The annual meeting of the Department of State’s Advisory Committee on Private International Law (ACPIL) was held on Thursday, May 23, 2019 at the Department of State.  The meeting focused on ongoing work of major private international law organizations as well as possible future work in the field of private international law.

Ongoing Work

Finalization of the Convention on the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments in civil or commercial matters (Judgements Convention)

Panelists addressed the efforts by states to finalize the Judgments Convention at the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH), and discussed the key issues still being negotiated in The Hague, such as those involving intellectual property.  The panel reviewed key sections of the draft Convention and invited comments on each section from ACPIL members and other meeting participants in support of the US delegation.  There was support for the view that completing the convention on recognition would be of substantial benefit to the United States.

Investor-State Dispute Settlement

Panelists discussed the on-going efforts by Working Group III at UNCITRAL to reform the investor-state dispute settlement system.  Participants offered comments on a number of issues related to the ISDS reform, including arbitrator codes of conduct, arbitrator selection criteria and processes, third-party participation, and capacity building.

Public-Private Partnerships

Panelists discussed the efforts of the UNCITRAL Secretariat to update and reform its existing Guide and legislative provisions dealing with public private partnerships.  Meeting participants commented on a number of features of the guide that they believed should be updated, including those addressing environmental and social regulations, arbitration, and intellectual property.

Insolvency Choice of Law

Panelists previewed the potential for work at UNCITRAL Working Group V addressing rules for choice of law for insolvency proceedings. Meeting participants expressed general interest in having UNCITRAL Working Group V explore this topic.

Asset Tracing

Panelists discussed the proposal by the United States to work on asset tracing at UNCITRAL.  Meeting participants noted the importance of data protection and privacy issues, and discussed the related work by UNODC and its utility to UNICTRAL’s efforts.

Future Work

The panelists discussed potential projects being considered at HCCH and UNCITRAL, and invited meeting participants to identify other topics or areas of interest.  Meeting participants raised topics such as wills and succession, choice of law/conflict of law issues, collective redress for cross-border cases, on-line dispute resolution, and international commercial courts as areas meriting further research and possible action.  They also discussed private international law work being done at other organizations, including the Uniform Law Commission and the Organization for American States.

Various additional views were expressed by participants in the public meeting. No decision was taken. No report was approved.


U.S. Department of State

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