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U.S.’s Withdrawal from Iran Nuclear Deal: Consequences on Transnational Litigation

President Trump’s decision to pull the United States out of the Iran nuclear deal (also called JCPOA) is likely to have repercussions on U.S.-EU cross-border litigation. In this short article, I wanted to highlight the EU’s most likely response towards the re-instatement of U.S. sanctions: the expansion of the EU’s blocking statute.READ MORE


Council of the EU Adopts New Approach on Negotiating and Concluding EU Trade and Investment Agreements

Yesterday (22 May 2018), the Council of the European Union adopted its conclusions to the new approach on the negotiation of EU trade and investment agreements.

The adoption of this new approach is a direct consequence of Opinion 2/15 of the Court of Justice of the European Union (the CJEU) on the division of competences between the EU and its Member States.READ MORE


Draft Bill to Establish Brussels International Business Court

On 15 May 2018, the Belgian government submitted to Parliament a draft bill (the Bill) for the creation of a Brussels International Business Court (the BIBC). As you may remember, we have already discussed the BIBC a couple of months ago after the Belgian government approved the Bill in October 2017. Since then (and before its submission to the Parliament), the Bill has been reviewed by both the High Council of Justice and the Belgian Council of State.READ MORE


U.S. Supreme Court Excludes Foreign Companies From Alien Tort Statute

On 24 April 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court (the Supreme Court) handed down its judgment in Jesner v. Arab Bank, holding that foreign (i.e. non-U.S.) companies cannot be sued under the Alien Tort Statute (the ATS). The case builds on the Supreme Court’s judgment in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Shell, in which the Supreme Court held that U.S. federal courts did not have jurisdiction under the ATS to hear claims for violations of international law that took place wholly outside the territory of the United States. After Kiobel, however, the question of whether the ATS also applied to corporations remained open. This question has now been settled in the present case.READ MORE


New EU Commission Proposal for a Directive on Collective Representative Actions

On 11 April 2018, the EU Commission published a new legislative proposal on representative actions for the protection of the collective interests of consumers, and repealing Directive 2009/22/EC (the Proposal). In light of increasing cross-border trade and EU-wide commercial strategies, the Proposal aims to facilitate redress for consumers where there are widespread infringements of their rights in more than one EU Member State.READ MORE


EU Commission Holds Second Stakeholder Meeting on Multilateral Investment Court

As you certainly know, international discussions are being held within UNCITRAL Working Group III (Working Group III) regarding the establishment of a multilateral investment court (Multilateral Investment Court).

As discussed before (here, here, here, here and here) the establishment of such a Multilateral Investment Court aims to address the numerous criticisms concerning existing investor-State dispute resolution (ISDS) mechanisms.

The first round of discussions took place in November 2017 in Vienna and the second round is scheduled to take place next week in New York City (23-27 April 2018).

As it did prior to the first round of negotiations in November 2017 (see our report), the European Commission (the Commission) held, on 13 April 2018, its second stakeholder meeting in order to discuss and share with civil society the key aspects of the negotiations  and the expectations regarding next week’s discussions in New York.

I was unfortunately not able to attend this stakeholder meeting. However, my colleague Benedict Blunnie has taken part in those discussions and has provided us with a summary of the points which have being raised.READ MORE


English Court of Appeal Rules on Claims Brought by Foreign Plaintiffs, Against Foreign Defendants, for Conduct Outside the U.K.

Two recent judgments of the English Court of Appeal (the Court of Appeal) have shed light on the approach of the U.K. courts towards civil actions taken against parent companies for wrongs allegedly committed by foreign subsidiaries abroad.

Both cases concerned the responsibility of parent companies for actions of their subsidiaries and the jurisdictional rules for taking claims in the U.K. arising from facts occurring in other countries. They provide interesting perspectives on the traditional doctrine of separate corporate personality and the principle of forum non conveniens  in common law. Both cases are consistent with one another, and the second case sheds more light on the factual links between a parent and subsidiary which may give rise to a duty of care vis-à-vis third parties who are affected by the actions of the subsidiary.READ MORE