I’m back in Boston after ten days of much-needed vacation. Thanks to Kate Halloran for holding down the fort! There were two developments in the last week that I wanted to briefly note before picking up again with coverage of current cases: first, a new French decision in the Dallah case, and second, a mention of a new DC decision on the judicial assistance statute.
First, in the Dallah case (you may have seen the judgment from the UK Supreme Court back in November), the Paris Court of Appeal has issued a new ruling, discussed in a recent post at Conflict of Laws.net. The case involved a contract between Dallah and a Pakistani religious trust under which Dallah was to provide housing for pilgrims on the Hajj. Dallah sought to arbitrate a claim against the Government of Pakistan, asserting that it was subject to the contract’s arbitration agreement even though it was not a signatory to the contract. The UK Supreme Court, purporting to apply French law, had held that the Pakistani government was not bound to arbitrate, and it therefore affirmed a decision holding that the award was not enforceable in England on the grounds that the agreement to arbitrate was invalid. Now the French court, also applying French law, has reached the opposite conclusion, and it therefore has refused to set aside the award (the place of the arbitration was Paris). Perhaps this is something of an embarrassment for the UK judges–Gilles Cuniberti at Conflict of Laws.net seems to be saying as much. But no doubt the UK judges called it as they saw it.
Second, Louis M. Solomon has posted on Lazaridis v. International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), Inc., a recent D.D.C. case from January that somehow slipped through the cracks here. In the case, the court refused to grant a motion for leave to take discovery under the judicial assistance statute, which as Solomon points out is a somewhat uncommon happening. The applicant had satisfied the three requirements of the Intel case, but as the decision shows, the District Court retains discretion to deny the application nonetheless.