March 19, 2002 - International Steptoe & Johnson World eBusiness Law Report

Hague Conference agency favours narrow treaty

In a move that may help break the deadlock over the draft Hague Convention on Jurisdiction, the Permanent Bureau has published a Reflections Paper, which suggests that negotiations should focus on areas where agreement is achievable, particularly choice of forum in the business-to-business area.

After an extended break for consultation, the negotiators are scheduled to meet again on April 22-24. If they take up the implicit invitation to draft a narrow treaty, they will avoid potentially unbridgeable gaps between US and European approaches to jurisdiction over consumer disputes and other thorny issues.

The Reflections Paper is accompanied by a second paper on the impact of the Internet on the jurisdiction project. That paper discusses some of the more important ongoing legal issues regarding the Internet, such as the Yahoo! Case and the debate over whether internet transactions should be under the jurisdiction of the country of destination or country of origin.