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

“Africa in the Moot” and the Spirit of the Vis Moot

At the Willem C. Vis Moot, “the” moot competition in international commercial arbitration, the Michael L. Sher Award for the Spirit of the Willem C. Vis Moot is “awarded to a team or an individual student for its dedication and commitment to the Spirit of the Vis Moot.” This year, the award went to the University Eduardo Mondlane’s team from Maputo, Mozambique. Continue reading

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

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. Continue reading