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How should courts determine the content of a foreign law?

21.04.2020

Soudní spory a rozhodčí řízení

In a judgment on 30 December 2019 (file no. 29 ICdo 96/2016), the Czech Supreme Court considered the extent of the inquiry needed to understand a foreign law. According to the Supreme Court, as a general principle, applying a foreign law should lead to the same result as if the law were being applied by the state authority whose law is in question. This means that it is usually not enough merely to consult the legislation. Instead, to the extent required to understand the identified legal norm, it is also necessary to access relevant case law or professional literature dealing with the issues addressed. Moreover, the rule that the law applicable to a contract also governs its interpretation also applies directly under the Rome I Regulation.

If, in the course of the proceedings, a party offers documents from which it is at least partially possible to ascertain a foreign law (including relevant case law and professional literature), the court must not ignore such a source of knowledge. It must not disregard these findings (by not dealing with them) when interpreting the disputed legal conduct.

JUDr. Gabriel Achour
T   +420 270 006 111
E   
gabriel.achour@achourpartners.com

Gabriel Achour provides legal advice on M&A and real estate and construction matters including the structuring and implementation of investments in transport infrastructure, energy, residential development  and large-scale shopping centre projects. Gabriel has extensive experience in financing, litigation and international arbitration. He has participated in many projects involving the creation of standard banking documentation for major Czech banks, including the preparation of comprehensive loan agreements and security documentation.