March 5, 2012

A public meeting of the Study Group on the Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements was held, under the auspices of the State Department’s Advisory Committee on Private International Law, on March 5, 2012, at the Department of State, Harry S Truman Building, 2201 C Street, NW, Washington DC. The meeting was chaired by the Legal Adviser and, after his departure, the Assistant Legal Adviser for Private International Law.

The public meeting was convened to discuss certain key issues that remain unresolved in determining how to implement domestically the Convention on Choice of Court Agreements. It has been proposed that the Convention be implemented through a “cooperative federalism” approach involving parallel federal and state law. Under that approach, states could opt out of the federal statute and instead implement the Convention through state enactment of a uniform act being developed by the Uniform Law Commission.

The principal issues considered by the Study Group at the meeting were: (1) the scope of federal court jurisdiction in cases brought under the Convention, in particular, a proposal for diversity jurisdiction based on minimal diversity; and (2) the applicable law in federal court in a state that has adopted the uniform act, i.e., whether the federal court should apply the federal implementing statute or that state’s enactment of the uniform act.

No matter was resolved. No report was approved.