Case of the Day: Strategic Technologies v. Procurement Bureau

The case of the day is Strategic Technologies Pte Ltd. v. Procurement Bureau of the Republic of China Ministry of National Defense, [2020] EWCA Civ. 1604. Strategic Technologies had a contract to supply goods to the Taiwanese government. The contract had an arbitration clause requiring arbitration in Taipei and was governed by Taiwan law. A dispute arose, and Strategic Technologies brought a lawsuit in Singapore. The government sought a stay pending arbitration, which the court granted, but then the government failed to arbitrate. As a result, the stay was lifted and the case went to a default judgment in 2002 (the lower court had held that by participating even to the limited extent of seeking a stay, the Taiwanese government had submitted to the jurisdiction of the Singaporean court). (more…)

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The Judgments Convention Is Here

The Judgments Convention has been adopted! This is the culmination of decades of work to fill one of the biggest gaps in private international law. The immediate prospects for American participation in the Convention are unclear. Indeed, in the days since adoption, only one state, Uruguay, has signed the Convention. But these things take time and we should wait some times—years, probably—before making judgments. (more…)

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The Judgments Convention: Let’s Do This!

    The Diplomatic Session of the Hague Conference on Private International Law will meet beginning tomorrow, and the delegates are expected to adopt the Convention on the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments in civil or commercial matters—the long-awaited Judgments Convention. The prospects for American ratification of the new Convention are uncertain. I think we all should do what we can to promote the Convention. Here’s why. (more…)

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New Draft Explanatory Report on the Judgments Convention

The HCCH has released a revised draft explanatory report on the Judgments Convention, prepared by Prof. Francisco Garcimartín and Prof. Geneviève Saumier. In the current political climate, it is very difficult to imagine the President, who likes to tear up treaties with abandon, signing let alone ratifying the new Convention when it is promulgated. (more…)

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The Judgments Convention: In America’s Interest

President Obama gave a speech last week at the Air Force Academy that reminded listeners of the importance of treaties in the national interest. In addition to remarks about well-known treaties in areas like defense and the law of the sea, he had this to say about lesser-known treaties that help facilitate everyday life and commerce:

We don’t always realize it, but treaties help make a lot of things in our lives possible that we take for granted—from international phone calls to mail. Those are good things. Those are not a threat to our sovereignty. I think we can all agree on that.

He also noted the importance of treaties to the national interest of a great power like the United States in which some like to think we can simply have our way by fiat, in perpetuity:

And we lead not by dictating to other nations, but by working with them as partners; by treating other countries and their peoples with respect, not by lecturing them. This isn’t just the right thing to do; it’s in our self-interest. It makes countries more likely to work with us, and, ultimately, it makes us more secure. So we need smart, steady, principled American leadership.

Great words for the beginning of the meeting of the Special Commission on the Judgments Project, which began this month in The Hague.
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The Judgments Convention Takes A Big Step

It seems crazy to talk about the Judgments Convention when the prospects for the Choice of Court Agreements Convention, which should be an easier lift, seem so grim. But the Hague Conference has recently taken big steps towards a Judgments Convention with the publication of a proposed draft text, with an explanatory note. A Special Commission will be meeting in the Hague from June 1 to 9.
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