The lugano case in the european court of justice: Evolving european union competence in private international law


On October 19, 2004, the European Court of Justice held its first en banc hearing since the 2004 enlargement to twenty-five Member States. The case was Opinion 1/03, involving a request by the Council of the European Union on whether the Community has exclusive or shared competence to conclude the Lugano Convention. While the case on its face deals only with a single convention, it has far broader implications and is likely to influence the development of private international law and private law on a Community level for years to come. This brief article traces the origins of the issues faced in the Lugano case and provides comment on some of its implications for the future.

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