Litigation strategy n°2018/3 - Creation of an international chamber at Paris Court of appeal

By Marion Barbier, Anne Florence Raducault, Djazia Tiourtite

04-2018

On 7 February 2018 the protocols establishing the International Chamber of Paris Court of Appeal (“CICAP”) alongside the international chamber of Paris Commercial Court existing since 1995, were signed in presence of the French Minister of Justice.

On 4 April 2018, the first president of Paris Court of Appeal appointed Mr. David Peyron and Ms. Fabienne Schaller respectively as the first president of the chamber and as counselor to be part of the CICAP.

The international chamber of Paris Court of Appeal is now able to handle appeals regularized after 1 March 2018 in accordance with the Protocol signed on 7 February 7 2018.

Purpose of the International Chamber of Paris Court of Appeal

In the context of Brexit, the creation of this international chamber aims to strengthen the attractiveness of Paris as a place to resolve cross-border business law disputes. Indeed, the exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union, subject to future negotiations, will lead the decisions of the English courts to no longer benefit from automatic recognition and enforcement within the European Union.

The signing of these protocols places France ahead of other major European centers, such as Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Dublin or Brussels, which are also considering the creation of international chambers.

Jurisdiction of the chambers

These protocols determine how the two international chambers of first and second instance will operate.

The chambers shall hear international trade disputes. In addition to appeals against decisions of the international chamber of Paris Commercial Court, CICAP also has jurisdiction to hear claims against international arbitration decisions.

Use of a foreign language

 The main innovation lies in the possibility for the parties to choose the language of the proceedings, but in compliance with the Villers-Cotterêts Edict which requires the use of the French language.

  • French language will be used for procedural acts.
  • Exhibits may be submitted without translation (possibility already offered to the parties by the international chamber of Paris Commercial Court since 2010).
  • Pleadings will be held French; however the parties, witnesses, experts and legal counsel of the parties shall be authorized to speak in English.
  • For other foreign languages, documents will have to be translated and the oral exchanges shall be translated simultaneously.
  • The judgment will be drafted in French and accompanied by a sworn translation into English.

Simplification of the procedure

The parties will set with the judge a binding procedural timetable.

With the emphasis on testimonial evidence, the parties will now have the ability to question themselves the opposing parties, witnesses and experts on the cross-examination model, as well as to file requests for the compulsory production of documents and to provide typed attestations from third parties (whereas article 202 of the Code of civil procedure requires the production of a handwritten attestation in order for it to be valid).

In the context of an increase in transnational flows, the creation of these chambers will enable foreign economic operators with interests in France to have their disputes handled efficiently, or even for two foreign legal entities to choose France as the forum to settle their disputes, the clause conferring jurisdiction on Paris Courts ensuring that they obtain, at a very competitive cost, a fast and enlightened decision which will be recognized and easily enforceable throughout Europe.