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Article

Access_open The 2015 Proposal for an EU Directive on the Societas Unius Personae (SUP)

Another Attempt to Square the Circle?

Journal The Dovenschmidt Quarterly, Issue 2 2015
Keywords EU law harmonisation, single member private companies, Proposed SUP Directive, European ‘trade mark’
Authors Stephan Rammeloo
AbstractAuthor's information

    Stimulating business throughout the Single Market, not in the least for Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs), is one of the key priorities of the EU’s ten-year growth strategy, ‘Europe 2020’. One of the strategies to achieve this goal is the recently developed legal concept of a ‘European trademark’ for single member private limited liability companies duly established under the laws of any EU Member State and complying with preconditions required by a draft Proposal for a Directive on the Societas Unius Personae (SUP). The 2015 Compromising text, having replaced the initial 2014 Draft for a Directive requires to be analysed in view of its ‘scope’ (functional and geographical reach). Furthermore, attention is given to matters of formation and ‘long distance’ registration, share capital, internal organization and functioning of company organs, the functioning of SUP’s as stand alone companies or SUP’s embedded in company group or chain structures. Critical observations inter alia focus on relinquished provisions on the SUP’s seat as well as the powers of SUP organs and on ‘national law’ creeping in the Proposed Directive more and more at the cost of legal certainty and legal coherence between EU law instruments relevant to private limited liability companies.


Stephan Rammeloo
Associate Professor EU Company Law, Private International Law and Comparative Law, Maastricht University.
Article

Access_open Parental Liability for Externalities of Subsidiaries

Domestic and Extraterritorial Approaches

Journal The Dovenschmidt Quarterly, Issue 3 2014
Keywords company law, group liability, comparative approach, liability matrix, statutory/judicial approaches
Authors Linn Anker-Sørensen
AbstractAuthor's information

    This paper offers a structural tool for examining various parental liability approaches for the externalities of its subsidiaries, meaning in the context of this paper, the negative environmental impact of their operations. In order to conclude that the parent is liable for externalities of subsidiaries, one must be able to bypass the corporate privileges of separate legal personality and limited liability, either within traditional company law or within alternative approaches offered by notably tort and environmental law. The overall acceptance of companies within groups as single entities, instead of recognition of their factual, often closely interlinked economic relationship, is a well-known barrier within traditional company law. The situation is exacerbated by the general lack of an extraterritorial liability approach and of enforcement of the rare occurrences of such liability within the traditional company law context. This paper explores various liability approaches found in jurisdictions worldwide mainly based on mapping papers from the international Sustainable Companies Project. The author introduces a matrix in order to systemize the different approaches, distinguishing between three levels: domestic and extraterritorial, statutory and judicial and indirect and direct liability. A proper distinction between the different liability approaches can be valuable in order to identify the main barriers to group liability in regulation and in jurisprudence.


Linn Anker-Sørensen
Research assistant in the Research Group Companies, Markets, Society and the Environment and its Sustainable Companies Project, Faculty of Law, University of Oslo (jus.uio.no/companies under Projects).
Article

Access_open EU Law Reform: Cross-Border Civil and Commercial Procedural Law and Cross-Border Insolvency Law

Journal The Dovenschmidt Quarterly, Issue 2 2014
Keywords Private International Law, Commercial and Insolvency Law, EU Law reforms
Authors S.F.G. Rammeloo
AbstractAuthor's information

    Business contractors increasingly find themselves involved in a private or commercial law relationship with cross-border elements. In case commercial disputes have to be adjudicated in court proceedings questions to be answered are: the court of which legal order has competence, the law of which country shall be applied, and is a court order from a foreign legal order enforceable or not? The strive for a (European) Single Market presupposes the breaking down of (procedural as well as substantive) legal barriers emanating from the cross-border nature of private law relationships, notably business transactions.
    This contribution, concentrating on tomorrow’s European PIL in notably the area of civil procedural law, highlights the first and the third question from the perspective of the upcoming entry into force (10 January 2015) of EU Regulation No. 1215/2012 concerning jurisdiction and recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters and the proposed amendments to EU Regulation No. 1346/2000 on cross-border Insolvency Proceedings.


