Developments in PIL Journals Scholarship

Second Issue of 2020’s Revue Critique de Droit International Privé

Rev CritThe new issue of the Revue Critique de Droit International Privé (2/2020) is out. It contains three articles and numerous case notes.

In the first article, Sabine Corneloup (University of Paris II Panthéon-Assas) and Thalia Kruger (University of Antwerp) give a comprehensive overview of the new Brussels II ter Regulation (Le règlement 2019/1111, Bruxelles II : la protection des enfants gagne du ter(rain))

After a long legislative process, Regulation 2019/1111 or “Brussels II ter” has replaced the Brussels II bis Regulation (n° 2201/2003). The new Regulation will only become fully applicable on 1 August 2022. This article gives an overview of the most important changes even though it is impossible to discuss all of them. In the domain of parental responsibility Brussels II ter brings more clarity on choice of forum and lis pendens. It insertsa general obligation to respect the child’s right to be heard. For child abduction cases, the second chance procedure is retained but its scope is limited. The legislator places emphasis on mediation. The Regulation brings a general abolition of exequatur, similar to that of the Brussels I Regulation (n° 1215/2012). However, decisions concerning visitation and the second chance procedure (for which Brussels II bis already abolished exequatur) retain their privileged character and slightly different rules apply. Brussels II ter moreover harmonises certain aspects of the actual enforcement procedure. A final important change, especially for France, is a new set of rules on the recognition and enforcement of authentic instruments and agreements, such as private divorces. The legislator did not tackle the bases for jurisdiction for divorce, which is a pity. The authors conclude that, even though it is not perfect and certain issues still need the legislator’s attention, Brussels II ter has brought many welcome improvements, particularly in protecting the rights of children involved in cross-border family disputes.

In the second article, Christine Bidaud (University of Lyon 3) addresses the issue of the international circulation of public documents under French law from a critical perspective (La transcription des actes de l’état civil étrangers sur les registres français. Cesser de déformer et enfin réformer…)

Although the transcription of foreign civil-status records in french registers has long been qualified as a publicity operation, distortions of this notion has been made by the legislator and the case law. A reform in this field is imperative in order to guarantee the coherence of the system of reception in France of foreign civil-status records and, beyond that, of the international circulation of personal status.

Finally, the third article explore the theme of international circulation of personal status from a different perspective. Sylvain Bollée (University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne) and Bernard Haftel (University of Sorbonne Paris Nord) discuss the sensitive topic of international surrogacy under the light of the recent case law of the French Supreme Court in civil and criminal matters.

In two judgments handed down by its First Civil Chamber on 18 December 2019, the Court of Cassation seems to have concluded a particularly spectacular case law saga relating to the reception in France of surrogate motherhood processes occurred abroad. Its position has evolved from a position of extreme closure to one that is diametrically opposed, now accepting full and almost unconditional recognition, out of step not only with its recent case-law, but also with domestic law that maintains a firm opposition to any surrogate motherhood process. This evolution is to be considered from the perspective of concrete solutions and, more fundamentally, of the place that the Court of Cassation intends to give in this area to its own case-law within the sources of law.

The full table of contents is available here.

Marion is law professor at Artois University (France)