te Winkel and van Heesch, ‘The Shell judgment – a bombShell in private international law?’

This article discusses the recent judgment of the District Court of The Hague in Milieudefensie et al v RDS (May 26, 2021, ECLI:NL:RBDHA:2021:5337). It reviews the most important substantive rulings of the Court and then focusses on the private international law aspects of the case. Milieudefensie et al argued that the adoption of the concern policy for the Shell Group by RDS qualifies as the Handlungsort and that Dutch law is therefore applicable to their claims based on Article 7 Rome II Regulation. RDS disagreed with this line of reasoning for multiple reasons. Since there is (as yet) no legal precedent regarding this discussion, both Milieudefensie and RDS relied on the analogous application of case law that concerned the interpretation of the Handlungsort under the Brussels Ibis Regulation. The legal debate between the parties regarding this aspect and the conclusion of the Court are set out in this article. The authors conclude with an analysis of the assessment of the Court and suggest that, given the impact of this ruling and the fact that there is no legal precedent, the Court ex officio should have requested a preliminary ruling from the Court of Justice.

Gerjanne te Winkel and Xandra van Heesch, The Shell judgment – a bombShell in private international law?, Nederlands Internationaal Privaatrecht (NIPR) (Dutch Journal of Private International Law) 2021 (issue 3) 448.

First posted 2021-11-01 13:00:37

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