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Chapter

Cover European Intellectual Property Law

24. Enforcement  

Justine Pila and Paul L.C. Torremans

This chapter looks into preliminary aspect of private international law, focusing on jurisdiction and choice of law. Before enforcement actions can get off the ground we need to know which court will have jurisdiction and which law that court will apply. Jurisdiction is based on the domicile of the defendant as a basic rule, but alternative fora are available. The courts of the place of the harmful event may also have jurisdiction and there are special rules for multiple defendant cases. Validity cases are subject to exclusive jurisdiction rules. In terms of choice of law, the law of the country for which protection is sought takes centre stage when it comes to IP. It is the law applicable to the IP right as such and it also applies to infringement.

Chapter

Cover Clarkson & Hill's Conflict of Laws

1. Introduction  

Jonathan Hill

This introductory chapter begins by explaining the nature of the subject known as conflict of laws or private international law, which deals with cases before the English court which have connections with foreign countries. The foreign elements in the case may be events which have taken place in a foreign country or countries, or they may be the foreign domicile, residence, or place of business of the parties. In short, any case involving a foreign element raises potential conflict of laws issues. The conflict of laws is concerned with the following three questions: jurisdiction; choice of law; and the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments. The remainder of the chapter discusses the various stages of proceedings which raise conflict of laws issues.

Chapter

Cover Clarkson & Hill's Conflict of Laws

9. Property  

Jonathan Hill

This chapter considers the choice of law rules for the transfer of property. The rules are structured round a number of distinctions. First, a distinction has to be drawn between movables and immovables. Immovable property, which comprises land and things attached to or growing on the land, is subject to the control of the authorities where it is situated to a much greater extent than movable property, which can be physically removed from one country to another. As regards movables, a further distinction is drawn between tangibles and intangibles. Secondly, the law distinguishes between cases involving the transfer of property on death and cases where property is transferred inter vivos. Thirdly, transfers which arise as a result of marriage should be distinguished from other types of transfer.

Chapter

Cover Clarkson & Hill's Conflict of Laws

6. Domicile, nationality, and habitual residence  

Jonathan Hill

The object of jurisdictional rules is to determine an appropriate forum and choice of law rules are designed to lead to the application of the most appropriate law, the law that generally the parties might reasonably expect to apply. The test for recognition of foreign judgments is not dissimilar. A judgment granted by an appropriate forum should normally be recognised. The problem is one of ascertaining the connecting factor (or factors) which would best satisfy the criterion of appropriateness. With regards to personal connecting factors, there is little international agreement as to the appropriate test of ‘belonging’. In England and most common law countries, the traditional personal connecting factor is domicile, which loosely translates as a person's permanent home. One of the problems here is that domicile is a connecting factor which is interpreted differently in various parts of the world. In contrast, most of continental Europe and other civil law countries have traditionally used nationality as the basic connecting factor, especially for choice of law purposes; the personal law is the law of the country of which the person is a citizen. In some countries, including England, another connecting factor, habitual residence, has emerged. This is increasingly being used for the purposes of jurisdiction rules and in the law relating to recognition of foreign judgments. This chapter examines each of these personal connecting factors. Primary emphasis is laid on domicile and habitual residence as the two main connecting factors employed by English law.

Chapter

Cover Clarkson & Hill's Conflict of Laws

4. Contractual obligations  

Jonathan Hill

This chapter deals with contract disputes which have foreign elements that come before the English court: one or both of the parties may be foreign; the making or performance of the contract may be connected with a number of foreign countries. In this type of case which law is the court to apply? The general principle is that every international contract has a governing law — known at common law as the ‘proper law’and under EU law as the ‘applicable law’. Subject to certain limitations, parties to a contract are free to choose the applicable law; if the parties fail to make a choice, the governing law is, as a general rule, the law of the country with which the contract is most closely connected. The remainder of the chapter focuses on the Rome I Regulation, including its scope and interpretation; determining the applicable law; the limits of the applicable law; articles 5 to 8; and choice of law aspects of various contractual issues.

Chapter

Cover Clarkson & Hill's Conflict of Laws

7. Marriage  

Jonathan Hill

When the English court has to decide whether a marriage is valid, foreign elements may be involved: one or both of the spouses may be of overseas origin, or the marriage may have been celebrated in a foreign country. This chapter considers which law applies to determine the validity of such marriages. For choice of law purposes, rules about the validity of marriage are divided into two classes: those concerned with formal validity and those concerned with essential validity or capacity to marry. Rules of formal validity lay down the way in which a marriage must be celebrated (for example, to ensure publicity and proof of marriage). Rules of essential validity or capacity are concerned with the permissibility of the marriage relationship itself — whether the parties ought to be allowed to marry each other (or at all). The chapter also discusses the application of the doctrine of renvoi and rules for same-sex marriages, civil partnerships, and polygamous marriages.

Book

Cover International Law

Vaughan Lowe

Celebrated for their conceptual clarity, titles in the Clarendon Law Series offer concise, accessible overviews of major fields of law and legal thought. International Law is both an introduction to the subject and a critical consideration of its central themes and debates. The opening chapters of the volume explain how international law underpins the international political and economic system by establishing the basic principle of the independence of States, and their right to choose their own political, economic, and cultural systems. Subsequent chapters then focus on considerations that limit national freedom of choice (e.g. human rights, the interconnected global economy, the environment). Through the organizing concepts of territory, sovereignty, and jurisdiction the text shows how international law seeks to achieve an established set of principles according to which the power to make and enforce policies is distributed among States.

Chapter

Cover Clarkson & Hill's Conflict of Laws

8. Matrimonial causes  

Jonathan Hill

This chapter examines the jurisdiction of the English court and the choice of law process in proceedings for divorce, judicial separation, and annulment of marriage, and the extent to which the decrees of foreign courts in such matrimonial cases are recognised in England. It discusses similar rules which have been introduced in relation to same-sex marriage and civil partnership. Finally, the chapter considers the powers of the English court to grant financial relief and to recognise foreign maintenance orders. The Domicile and Matrimonial Proceedings Act 1973 introduced new uniform grounds of jurisdiction for matrimonial proceedings. These grounds were based on the policy that at least one of the parties, whether husband or wife, applicant or respondent, should have a sufficient connection with England to make it reasonable for the English court to deal with the case and likely that the divorce would be recognised in other countries. The Brussels II bis Regulation imposes uniform jurisdictional rules throughout the European Union (except Denmark, which did not participate in the adoption of the Regulation) and provides for almost automatic recognition of divorces, annulments, and separations granted by the courts of the Member States.