Secession from the European Union and Private International Law: The Cloud with a Silver Lining – Blackstone Chambers

Posted February 21st, 2017 in EC law, international law, legislation, news, regulations, speeches, treaties by sally

‘In the last six months there have been lectures, seminars, evidence-givingsand-takings, reports issued, all over town, in which the future of commercial litigation in England has been discussed. It may not be completely true that these have as their object the utter immiseration of everyone within earshot, but that does appear to be the principal effect. Those who, like me, do not seem to be invited to such gatherings are at liberty to see things rather differently. We have a once-in-a generation opportunity to compare the rules of private international law which we currently have with what we might instead have, and to take stock. When that is done, the path ahead will be seen to be rather clearer and brighter than some others would tell you it is. One certainly hears people suggesting that secession from the European Union is going to have a damaging effect, but for our private international law the truth may well be otherwise. And while the need to deal with these tasks may be an un-looked-for interruption to normal work, for some of us the chance to ask questions challenges us to think about what we would like our rules of private international law to say. My conclusion will be that less will change than most seem to suppose (or, in some cases, seem to hope for). There will be minor changes, certainly, but need be nothing major; and if anything major does change, it will not be a change for the worse. In short, though I am very fearful of sounding like the Daily Mail in human form, private international law has no cause for alarm. I should perhaps say that a fuller and footnoted version of this paper will be available from the Combar website if anyone is interested.’

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Blackstone Chambers, 24th January 2017