Jurisdictional issues Archives - international litigation blog
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Jurisdictional issues

U.S. Supreme Court in May… Arbitration and International Litigation Not Far Away

Spring and the month of May seem to have inspired the U.S. Supreme Court (the Supreme Court) justices. In less than three weeks, the Supreme Court rendered three interesting opinions with respect to arbitration and international litigation:

  • Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela v. Helmerich & Payne Int’l Drilling Co. (on FSIA pleading standards);
  • Kindred Nursing Centers Partnership v. Clark (on whether state-law could require that a PoA expressly refer to arbitration agreements before an attorney-in-fact can bind his or her principal to an arbitration agreement);
  • Water Splash, Inc. v. Menon (on whether the Hague Service Convention allows service of process by postal channels).

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Court of Justice of the EU Holds that National Courts Have Jurisdiction to Block Sales on Foreign Websites

On 21 December 2016, the Court of Justice of the European Union (the CJEU) delivered an interesting judgment in Concurrence SARL v. Samsung Electronics France and Amazon Services Europe SARL on the interpretation of Article 5(3) of Regulation 44/2001 of 22 December 2000 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters (the Brussels I Regulation).

Article 5(3) of the Brussels I Regulation provides that, in matters relating to tort, a person domiciled in an EU Member State may, in another EU Member State, be sued “in the courts for the place where the harmful event occurred or may occur“.

The CJEU delivered the judgment in response to a question referred for a preliminary ruling by the French Supreme Court in proceedings between, on the one hand, Concurrence SARL (Concurrence) and, on the other hand, Samsung Electronics France SAS (Samsung) and Amazon Services Europe SARL (Amazon).READ MORE

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English High Court Rules on Claims Brought by Foreign Plaintiffs, Against Foreign Defendant, for Conduct Outside the U.K.

On 26 January 2017, the English High Court (the Court) rendered a very interesting judgment on the possibility for foreign plaintiffs to rely on a U.K.-based company’s duty of care vis-à-vis its foreign subsidiaries in order to assert the jurisdiction of U.K. courts over acts committed outside the U.K. by those subsidiaries.

In the case at hand, members of local Nigerian communities brought legal proceedings before U.K. courts seeking recovery for oil pollution allegedly caused by a Nigerian subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell (Shell Petroleum Development CompanySPDC) in the Niger Delta.READ MORE

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U.K. Supreme Court Rules on State Immunity and (Crown) Act of State Doctrines

On 17 January 2017, the U.K. Supreme Court (the Supreme Court) handed down three exceptionally significant decisions on allegedly tortious acts done by British Armed Forces in the context of overseas military operations or by government officials alleged to have been complicit in the wrongful acts done by foreign States. Each of the three decisions dealt with important questions of law such as State immunity, the “Foreign Act of State” doctrine, the “Crown Act of State” doctrine as well as the compatibility of overseas detentions with Article 5 of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR).

The three decisions at issue are: (i) Rahmatullah (No 2) e.a. v. Ministry of Defence; (ii) Al-Waheed and Serdar Mohammed v. Ministry of Defence; and (iii) Belhaj e.a. v. Straw e.a.READ MORE

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U.S. Supreme Court Expected to Rule on FSIA Pleading Standards and Expropriation Exception

On 2 November 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court (the Supreme Court) heard the oral arguments in a case where it was asked to clarify the pleading standards and the “expropriation” exception of the U.S. Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act of 1976 (FSIA).

The case arose in the context of a dispute between Helmerich & Payne International (HMI) – an American company – and Helmerich & Payne de Venezuela (HMV) – a subsidiary of HMI incorporated under the laws of Venezuela – on one hand, and the Venezuelan government and the national petroleum company PDVSA, on the other hand.READ MORE

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