Lloyd's Maritime and Commercial Law Quarterly


FORUM SHOPPING IN THE EUROPEAN JUDICIAL AREA. Edited by Pascal de VareillesSommières, Professor of Private International Law and International Trade Law, Université Paris ´; 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. Hart, Oxford (2007) xv and 154 pp, plus 81 pp Appendices and 6 pp Index. Hardback, £50.
In early 2006, a conference was held at University College, Oxford, to discuss the ramifications of three recent decisions of the European Court of Justice: Erich Gasser GmbH v. MISAT Srl [2003] I ECR 14693, Turner v. Grovit [2004] I ECR 3565 and Owusu v. Jackson [2005] I ECR 1383. In Forum Shopping in the European Judicial Area , Pascal de Vareilles-Sommières has collated the papers given at this conference and in doing so has provided an insightful exposition of the present friction points between English civil procedure and the Brussels regime. The conference, having been prepared with the support of the Association Sorbonne-Oxford pour le Droit Comparé, this work unites academics and practitioners from both sides of the Channel in a common lament. Consequently, a number of the contributions, including Horatia Muir-Watt’s concluding remarks, are produced in French.
The “systematic dismantling” of the common law of conflict of laws has been strikingly swift. The predecessor to the present Regulation 44/2001, the Brussels Convention 1968, came into force in the United Kingdom on 1 January 1987. Yet it is only in the past few years that certain key elements of English civil procedure have fallen into the firing line of the ECJ. First, in Gasser , it was held that courts of Member States second seised are required to stay their proceedings in favour of


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