The Month in Retrospect: What Else Happened in August 2021

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Coping with the Diesel Caseload

The Volkswagen wave of Diesel cases may be ebbing off in the lower courts, but Diesel-related claims against other manufacturers continue to be filed. In the Stuttgart district court (Landgericht), the number of new civil cases is up by 60%, driven primarily by Diesel claims against Daimler. And increasingly, cases end up in the Federal Supreme Court (Bundesgerichtshof). This had let the court to temporarily create an additional senate, i.e. a bench of five judges. a measure that is taken extremely rarely. It helps distributing the burden more equally across the bench, but does not add capacity, as the number of judges appointed to the Federal Supreme Court does not change. Continue reading

News from Brussels on Lugano and The Hague

In July, the European Commission moved forward on some pending matters regarding international civil procedure. These concerned, on the one hand, the past in the form of the United Kingdom’s application to accede to the Lugano Convention post-Brexit, which was still formally to be resolved, and, on the other hand, the future, namely the European Union’s accession to the 2019 Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Civil or Commercial Matters (Judgments Convention). Continue reading

Updating Civil Procedure: Ideas for Reforms

Germany elects a new federal parliament (Bundestag) on 26th September 2021. Christine Lambrecht, the federal minister of justice is not running again. So irrespective of the outcome of the election, we will see a new face at the helm of the ministry. There is no shortage of ideas for the incoming minister to choose from if he or she goes about reforming civil procedure. Proposals range from the introduction of international commercial courts to dozens of proposals around the digitisation of civil procedure. Continue reading

Federal Supreme Court: Jurisdiction Based on Virtual Branch Office in Germany

If international contracts are concluded online, they sometimes lack an unambiguous nexus to a specific jurisdiction. Sometimes, this makes it difficult to determinate the competent court. In a recent case involving a German customer, Air France and flights from the United States to France and then on to the UK, the lower German courts found that they had no jurisdiction. It was for the Federal Supreme Court (Bundesgerichtshof) to provide clarity: It found that the Frankfurt District Court (Landgericht) had jurisdiction after all. Continue reading