Private International Law
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Private International Law

Contemporary Challenges and Continuing Relevance

Edited by Franco Ferrari and Diego P. Fernández Arroyo

Is Private International Law (PIL) still fit to serve its function in today’s global environment? In light of some calls for radical changes to its very foundations, this timely book investigates the ability of PIL to handle contemporary and international problems, and inspires genuine debate on the future of the field.
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Chapter 11: European perspectives on human rights litigation

Martina Mantovani and Burkhard Hess


This chapter analyses the approach of national and international courts in Europe vis-à-vis the use of procedural mechanisms based on judicial discretion in human rights and public interest litigation. Before European courts, the doctrines of forum necessitatis and forum non conveniens find their natural limitation in the hard-and-fast logic which underpins the Brussels Ibis Regulation. In matters covered by this instrument, recent litigation evidences that, in continental Europe as in common law countries, the prima facie approach to the jurisdictional test required under EU law has been successfully exploited by victims of human rights infringements to circumvent most of the traditional hurdles barring accessing to a court with jurisdiction. Nonetheless, although establishing jurisdiction might no longer be an insurmountable impediment, other procedural and substantive law hurdles might still come between these claimants and a favourable judgment on the merits.

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