S.F.G. Rammeloo
Associate Professor EU Private International Law and Comparative Company Law – Faculty of Law, Maastricht University, the Netherlands.
Article

Access_open Contracts for the International Sale of Goods

Recent Developments at the International and European Level

Journal The Dovenschmidt Quarterly, Issue 2 2014
Keywords CISG, CESL, contract for the international sale of goods, jurisdiction, standard terms
Authors Dr. S.A. Kruisinga
AbstractAuthor's information

    In the globalizing economy, national borders seem to have disappeared. However, when determining which law will apply to a commercial transaction, the opposite seems true. In 1980, the UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (hereafter the CISG) was specifically drafted to apply to contracts for the international sale of goods. Recently, the European Commission also published a document containing provisions that can apply to contracts for the international sale of goods: the Proposal for a Regulation on a Common European Sales Law. This paper compares the scope of application of these legal regimes, it compares the regulation of standard terms in both regimes and addresses the provisions in the EU Regulation on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters (Brussels I), which are of relevance for contracts for the international sale of goods which do not contain a valid dispute settlement clause.


Dr. S.A. Kruisinga
Dr. S.A. Kruisinga is Associate Professor at the Molengraaff Institute of Private Law, Utrecht University, the Netherlands.

S.F.G. Rammeloo
Associate Professor EU Private International Law and Comparative Company Law, Faculty of Law, Maastricht University.
Article

The Application of Exception Clauses of the Rome Convention and the Rome I Regulation by the Dutch Courts

An Escape from Reality?

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1 2013
Keywords Rome Convention 1980, Rome I Regulation, choice of law, exception clause, international commercial contracts
Authors Emmely de Haan
AbstractAuthor's information

    Both the Rome Convention and its successor the Rome I Regulation contain much discussed provisions on applicable law in the case of absence of a choice of law. Both instruments contain so called ‘exception clauses’ which refer to a closer connection of the contract with one state to the law of another state resulting from the general presumptions. The Netherlands is the frontrunner with a highly restrictive interpretation of the exception clauses. The applicable law to a transnational dispute might not always be the law of the competent court, although courts tend to prefer their own national law with which they are familiar. This year it has been exactly 20 years since the first revolutionary ruling on the subject by the Dutch Supreme Court, the so called Balenpers case. With the recent transition of the Convention into the Regulation, it is useful to analyse these connecting factors and review them in the context of the new Regulation. The Dutch courts have developed numerous connecting factors over the years. The article analyses Dutch case law on international contracts of carriage and international employment contracts from the implementation of the Rome Convention to date.


Emmely de Haan
The author graduated from Utrecht University in 2012 with an LL.M. degree in Dutch Private Law and is currently an LL.M. candidate at the University of Virginia in the United States, specializing in International Trade Law and Regulation and Dispute Settlement. This article is a shorter version of her master thesis, which was supervised by Professor dr. K.R.S.D. Boele-Woelki.
Article

The ECJ Ruling in Cartesio and Its Consequences on the Right of Establishment and Corporate Mobility in the European Union

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 3-4 2010
Keywords Cartesio, right of establishment, Corporate mobility
Authors Prof. dr.sc. Siniša Petrović and Tomislav Jakšić
AbstractAuthor's information

    Before Cartesio, the case law of the European Court of Justice on freedom of establishment mainly considered company immigration situations, i.e. legal entities moving into another Member State. Cartesio is the first major ruling on company emigration since the 1988 decision in Daily Mail. Consequently, much was expected from Cartesio, notably that it would confirm a company’s right to directly invoke its freedom of establishment in emigration scenarios. However, this was not the case. Although Cartesio introduced some new concepts into the freedom of establishment case law like the concept of company conversion, the freedom of establishment actually took a step backward. This effectively resulted in almost complete disregard of the freedom of establishment in emigration situations - unlike in immigration situations. This partial denial of freedom of establishment, one of the fundamental freedoms of Community law, would seem urge the continuation of work on the new 14th Company Law Directive. In light of the current ECJ case law, only a legislative approach would seem suitable to guarantee non-discrimination in the ongoing regulatory competition between Member States which apply the registered seat theory and those which apply the administrative (real) seat theory.


Prof. dr.sc. Siniša Petrović
Prof. dr. sc. Siniša Petrović is a full professor at the Faculty of Law of the University of Zagreb.

Tomislav Jakšić
Tomislav Jakšić is a Junior Researcher at the Faculty of Law of the University of Zagreb.
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