Posts Tagged Comparative conflict of laws
GFH Capital v Haigh. Enforcement of DIFC judgment puts spotlight on international commercial courts.
DIFC Courts, the Dubai International Financial Centre’s Courts, is one of the new generation of international commercial courts. Its rulings piggyback unto recognition and enforcement treaties which the UAE concludes with third countries (India being a recent example).
In GFH Capital Ltd v Haigh & Ors  EWHC 1269 (Comm) Henshaw J first of all notes that there is no such treaty between the UK and the UAE hence he considers recognition of the July 2018 DIFC judgment by Sir Jeremy Cooke under common law principles. Helpfully, these principles have been summarised in a January 2013 Memorandum of Guidance as to Enforcement between the DIFC Courts and the Commercial Court, Queen’s Bench Division, England and Wales. Under discussion in the case is mostly the condition that the foreign court be a court of competent jurisdiction; that the foreign judgment be not obtained fraudulently; and that its recognition be not incompatible with English ordre public.
The judgment is an extensive treatment of the relevant principles and therefore suited to comparative materials.
Update 26 May 2020 Michael Douglas has abnalysis here.
Update 20 MAy 2020 see in the meantime also review by Jie (Jeanne) Huang, here.
Thank you Michael Douglas for alerting me to Bao v Qu; Tian (No 2)  NSWSC 588 at the Supreme Court of New South Wales. The judgment does not require an extensive post. I report it because it is a solid application of the recognition and enforcement principles of foreign judgments under the common law of Australia. Hence good material for the comparative conflicts folder.
Suing the EU in The Netherlands. Stichting Human Rights for Eritreans v the European Union and its jurisdictional challenges.
Many thanks Russell Hopkins for alerting me to Stichting Human Rights for Eritreans v the European Union, demanding a halt to EU aid worth 80 million EUR being sent to Eritrea. The Foundation Human Rights for Eritreans argues the aid project financed by the EU aid relies on forced labour. Claimants have a portal with both the Dutch and English versions of the suit.
Of note to the blog is the jurisdictional section of the suit, p.32 ff. Claimants first of all put forward that the CJEU’s Plaumann criteria (which I discussed ia here in the context of environmental law) effectively are a denial of justice and that Article 6 ECHR requires the Dutch courts to grant such access in the CJEU’s stead. An interesting argument.
Note subsequently at 13.9 ff where Brussels Ia is discussed, the suggestion that given the large diaspora of Eritreans in The Netherlands, locus damni (actual or potential) lies there. This is in my view not an argument easily made under Article 7(2) Brussels Ia given CJEU authority.
MB, Services Ltd and Golovina v Rusal. Forum non and Spiliada in Jersey. Stay granted largely on basis of attorney intimidation.
A quick note on MB and Services Limited and Golovina v United Company Rusal Plc  JRC034 in which Birt C rejected an application for a stay on forum non conveniens grounds. He applied Spiliada of course, with at 139 the reasons for holding on balance that there is a real risk that claimants will not obtain justice in Russia. Note at 7 the specific weight attached to the intimidation of claimants’ attorney in Russia.
Fletcher v Estee Lauder and Clinique. New York judge rejects forum non argument in asbestos litigation. Sheds an interesting light on the perception of England as a forum for non-occupational exposure.
Personal injury cases never make for light reading and Fletcher v Estee Lauder and Clinique is not an exception to that rule. Mrs Fletcher, aged 45, claims that her lifelong use of the Estee Lauder talc and face powder and Clinique loose face powder, starting with puffs of powder purchased by her mother in New York in 1976, followed by regular purchases in the city in later years, caused her to develop mesothelioma.
Thank you Leigh Day, who represent Mrs Fletcher, for reporting on the case. In a preliminary ruling, Justice Mendez rejected a forum non conveniens argument made by the cosmetics giants, who had argued that England is a more natural and suitable forum for the case.
The case is interesting for my readers who follow my reports in the ‘comparative’ binder, for it is not that routine for judges to list arguments against the suitability of England as a forum.
Arguments made pro forum non are on p.2, claimant’s arguments on p.3, and Mendez J’s criteria to dismiss (having earlier established per authority that the burden of proof to dismiss is necessarily high for defendants with a substantial presence in New York) on p.5. Note his reference to the absence of no win no fee (and claimant’s limited resources); absence of jury trial; limited and expensive discovery; and a general hesitation of the legal profession in bringing cases like these (non-occupational exposure claims) against manufacturers.
Most relevant and interesting.
In Representation of Lydian international Limited  JRC 049 MacRae DB refers to universality in insolvency proceedings only once, namely where he refers to authority at 20. Yet his approach in honouring the request for assistance, made by the courts at Ontario ‘on the basis of comity’, walks and talks like universality. This is of course reminiscent of Menon CJ’s recent speech on the issue, or similar decisions elsewhere.
‘Though there is no precedent in Jersey for a Canadian CCAA order or similar order being enforced or recognised in relation to a Jersey company, we had no doubt that we should assist the Canadian Court in this case. There were no reasons of Jersey public policy impeding the court making the orders sought. To the contrary, it is consistent with Jersey’s status as a responsible jurisdiction for the Royal Court to lend assistance in order to facilitate an international insolvency process in a friendly country that has a potential to benefit the creditors of the Lydian Group as a whole.’ The Deputy Bailiff also notes that key Jersey creditors and the Jersey corporation of the Lydian group itself were represented in the Canadian proceedings.
(Handbook of) EU Private International Law, 2nd edition 2016, Chapter 5.
This item has been in the queue a long time – apologies. Thank you Marco Vogels for reporting end of 2019 on the Rotterdam court’s approach re privilege in ECLI:NL:RBROT:2019:7856, a criminal prosecution involving Shell. Marco’s report is most complete and I am happy to refer.
Compare the Dutch approach to my earlier reports on the issue in England and in the US. The Rotterdam court takes the law of the place of establishment of the (self-employed) solicitors as the connecting factor, ditto for in-house lawyers (on which The Netherlands takes an unusual (bu continental European standards) position of professional privilege). However the court also held that privilege falls away for the whole in-house legal department and all its lawyers, foreign established or not, if the head of legal is member of the Executive Committee.