The CJEU on ‘civil and commercial’ in Obala. No panacea.

Judgment in C-307/19 Obala starts in earnest at 59 for the CJEU like the AG (see my review of his Opinion here) holds many of the questions to be inadmissible. The Court focuses its references to selected case-law, and its concluding assessment (72), on the review of the legal relationship between the parties at issue (this was the preferred route of Bobek AG) and on the foundation and modalities of the action in brought before the courts. Both have the hallmark of relationships which might as well have occurred in purely private transactions without any public law indications at all. Hence a conclusion of a ‘civil and commercial’ matter.

The Court’s selective reference to the legal relationship side of the authorities should not however in my view mean that the AG’s ‘subject-matter’ alternative should now be considered as having been rejected for all cases on the scope of Brussels Ia (and many other related PIL instruments).


European Private International Law, 3rd ed. 2021, paras 2.28 ff concluding at 2.65.





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