who testified before the German Parliamnet (Bundestag) on Wednesday this week. He has kindly agreed to provide a guest post and provide an insider’s view:

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Karlsruhe or Luxembourg ­ – A Roadmap for Lower Courts

Lower courts may have to refer questions of law to the Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) in Karlsruhe, as a matter of German constitutional law, or to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg, as a matter of European law, to obtain a binding interpretation of that particular question of law. But nowadays, with national and European law being closely intertwined, it may not be so easy to tell where to send your questions to. Read More

My Court is Better than Your Court

“My Court is Better than Your Court” was the title of a session at this week’s annual IBA Conference in Dubai. It presented the approaches to specialized commercial courts in jurisdictions around the globe. It was a very informative session. The presentations that I found the most impressing were on the one hand those from the home region, namely the DIFC Court in Dubai and the QFC Civil and Commercial Court in Doha, Qatar. Both courts, in a way, started with a clean slate and allowed their founders to design state of the art processes and procedures. And budget restrictions appeared not to an obstacle. The DIFC court originally had jurisdiction over matters related to the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). During the IBA Conference, an extension of the DIFC’s jurisdiction was signed into law by the Ruler of Dubai, creating an opt-in jurisdiction which is now available to parties outside the DIFC. Read More