Developments in PIL Journals Scholarship

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

The new issue of the Revue Critique de Droit International Privé (4/2020) is out.

It contains four articles and numerous case notes. The editorial by Horatia Muir Watt (Sciences Po), Dominique Bureau (University of Paris II) and Sabine Corneloup (University of Paris II) will soon be available in English on the Dalloz website (Éclectique, résolument…).

In the first article, Delphine Porcheron (University of Strasbourg/CNRS) addresses the peculiar challenges raised by transnational civil litigation for the reparation of “crimes of the past”, in the light of private international law (Les actions civiles transnationales en réparation des “crimes du passé”).

Transnational civil litigation for the reparation of “crimes of the past” has been growing for the past 30 years. Several features underline its singularity: the extraordinary seriousness of the facts at the origin of the legal actions, their impact on collective memory, the political and temporal dimensions of the disputes. The study of judicial proceedings brought by individuals before European, American and Asian tribunals reveal a distinct approach depending on the court referred to. In this context, one can come to consider how private international law deals with these complex litigations. On the one hand, both public and private international laws are to be mutually considered. On the other hand, private international law rules should be applied in order to take into account the specific environment of these cases.

In the second article, Mathias Audit (University of Paris 1, Sorbonne Law School) discusses the complex issue of blockchain in the light of private international law (Le droit international privé confronté à la blockchain).

The blockchain is one of the major technological developments of the last ten years in respect of securing exchanges. Its applications are very varied, ranging from cryptocurrency, through smart contracts or initial coin offerings (ICOs), to the creation of decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs). All of these applications, as well as those that are still to come, have the particular feature of evolving in an environment that is detached from any territorial basis. This specific situation obviously renders the confrontation of the blockchain with the techniques of private international law complex. However, avoiding these confrontations appears to be difficult, because through them, it is the opportunity for domestic laws to regulate legal relations based on this new technology that is at stake.

In the third article, Tristan Azzi (University of Paris 1, Sorbonne Law School) proposes to rethink in depth the interpretation of the jurisdictional rules applicable to cybercrime, in the context of the decline of the “accessibility criterion” (Compétence juridictionnelle en matière de cyber-délits : l’incontestable déclin du critère de l’accessibilité – A propos de plusieurs arrêts récents).

In the fourth article, David Sindres (University of Angers) addresses the difficult issue of civil liability action brought by a third party against a contracting party, in the light of recent case law (L’appréhension par le droit international privé de l’action en responsabilité d’un tiers fondée sur un manquement contractuel du défendeur).

 Lying on the borders of contractual and tort matters, the civil liability action brought by a third party against a contracting party whom it accuses of having, through its contractual breaches, caused its damage, is difficult to address from a private international law perspective. This is evidenced by several recent decisions handed down by the French Court of Cassation in cases where the claimants, third parties to certification contracts, had complained that a German certifier had committed various contractual breaches which contributed to the occurrence of their damages. Reflecting on these decisions, the present article aims at finding the adequate regime for this action under private international law.

 The full table of contents is available here.

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