The topic of Brexit has been in the hearts and minds of private international lawyers ever since the Brexit referendum.
However, for reasons that are unknown, it did not make it onto the agenda of the UK-EU negotiations about a free trade agreement. The agreement that was eventually adopted in late December 2020, therefore, does not contain any substantive provisions dealing with the future EU-UK relationship in the field of judicial cooperation in civil matters (despite a confusing reference in the press release of the European Commission).
Since 1 January 2021 we are, therefore, back to “square one”, i.e. a patchwork of national, (retained) European and international law which will make the resolution of cross-border disputes more complex.
The European Association of Private International Law (EAPIL) took this (foreseeable) finding as an occasion to devote its first Virtual Seminar to the future EU-UK relationship in private international law. It gave six renowned speakers from the EU and Continental Europe occasion to present their views on the state of affairs, including the question of whether the EU and the Uk should strive for conclusion of a bespoke bilateral agreement.
The Seminar lasted roughly two hours and was attended by almost 120 academics and practitioners from all over Europe (and beyond). It more than showed that there are no easy solutions for the problems that Brexit has created – and that Brexit will be a source for discussion for years to come.
If you were not able to join us for the Seminar (or if you want to refresh your memory) you may now (re-) read some of the speakers’ statement on the EAPIL website. Just follow this link. Happy reading!