EAPIL Working Group on International Property Law

Chair and contact

Eva-Maria Kieninger (kieninger@jura.uni-wuerzburg.de).

Type of Group

Working Group with a limited number of participants.

Current members

  • Janeen Carruthers (University of Glasgow)
  • Gilles Cuniberti (University of Luxemburg)
  • Morten Fogt (University of Aarhus)
  • Teemu Juutilainen (University of Turku)
  • Eva-Maria Kieninger (University of Wuerzburg)
  • Teun Struycken (University of Utrecht)
  • Jonathan Schenk (University of Antwerpen)
  • Afonso Patrão (University of Coimbra)
The Working Group is still considering applications for membership, especially from Eastern European Member States.

Consultative Committee

The Committee is in the process of being constituted.

Mission statement

So far, International Property Law has not been a subject of its own of any Europeanisation of Private International Law, but it has been touched upon at its margins by the European succession regulation (see the famous Kubicka case) and the Regulation on matrimonial property. Rights in rem also play a role for the rules on exclusive jurisdiction (Article 24 nr. 1 Brussels Ibis Regulation). Furthermore, numerous directives, especially in the realm of financial law, use the lex rei sitae as a connecting factor.

This fragmentation and the fact that Member States’ autonomous rules on international property law are by far not uniform although most, if not all, still use the lex rei sitae principle as a starting point, call for some in-depth study on the continuing value as well as the disadvantages of the lex rei sitae rule, its scope in relation to property, whose situs is unclear/unknown/accidental, and the possible role and limitations of freedom of choice of law.

Challenges and aims

The Working Group on International Property Law (“WGIPL”) aims to:

  • exchange information on current legislation and case law in the field of international property law, with a focus on (but not limited to) the EU Member States
  • draw up proposals for law reform and codification of international property law both on the level of the EU and on national/international levels.
Scope and approach

It is tentatively suggested that such proposal should encompass:

  • the lex situs principle
  • an enumerative list of topics within the scope of the rules
  • a recognition rule on conflit mobile
  • a general exception clause for cases in which there is a stronger connection to the laws of another jurisdiction than the jurisdiction of the situs
  • special rules for
    • assets without a situs
    • assets with a fortuitous situs
    • assets in orbit in space
    • goods in transit
    • stolen goods
    • the protection of a bona fide purchaser

The WGIPL intends to liaise with

  • the European Commission
  • the Hague Conference on PIL
  • scholars in relevant jurisdictions
  • practitioners in the fields of asset finance, including aircraft and shipping

The WGIPL shall consist of scholars and practitioners with a special interest or demonstrable experience in the field of international property law, including asset finance and asset based lending.