The full program of the conference, together with details on venue, travel and accommodation is available here.
27 May 2021
The conference will kick-off on Thursday, 27 May 2021, with a keynote speech to be provided by Peter-Arnt Nielsen (Copenhagen Business School, Denmark). He will, by way of introduction, provide an overview of the current state of European Private International Law and highlight problems and challenges, presumably also focusing on Denmark’s special role in the unification of European Private International Law.
The keynote speech will be followed by two “Reports from Brussels and Luxembourg ”. Andreas Stein (Head of Unit, European Commission, Brussels) and Maciej Szpunar (Advocate General, Court of Justice of the European Union, Luxembourg) will put the topics to be discussed during the conference into perspective and provide insights into current developments on the legislative and the judicial level (legislative projects, reform projects, evaluation projects, pending cases).
28 May 2021
The conference itself will start on Friday, 28 May 2021. It will be divided into three blocks and consist of ten presentations à 30 minutes to be given by speakers from nine different countries (Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland).
1st block: Digitalization and European Private International Law
The first block will focus on digitalization in European Private International Law. Traditionally, Private International Law rules link cross-border cases to national legal systems by connecting factors which often contain a territorial element in the “analogous world”, such as habitual residence of the parties, the location of a tort or the celebration of a contract, the place where the subject-matter of a transaction is located, the headquarters of a company etc. Digitalization, however, may call these connecting factors into question and trigger the need to develop a truly transnational regime for digital transactions. With the help of four presentations the first block will, therefore, shed light on the implications of digitalization for European Private International Law.
In the first presentation Marie-Elodie Ancel (University of Paris 2 Panthéon-Assas, France), will look into the law applicable to digital platforms and intermediaries and discuss whether European Private International Law as it currently stands provides a good framework for social media (and other) platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Amazon, Uber or Airbnb. In the second presentation Matthias Lehmann (University of Vienna, Austria), will shed light on the same question with regard to contracts concluded or performed via decentralized networks of computers (blockchains). The third presentation, to be given by Christiane Wendehorst (University of Vienna, Austria) will look into the law applicable (digital) transfer of digital assets, notably the transfer of cryptocurrencies via blockchains. And the fourth presentation, prepared by Burkhard Hess (Max Planck Institute Luxembourg), will analyze potential gains and possible dangers associated with the use of digital tools in cross-border litigation.
2nd block: Fragmentation of European Private International Law
The second block will take place on Friday afternoon and deal with the phenomenon of fragmentation in European Private International Law. It will feature two presentations that will pay tribute to the fact that European Private International Law is still governed by a mix of legal instruments (European regulations, European directives, international treaties, national codifications).
The first presentation will be given by Francisco Garcimartín-Alférez (Unversidad Autonoma de Madrid, Spain). He will analyze the problems associated with the co-existence of choice of law rules in general European Regulations and sector-specific European Directives, primarily in the area of financial law, and address the question of whether such choice of law rules in sector-specific Directives should be repealed.
The second presentation will be prepared by Thalia Kruger (University of Antwerp, Belgium). She will focus on fragmentation in family and succession matters. She will deal with the complex relationship of European regulations and international treaties.
29 May 2021
3rd block: Future Challenges for Europe Private International Law
The third block will take place on Saturday 16 May 2020, and focus on other – particularly pressing – challenges, which European Private International Law is currently faced with: Gian Paolo Romano (University of Geneva, Switzerland) will look at parental responsibility in cross-border cases and analyze problems of the current framework. Ralf Michaels (Max Planck Institute, Hamburg) will analyze the role of religious laws in international family law. Marta Pertegás Sender (University of Maastricht, Netherlands) will deal with international property law and territoriality, notably the relationship of the lex rei sitae principle, matrimonial property and succession law. And, finally, Haris Pamboukis (University of Athens, Greece) will shed light on first experiences with the Succession Regulation and discuss whether there is need for clarification and/or further reform.