Developments in PIL Developments of PIL beyond the EU

China/Singapore Supreme Courts’ MoU on Cooperation Regarding Foreign Law

While reflecting once more about the efforts to reach a forum-ius parallelism via interpretation of the grounds for jurisdiction and the connecting points of the conflict of laws rules (not be the best way to get to it), I found a piece of news about a new Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation on information about foreign law.

MoUs of this kind are indeed not unknown any longer – albeit not used in Europe. What makes this one special is that it has been entered into by the Supreme Court of Singapore and the Supreme People’s Court of China.

A MoU on guidance on the recognition and enforcement of money judgments in commercial cases exists already since August 2018.

The MoU on foreign law was signed at the 5th Singapore-China Legal and Judicial Roundtable held on 3 December 2021. According to the information given by the official website of the Singapore Supreme Court, the MOU establishes a mechanism between the two courts to determine questions of law of the other jurisdiction in international civil and commercial cases. It came into effect on April 3rd. The text, consisting of 17 provisions, is detailed regarding language and deadlines for the transmission of the requested information – always in relation to ongoing proceedings, and with no identification of the parties concerned-, but does not goes into other important issues such as costs. It can be downloaded here: memorandum-of-understanding-between-the-supreme-court-of-singapore-and-the-supreme-people’s-court-of-the-people’s-republic-of-china.

Although not a political commitment, this MoU can be considered as another evidence of the ties between Singapore and China and the progress made in bilateral cooperation despite the COVID-19 pandemic, including in traditional areas of cooperation ranging from trade and investment to financial cooperation. Actually, on December 29, 2021, 14 MoUs were signed ranging from strengthening cooperation in finance, exchange of trade and customs information, competition law, urban governance and planning, nature conservation to maritime safety.

Legal Secretary CJEU Full Professor PIL, University of La Laguna (Spain) Senior research fellow MPI Luxembourg (on leave)

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