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The Elgar Companion to the Hague Conference on Private International Law

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The Elgar Companion to the Hague Conference on Private International Law

9781788976497 Edward Elgar Publishing
Edited by Thomas John, ACIArb, Partner, Grotius Chambers, the Netherlands, Rishi Gulati, Fellow, London School of Economics, UK and Ben Köhler, Senior Research Fellow, Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, Germany
Publication Date: December 2020 ISBN: 978 1 78897 649 7 Extent: c 576 pp
This comprehensive Companion is a unique guide to the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH). Written by international experts who have all directly or indirectly contributed to the work of the HCCH, this Companion is a critical assessment of, and reflection on, past and possible future contributions of the HCCH to the further development and unification of private international law.

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This comprehensive Companion is a unique guide to the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH), an intergovernmental organisation dedicated to developing multilateral legal instruments pertaining to personal, family and commercial legal situations that cross national borders. The Companion is a critical assessment of, and reflection on, past and possible future contributions of the HCCH to the further development and unification of private international law.

Written by international experts who have all directly or indirectly contributed to the work of the HCCH, chapters analyse its structure and working methods, as well as explore its significant achievements in the areas of international family law, civil procedure, legal cooperation, commercial and finance law. The contributors also discuss the many challenges both the HCCH and other global organisations are facing, including the advent of regionalism and renewed nationalism.

Scholars and students of private international law, as well as private legal practitioners and members of the judiciary, will find this book to be crucial reading. Those working at other international organisations such as NGOs, banks and businesses will also find its insights into the workings of a successful international organisation beneficial.
Critical Acclaim
‘In this book there are 35 contributions from foremost experts around the world. They deal with the history of the HCCH, its role in an increasingly globalised world, and its role in the future. Especially valuable is the critical analysis of the existing HCCH instruments. [...] All scholars in this field will need to take notice of this comprehensive work, and practitioners in ever-increasing international litigation will find much that is of great practical importance.’
– extracted from the Foreword by Lord Collins of Mapesbury, LLD, FBA, former Justice, UK Supreme Court

‘This Companion is a reflection of and tribute to the work of the Hague Conference on Private International Law over its 125 year history. The thirty-five chapters in the book consist of contributions by leading private international law experts – academics, practitioners, and judges – from across the globe. These chapters trace the development of the organization from its inception, review the various instruments produced by the HCCH, and discuss more generally substantive developments in private international law from a comparative perspective. The range of the Companion – like that of the Hague Conference itself – is comprehensive and covers issues of commercial law, family law, civil procedure, and judicial cooperation. Together the chapters underscore important themes that have been crucial to the HCCH: access to justice, the role of soft law, multilateralism, and the relationship between public and private international law. There is no work like it that I know of, and anyone who works in this field needs to have a copy and to read it cover to cover.’
– Linda J. Silberman, New York University School of Law, US

‘Edward Elgar’s latest contribution to the field of private international law appropriately focuses on the sole intergovernmental organization dealing exclusively with issues in this area. Since 1955, the Hague Conference on Private International Law has developed into a truly global organization, with 45% of its membership joining since the turn of the century. Nevertheless, there remains scope for improvement of participation by countries in Africa and the Middle East. The contributions deal with the full range of Hague instruments; nonetheless, certain concepts surface continuously, including access to justice, cross-border legal cooperation, international human rights law, party autonomy and technological developments. Editors John, Gulati and Köhler should be congratulated on their initiative and the resultant substantial and valuable contribution to the available literature on the Hague Conference.’
– Jan L. Neels, University of Johannesburg, South Africa

‘The Hague Conference is the symbol of efforts to coordinate divergent legal orders in the interest of individuals, families and undertakings. Various such efforts have been successful, producing instruments of worldwide effectiveness, others have failed; all of them contributed to a common ground for legal scholarship in private international law. The rich experience of more than a century is collected in this valuable book. Its 35 chapters address general institutional aspects of the Hague Conference, its increasing effects in continents outside Europe and a great number of specific issues covering the whole range of international commercial transactions, family relations and procedural cooperation. The editors and authors, well-known experts in their respective fields, have successfully compiled a volume that will be an indispensable guide to its subject for many years.’
– Jürgen Basedow, Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, Germany

‘COVID-19 has indelibly changed our daily lives and one might ask, in our seemingly brave new world, does the Hague Conference remain relevant? The answer is a resounding “yes” and this book shows why. Its chapters speak about what the Hague Conference has been (and is) doing well. They explain how the flexibility of key conventions has enabled them to stand the test of time and address a range of contemporary problems, from legal cooperation and civil procedure to the protection of the child and the complexities of commerce. But the chapters have not been written as eulogies. They repeatedly pose critical questions. They identify glaring weaknesses. They suggest how conventions can be improved for the decades to come. They propose new instruments to respond to our present exigencies.

In the new normal of lockdowns, social distancing, face masks, remote working, trade wars, and worldwide protests against systematic inequality and discrimination, it may be challenging to attain the Hague Conference’s objective of bringing the world closer through a progressive unification of the rules of private international law. That does not make the objective any less urgent. By itself this book will not change the world. That is not its function. It is instead meant to be a “companion”, a guide to take with us along our common journey to building a better world. For this reason, I heartily recommend it.’
– Anselmo Reyes, Doshisha University, Kyoto, Japan

This title is available for institutional purchase via Elgaronline.

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