January 4, 2013

Department of State Advisory Committee on Private International Law (ACPIL)

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 January 4, 2013. The meeting, which was conducted exclusively by teleconference, was chaired by the Legal Adviser.

The public meeting was convened to obtain comments from participants on a new draft of proposed federal implementing legislation for the Convention on Choice of Court Agreements. The new draft is modeled after chapter 2 of the Federal Arbitration Act, which implements the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (New York Convention). It does not seek to replicate all of the operative provisions of the Convention, but rather adopts a gap-filling approach. Also, it does not contemplate parallel state legislation. It was explained that it was thought appropriate to present a new alternative because the “cooperative federalism” approach, based on more detailed parallel federal and state legislation, has been stalled since certain stakeholders indicated that they could not accept the “White Paper” package of compromises proposed by the State Department in April 2012.

The Legal Adviser clarified that the State Department was not abandoning the cooperative federalism track, but that in the absence of a workable way forward on that approach, the Department is examining other options to try to identify an implementation vehicle that can move.

A representative of the Legal Adviser’s Office introduced the text and explained the differences between the short and long form federal drafts. Various stakeholders expressed views on the relative merits of the new approach, and also provided comments on specific articles.

No matter was resolved. No report was approved.