Private International Law

I am interested in and have conducted research on all aspects of private international law (including international litigation and international business transactions). I am a member of the editorial advisory board of and regularly act as a referee for the Journal of Private International Law and am a regular contributor to the Revue critique de droit international and the Journal du droit international. I am also the editor of the Elgar Commentaries in Private International Law Series.

Here are some of my main research projects.

Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in the European Union
I follow closely the evolution of the EU law of foreign judgments and participate in leading European commentaries specifically on this topic (Magnus & Mankowski, Brussels Ibis Regulation, Otto Schmidt, 2022; Magnus & Mankowski, Brussels IIter Regulation, Otto Schmidt, 2023; Viarengo & Franzina, The EU Regulation on the Property Regimes of International Couples, Elgar 2020).
From a more theoretical point of view, I have conducted an economic analysis of the exequatur procedure (“Abolition of Exequatur – Addressing the Commission’s Concerns”, (2011) RabelsZ 286 (with I. Rueda)) and argued that it would make more sense to allow it in commercial matters rather than in family matters (“Some Remarks on the Efficiency of Exequatur”, Festschrift Bernd von Hoffmann (2012) 568).

Cross Border Freezing and Attachment of Assets
I have been engaged into a 20 year effort to liberalise cross-border freezing and attachment of bank accounts in France and in Europe.
In 2000, I published my first book advocating that French law should change and allow the attachment of bank account situated in other countries (Les mesures conservatoires portant sur des biens situés à l’étranger Paris, LGDJ, 2000). In 2011, I advised the European Commission in a working group set to draft a proposal for a regulation establishing a European procedure to attach bank accounts in other Member States, which resulted in the adoption of Regulation 655/2014 establishing a European Account Preservation Order. In 2017, I participated in the drafting of an implementing legislation of Regulation 655/2014 in Luxembourg and wrote a commentary of the said Regulation with Prof. Sara Migliorini (The European Account Preservation Order – A Commentary, Cambridge UP, 2017), which has been cited in the first case on the regulation by the Court of Justice of the European Union. Finally, Prof. Migliorini and I have published in 2021 a commentary of the Regulation in French focusing on its implementation in the three francophone Member States of the E.U. (L’ordonnance européenne de saisie conservatoire des comptes bancaires, Legitech 2021).

I have also long advocated that the territoriality of enforcement does not exclude cross-border attachment of assets. I wrote a groundbreaking article published in 2008 in French Journal du droit international (“Le principe de territorialité des voies d’exécution ») and then developed further the idea in a book in 2011 (Droit international de l’exécution, LGDJ 2011). The French supreme court has shown signs that it might endorse these ideas and liberalise cross-border attachment of assets in several judgments of 10 December 2020 that I have commented in the Revue Critique de droit international privé in 2021 (“Redéfinition de la territorialité des saisies de créances”).

Judicial Experts in the European Judicial Area
I have explored a number of aspects of the operation of judicial experts in a cross border setting. In 2015, I wrote an in depth study for the European Parliament on Civil Judicial Experts in the EU: Analysis of EU Legislation and Recommendations. My research has focused on the jurisdiction of the courts of the Member States to appoint judicial experts in cross border litigation (see, in particular, my article on “L’expertise judiciaire en droit judiciaire européen”) and on the cross border effect of expert reports.
Like some other courts in Europe, the French supreme court has struggled to determine the requirements for appointing judicial experts in cases where French courts do not have jurisdiction (for a report in English of the last judgment of the court on the issue, see here. For my own commentary on these judgments, see here). In the context of a European Study for the European Commission, I advised that the EU lawmaker should clarify the law in this respect. It is unfortunate that the European Commission has not perceived the issue and that the EU lawmaker failed to address it in its most recent reform of the Evidence Regulation.

I am also the president of the Scientific Committee of the European Expertise and Experts Institute.

Cape Town Convention on International Interest
I am thankful to Sir Roy Goode and Jeffrey Wool for introducing me to the Cape Town Convention and the Cape Town Convention Academic Project.
I have written an article per article commentary of the Convention published in P. Mankowski (ed.), COMMENTARY ON INTERNATIONAL AND EUROPEAN BUSINESS LAW – COMMERCIAL LAW (Nomos, 2018).
I have also written a number of articles on various issues arising out of the Convention, including:
– “Enforcement of Court Decisions under the Cape Town Convention” (2018) 7 Cape Town Convention J. 93
– “L’influence de la Convention du Cap du 16 novembre 2001 sur les droits nationaux de l’insolvabilité (ambitions, contribution et succès de l’industrie aéronautique)”, Mélanges Bertrand Ancel (Iprolex 2018) 417.
– « Le Matériel Ferroviaire Roulant Affecté au Service Public dans le Protocole de Luxembourg du 23 Février 2007 » Liber Amicorum Rusen Ergec (2017).
– “Advance Relief Under the Cape Town Convention” (2012) 1 Cape Town Convention J 79.

International Attractiveness of Contract Laws
Over a period of ten years, I have conducted several empirical studies to try to assess the international attractiveness of contract laws and to contribute to a better understanding of the international contracting process by unveiling the factors that influence international commercial actors when they choose the law that governs their transactions. For more details, see here.