EU Commission: Proposal on Cross-Border Videoconferencing in Court Hearings

When the pandemic started and court hearings by video became a real thing, German lawyers found, sometimes to their surprise, that the law was actually quite advanced: Already back in 2002, Section 128a ZPO was introduced to allow the conduct of court hearings using videoconferencing technology and the law was updated in 2013 (see our earlier post “Remote Courts in Germany” for details). The law in action has since caught up with the law on the books: Courts have been equipped with the necessary hardware and hearings by videoconferencing have become a regular feature in many court rooms across the country – and they are likely to stay in a post-pandemic world. However, there remains some uncertainty regarding the use of videoconferencing in a cross-border context.

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Post-Brexit UK Accession to Lugano Convention: The EU Commission’s Assessment

There has been a fair amount of speculation about the EU’s position regarding the application of the United Kingdom to accede to the 2007 Lugano, and we have tracked the topic fairly closely on the blog, including the latest press reports that the EU Commission might have changed its approach. Continue reading

Brexit and Lugano: First Anniversary of the UK’s Application

On 8 April 2020, the United Kingdom deposited an application to accede to the Lugano Convention, with the Swiss Federal Council, the depositary under the Convention. Acceding to the Lugano Convention as a replacement for the Brussels Regulation (recast) had emerged as the UK’s preferred strategy for judicial co-operation in civil and commercial matters (even though the European Court of Justice does have a role in the Lugano regime under Protocol 2 on the uniform interpretation of the Convention and on the Standing Committee). Continue reading

Federal Supreme Court: First Post-Brexit Decision on Procedural Issue

To the best of my knowledge, the Federal Supreme Court (Bundesgerichtshof) decision of 1 March 2021 is the first one dealing with one of the procedural issues arising after Brexit, namely the question of security for costs to be posted by British plaintiffs in German proceedings pursuant to Section 110 German Code of Civil Procedure (Zivilprozessordnung, ZPO). In this case, proceedings were already pending before the United Kingdom’s effective withdrawal from the European Union. Implicitly, the Federal Supreme Court also addresses the question whether “old” multilateral treaties such as the 1968 Brussels Convention or bilateral treaties such as the 1960 British-German Convention were revived after Brexit. Continue reading