Books Developments in PIL Scholarship

Ascertaining Foreign Law: The Current State of Affairs and the Quest for More Effective Cooperation

Gustavo Cerqueira and Nicolas Nord have edited a collection of essays, mostly in French, on the ascertainment of foreign law, titled La connaissance du droit étranger: à la recherche d’instruments de coopération adaptés. The book was published by the Société de législation comparée in late 2020.

The editors have kindly provided the following presentation in English.

Foreign law occupies an increasing place in practice not only for the judge, but also for other legal professions: notary, civil registrar, lawyer in particular. The most apparent causes for this increase are the proliferation of European Union regulations in private international law and the development of jurisdictions or specialized chambers in international litigation and the application of foreign law. A real competition has appeared in this regard for several years. Beyond the only aspect of litigation conventionally considered, the taking into account and the application of foreign law becomes essential for other perspectives: obligation of advice, non-contentious matters, drafting of acts, asset optimization, planning of international corporate transactions, among others.
The stakes are therefore crucial and the search for suitable cooperation instruments for a good knowledge of foreign law is essential.
This book contributes to the reflections on this subject. It thus includes an important inventory which makes it possible to update the diversity of regimes in the legal orders studied and the heterogeneity of professional practices. Concrete solutions are also proposed. They are the result of cross-discussions and round tables during the conference held at the French Cour de cassation on 28 November 2019.
While the apparent objective may be to achieve the adoption of a general instrument with the widest possible geographical scope, it quickly appeared vain to try to favor such an approach at present. On the one hand, each profession has different needs, on the other hand, the level of development of the different systems compared is not the same. While some are lagging behind and are struggling to adopt satisfactory rules in this area, others are at the forefront and therefore are really in demand for a cooperation instrument whose usefulness does not seem obvious to them. The various contributions and debates made it possible to consider paths for reflection as numerous as diverse, ranging from the revitalization of old instruments to the creation of specialized institutions at internal, international or European level, including the establishment of specific mechanisms or the use of artificial intelligence. Such an abundance shows the crucial nature of the issue and the vitality of the reflections carried out on it, but also the relevance of having debated it and the need to continue to do so.
In this sense, the next stage of this debate could be that of the opportunity of adopting a European regulation on the matter.

The book comes with a preface by Hélène Gaudemet-Tallon. The authors include, in addition to the editors themselves: Cyril Nourissat, François Ancel, Cyril Roth, Dominique Foussard, Olivier Berg, Nicolas Nord, Jochen Bauerreis, Guillermo Palao Moreno, Lukas Heckendorn Urscheler, Gustavo Ferraz De Campos Monaco, Patrick Kinsch, Maria Rosa Loula, Jean-Noël Acquaviva, Jean-Louis Van Boxstael, Marie Vautravers, Rodrigo Rodriguez, Wolfgang Rosch, and Françoise Monéger.

For more information, including the table of contents, see here.

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