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On the occasion of Nelson Mandel’s 100th birtday, I am re-posting this, first published on the blog in 2013, following Mandela’s death: Abdullah Ibrahim’s song ‘Mannenberg is Where It’s Happening‘, released in 1974, is often called South Africa’s “unofficial national anthem” and “the theme tune of the anti-apartheid movement”. ‘Mannenberg’ was an instant hit. However, “the idea that ‘Mannenberg’ the best-seller would someday metamorphose into ‘Mannenberg’ the struggle anthem would have surprised…
A little under a year ago, we reported that the Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) had issued an injunction that stopped the Munich Public Prosecution Office (Staatsanwaltschaft München) to look into and use the documents it seized at the Munich offices of law firm Jones Day. A quick recap of the facts: Jones Day has acted as counsel to Volkswagen in the diesel emissions matter since September 2015. It carried out an internal investigation, interviewing more than…
JAMS are organising an afternoon seminar on ADR in the context of emerging technologies, to be held in London on 12 July 2018 (click here for more details). I will be speaking on a panel that discusses emergency relief in arbitration with a focus on intellectual property. This will provide an opportunity to look at the ICC Emergency Arbitrator Provisions introduced in 2012, and at the new DIS Rules, that came into force in March 2018, and under…
The “Advisory Commission on the return of cultural property seized as a result of Nazi persecution, especially Jewish property”, better known as Limbach Commission after its first chair women, Jutta Limbach, was formed in 2003. We have covered various aspects of the Limbach Commission’s work, for example here and here. Jutta Limbach, the former president of the German Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) passed away in September 2016. Her successor as the chairman of…
The German Institution of Arbitration DIS has comprehensively revised its rules and regulations. The new rules come into force on March 1, 2018. I have summarized the key changes for Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, and here is an English version of this short article:  Arbitration is the method of choice for complex business disputes: Tailored to the parties’ requirements, optimized in their processes and always in tune with the times, they promise a modern form…
Evaluation of the Mediation Act Five years ago, the Mediation Act (Mediationsgesetz) came into force. We did cover the legislative process on the blog in quite some detail. The Act provided for an evaluation to take place at the fifth anniversary. This report has now been published by the Federal Ministry of Justice. Here is a link to the full report, and here is a link to a summary produced by Professor Reinhard…
This Case of the Week is hot off the press – the case originally scheduled for today will have to wait: Today, the Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) announced that it had issued a rare interim order in support of a constitutional challenge (Verfassungsbeschwerde) of the law firm Jones Day against a court order that allowed the seizure of potentially privileged documents from Jones Day’s Munich Offices. Jones Day has acted as counsel to Volkswagen in the…
This case of the week deals with the question if and when a translation is required if service of proceedings is effected abroad. It arose in an action brought by a German Facebook user against Facebook Ireland, the Facebook entity through which Facebook apparently conducts its business in mainland Europe. As always in matters of service, we are not really concerned with the underlying facts, but it appears that Facebook blocked the user’s account, and…
Last month, the German Institution of Arbitration (DIS) published its 2016 gender Balance statistics on DIS arbitral tribunals: In 2016, a total number of 348 arbitrators were appointed in DIS arbitration proceedings. Of those, 46 arbitrators (13,2%) were female. The DIS Appointing Committee made 34 appointments, and 10 of these were women, which equals 29,4% of appointments. Parties appointed female arbitrators in  21 cases (9,3%), and co-arbitrators appointed female colleagues in 15 proceedings (16,9%) – resulting…
In a recent decision, the Federal Supreme Court (Bundesgerichtshof) has held that shareholder disputes, and in particular challenges to shareholder resolutions (Beschlußmängelstreitigkeiten) in a limited partnership (Kommanditgesellschaft) are arbitrable in principle. The standards governing the arbitrability of disputes of that nature in the limited liability company (GmbH) apply to partnerships as well. The Federal Supreme Court refers to this decision as “Arbitrability III” (“Schiedsfähigkeit III”), so let’s briefly look at “Arbitrability I” and “Arbitrability II”…