The Month in Retrospect: What Else Happened in April 2021

Some Back and Forth on Brexit and Lugano

On 8 April 2021, I covered the first anniversay of the UK’s application to join the Lugano Convention, and took a fairly pessimistic view as to the prospects of the UK becoming a member state. So I was quite surprised to see a headline in the Financial Times on 12 April 2021 that claimed: “UK set to secure Brussels’ backing for joining legal pact“. The FT’s sources apparently got it wrong, however, and a couple of hours later the FT had to retract its report: “Brussels opposes UK bid to join legal pact, splitting EU states – European Commission says Britain should not be allowed to rejoin Lugano convention.” Other sources such as  Sueddeutsche Zeitung confirm that there had been no change in the EU Commission’s policy – there is no prospect of the UK joining Lugano any time soon.

Old-fashioned Print: IPRax

English-language abstracts of the March issue of IPRax can be found over at Conflict of Laws. The current issue features Andrew Dickinson on the “Realignment of the Planets – Brexit and European Private International Law”. Rainer Hüßtege picks up on a theme that we covered in the context of arbitration: To what extent are judges allowed to base their judgments on their own internet-based research? Hüßtege’s case note addresses the issue in relation to establishing foreign law. Erik Jayme covers the French René Gimpel case on restitution claims of the heirs of an art dealer pertaining to art lost during the German occupation.

Federal Tax Court on Video-based Deliberations

Last week, the Federal Tax Court (Bundesfinanzhof) issued a press release on an earlier decision. The court, one of the five highest courts in the country, held that judges may conduct their internal deliberations via video link; there is no need for them to convene in person.

Fewer Lawyers

The 2020 numbers on the German legal profession (Anwaltschaft) are out. The total numbers of lawyers admitted to the bar has gone down, by approx. 0.1%, to a total of 165,680. Rechtsanwältinnen, female lawyers, account for 36%. Their total number is 59,466, slightly up from 59,002 in the previous year. After decades of growth – the total number of lawyers in 2000 was 104,067 –  the profession appears to have entered into a phase of stagnation, with only minimal or no increases since 2017.

Brexit and Security For Costs

At the EAPIL Blog, Professor Matthias Lehmann covers the recent BGH and BPatG cases on security for costs for UK claimants in German patent cases and discusses my comments.

The illustration shows Robert Boyle’s collection of essays (2nd Edition, London 1669).

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