Books Developments in PIL Scholarship

Karayanni on Private International Law of Class Actions

Michael Karayanni (Bruce W. Wayne Professor of International Law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem) published the special course he gave at the Hague Academy on The Private International Law of Class Actions: A Functional Approach in Volume 422 of Collected Courses of the Hague Academy of International Law

According to Professor Karayanni, a transnational class action raises fundamental questions of Private International law with regard to the class action court’s jurisdiction over the defendant and the class members, on how to choose the applicable law, and ultimately on how to deal with the judgment if and when it comes up for enforcement or recognition before a foreign court. At times these questions and the complications they give rise to, become part and parcel of the class action court’s consideration whether to certify the class action as such.

In his lectures, Professor Karayanni identifies the major private international problems that are endemic to transnational class actions and discusses how these are handled, principally by courts in the US, Canada, and Israel. In this he offers an analytical legal framework that can better assist us in dealing with the private international law questions pertaining to transnational class action. He does so by identifying three different categories of class actions, with each of them demanding a separate and more surgical treatment: Insubstantial individual claims and negative incentive for individual litigation; Significant individual claims and positive incentive for individual litigation; Significant individual claims and negative incentive for individual litigation – the class action of the disempowered.

The volume also includes the course of Said Mahmoudi (Professor of International Law at Stockholm University) on Self-Defence and “Unwilling or Unable” States.

Further details on the volume are available here.

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