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…And Now France To Establish International English-Speaking Court

As we discussed before, Brexit means that the United Kingdom will soon leave the European Union and, consequently, judgments rendered by U.K. courts will no longer enjoy automatic recognition and enforcement in the remaining EU member States. As a result, a creditor of a U.K. judgment will find it more difficult and costly to enforce this judgment in other EU jurisdictions.

In order for litigants to overcome this difficulty, several jurisdictions in the European Union (including Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Ireland) have, over the last couple of months announced plans to establish English-speaking courts which would have jurisdiction to hear international commercial disputes.

The common objective behind all those initiatives is clearly to prepare for Brexit by capturing some of the international litigation business currently located in London.

This trend continues as France just recently announced its intention to open an English-speaking chamber within the Paris Court of Appeal. As is the case in the other jurisdictions that have announced similar plans, this chamber will have jurisdiction to hear disputes with a foreign characteristics (for instance in which at least one of the parties is a foreign entity or if foreign law is applicable). Interestingly, it will also have jurisdiction to hear appeals against international arbitral awards and actions regarding the enforcement of international arbitral awards.READ MORE


The Netherlands Soon to Establish English-Speaking Commercial Court

A couple of months ago, the well-known weekly magazine The Economist” highlighted a global trend that sees jurisdictions from around the world competing to attract legal disputes before their courts. To this end, some countries (including, as previously discussed, Belgium) have (or will soon) set up special commercial courts that will conduct cases in English.

The Dutch Parliament is expected to shortly follow the same trend when it debates a new court reform bill (the Bill). The Bill aims at establishing an English-speaking court system which will have jurisdiction to hear international commercial disputes.

In anticipation of those debates in the Dutch Parliament, I wanted to provide a brief update and outline the main characteristics of this new court system:READ MORE


OHADA Adopts and Updates Laws on Arbitration and Mediation

On 23 and 24 November 2017, the Council of Ministers of OHADA (“L’Organisation pour l’Harmonisation en Afrique du Droit des Affaires” – OHADA) adopted three major tools aimed at favouring alternative dispute resolution mechanisms in African countries. More specifically, the Council of Ministers adopted (i) a new Uniform Act on Mediation; (ii) a revised Uniform Act on Arbitration; and (iii) updated rules of arbitration of the Common Court of Justice and Arbitration (the CCJA).READ MORE


Mauritius Convention Soon to Enter into Force

On 18 October 2017, the United Nations Convention on Transparency in Treaty-based Investor-State Arbitration (the Mauritius Convention or the Convention) will enter into force. This follows Switzerland’s ratification of the Convention on 18 April 2017*.

The Mauritius Convention (which was drafted under the auspices of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law – UNCITRAL) extends the applicability of the UNCITRAL Rules on Transparency in Treaty-based investor-State Arbitration (the UNCITRAL Transparency Rules), to investor-State arbitration proceedings conducted under an investment treaty concluded before 1 April 2014.READ MORE