Conclusions & Decisions of the Hague Council on General Affairs and Policy

The Council on General Affairs and Policy of the Hague Conference met from 3 to 6 March 2020. Its conclusions and decisions are now available.

Key points:
“The projects on normative work include two further meetings of the Experts’ Group on Jurisdiction before CGAP 2021, the continuation of the Parentage / Surrogacy Project and the Tourists and Visitors Project, further work on the draft Practical Guide on cross-border recognition and enforcement of agreements reached in the course of family matters involving children and, subject to available resources, some exploratory work of the intersection of private international law and intellectual property and the monitoring of developments with respect to the private international law implications of distributed ledger technology (DLT).

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CJEU on Article 6 Directive 93/13 (limitations on the scope of the ex officio examination by the national court of the unfairness of the contract)

Last week, on 11 March 2020, the Court of Justice delivered its judgment in case C‑511/17 (Györgyné Lintner v UniCredit Bank Hungary Zrt.), which is about Directive 93/13 on unfair terms in consumer contracts:

“1. Article 6(1) of Council Directive 93/13/EEC of 5 April 1993 on unfair terms in consumer contracts must be interpreted as meaning that a national court, hearing an action brought by a consumer seeking to establish the unfair nature of certain terms in a contract that that consumer concluded with a professional, is not required to examine of its own motion and individually all the other contractual terms, which were not challenged by that consumer, in order to ascertain whether they can be considered unfair, but must examine only those terms which are connected to the subject matter of the dispute, as delimited by the parties, where that court has available to it the legal and factual elements necessary for that task, as supplemented, where necessary, by measures of inquiry.

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CJEU on representation and service of documents

The Court of Justice delivered today its judgment in case C‑25/19 (Corporis sp. z o.o. v Gefion Insurance A/S), which is in particular about the Service Regulation (recital 8):

« Article 152(1) of Directive 2009/138/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2009 on the taking-up and pursuit of the business of Insurance and Reinsurance (Solvency II), read in conjunction with Article 151 of that directive and recital 8 of Regulation (EC) No 1393/2007 […] must be interpreted as meaning that the appointment by a non-life insurance undertaking of a representative in the host Member State also includes the authorisation for that representative to receive a document initiating court proceedings for damages in respect of a road traffic accident”.

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AG Bobek on jurisdiction on an application opposing enforcement of a maintenance decision given in another Member State

AG Bobek delivered today his opinion in case C‑41/19 (FX v GZ, represented by her mother), which is about the Maintenance Regulation:

 “Council Regulation (EC) No 4/2009 […] and, in particular, Article 41(1) thereof, should be interpreted as meaning that the courts of the Member State where the enforcement of a maintenance decision given in another Member State is sought have jurisdiction to adjudicate on an application opposing enforcement, in so far as it is intrinsically connected with enforcement proceedings, it does not seek the modification or review of the maintenance decision, and it is based on grounds that could not have been raised before the court that issued the maintenance decision. Those conditions appear to be fulfilled by the application of opposition to enforcement based on the discharge of the debt at issue in the present case, which is nonetheless ultimately for the referring court to verify”.

Source: here

CJEU on Articles 15.5 and 16.5 Brussels I bis

The Court of Justice delivered today its judgment in case C‑803/18 (AAS « Balta » v UAB « Grifs AG »). It is not available in English, albeit you can read it in nearly all languages of the EU (by accessing the link infra and selecting the language of your choice). Here is the French version:

« L’article 15, point 5, et l’article 16, point 5, du règlement (UE) no 1215/2012 […] doivent être interprétés en ce sens que la clause attributive de juridiction prévue dans un contrat d’assurance couvrant un « grand risque », au sens de cette dernière disposition, conclu par le preneur d’assurance et l’assureur, ne peut être opposée à la personne assurée par ce contrat, qui n’est pas un professionnel du secteur des assurances, qui n’a pas consenti à cette clause et qui est domicilié dans un État membre autre que celui du domicile du preneur d’assurance et de l’assureur ».

Source : here

CJEU on Article 7(1)(b) Brussels I bis (air transport)

On 13 February 2020, in case C‑606/19 (flightright GmbH v Iberia LAE SA Operadora Unipersonal), which is about, in particular, Article 7(1)(b) Brussels I bis, the Court of Justice ruled:

“The second indent of Article 7(1)(b) of Regulation (EU) No 1215/2012 […] must be interpreted as meaning that the ‘place of performance’, within the meaning of that provision, in respect of a flight consisting of a confirmed single booking for the entire journey and divided into several legs, can be the place of departure of the first leg of the journey where transport on those legs of the journey is performed by two separate air carriers and the claim for compensation brought on the basis of Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 […] of 11 February 2004 establishing common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding and of cancellation or long delay of flights […] arises from the cancellation of the final leg of the journey and is brought against the air carrier in charge of that last leg”.

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AG Kokott on the status of Judges of the Peace (paid annual leave and judicial liability)

AG Kokott delivered a few days ago (23 January 2020) her opinion in case C‑658/18 (UX v Governo della Repubblica italiana), which is notably about the status of Judges of the Peace in Italy and the liability of the Member States for infringements of EU law:

« (1) The Giudice di pace di Bologna (Magistrates’ Court, Bologna, Italy) is a court or tribunal within the meaning of Article 267 TFEU.

(2) Article 7 of Directive 2003/88/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 November 2003 concerning certain aspects of the organisation of working time is to be interpreted as meaning that an Italian magistrate whose remuneration is made up of a small basic sum and payments for settled cases and trials must be regarded as a worker within the meaning of Article 7 of the Working Time Directive and is therefore entitled to at least 4 weeks’ paid annual leave if he or she carries out a significant number of judicial functions, cannot decide for him or herself which cases he or she handles and is subject to the disciplinary obligations of professional judges.

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AG Szpunar on Brussels I (Article 1)

AG Szpunar delivered on 14 January 2020 its opinion in case C‑641/18 (LG v Rina SpA, Ente Registro Italiano Navale), which is about Brussels I :

« Article 1(1) of Council Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 […] is to be interpreted as meaning that an action for damages brought against private-law bodies in respect of classification and certification activities carried out by those bodies as delegates of a third State, on behalf of that State and in its interests, falls within the concept of ‘civil and commercial matters’ within the meaning of that provision.

The principle of customary international law concerning the jurisdictional immunity of States does not preclude the application of Regulation No 44/2001 in proceedings relating to such an action”.

Source: here