Thank you, LUXEMBOURG!

The 37th Annual Course of the International Association of Law Libraries (IALL) was held in Luxembourg from Sunday, September 30, to Wednesday, October 3. This year’s theme was “Law in Luxembourg – Where Local Tradition Meets European and International Innovation.” The 2018 Annual Course was organized by the Max Planck Institute Luxembourg for Procedural Law (MPI LUX). The Institute is co-directed by Professors Hélène Ruiz Fabri and Burkhard Hess, who enabled a team at the MPI LUX to prepare and execute a marvelous and successful programme. We wholeheartedly thank both professors, the programme speakers, and the hard-working MPI LUX Local Planning Committee: Martina Winkel, Sabrina Logrillo, Irina Kühn, Allan Mulondo, and Roger Yerburgh. We also thank Juja Chakarova for initiating the adventure, paving the way, and contributing to IALL’s 2018 meeting. In addition, we could not have done without our fantastic sponsors, whom we also thank for their generosity.

As IALL President, I would like to share the following brief summary and acknowledge all of the hosts and speakers:

On Sunday, September 30, 2018, participants in the “Pre-Conference Workshop on Library Innovation & Robot Usage” got acquainted with ‘Tory,’ a robot assisting the MPI LUX’s library operations. Our afternoon visit to the historic and inner-city Bibliothèque nationale de Luxembourg consisted of three parts. First, Dr. Monique Kieffer, Director of the Bibliothèque nationale, shared the architectural and construction plans for the new Bibliothèque nationale de Luxembourg, which is being built on the Kirchberg plateau. Next, some of the attendees split up into two groups— one received an introduction to the library’s rare books on legal content, while the second glanced at the library’s unique collection of artists’ books. Concurrently, two other groups participated in special guided tours; one strolled through Luxembourg’s “Judicial City,” and the other explored the monumental and historic casemates. Finally, all joined in the guided tour of Luxembourg’s Old Quarter, bringing the delegates of the 37th Annual Course to the venue of the opening reception—Neumünster Abbey. There, Professor Hélène Ruiz Fabri addressed and welcomed this year’s attendees.

Representatives of the University of Luxembourg organized and served as lecturers for the programme on Monday, October 1. Professor Gilles Cuniberti gathered a wide array of speakers who shed light on the tradition and modernity of Luxembourgish law. Professor Cuniberti himself provided an overview of the Luxembourgish jurisdiction, focusing more specifically on French (e.g., tort law) and Belgian (e.g., the commercial code) roots and influences, and on the composition of the judiciary and the role of the relatively new University of Luxembourg. Professor Jörg Gerkrath lectured on Luxembourg’s constitutional history. Luxembourg’s financial sector was clarified by Professor André Prüm, who described its national development and related European background. He explained that Luxembourg is the largest financial services exporter within the eurozone. Professor Katerina Pantazatou addressed the country’s taxation structure, concentrating on resident and nonresident taxpayers; cross-border employees;, progressive taxation; the influence of German fiscal law; tax transparency; double taxation; and compliance with European regulations. The day ended with the passionate and highly informative talk of Mtre Paul Mousel, a local practitioner, who also spontaneously addressed the vanguard element of space law in the work of the lawyer in Luxembourg. His lecture almost served as a wrap-up of the conference’s entire first day, covering the role of Luxembourgish law in the national, European, and global contexts.

On Tuesday, October 2, Professor Burkhard Hess, one of the MPI LUX’s co-directors, spoke about the launch and development of the Institute and about the various types of conferences held there. For example, the Institute recently sponsored an event recognizing the 50th anniversary of the European Law of Civil Procedure. The MPI LUX has also sponsored events that highlight its own initiatives, including research on the international commercial courts in Europe, and a book series emanating from the MPI LUX’s many symposiums. Procedural law at the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) was Dr. Stephanie Law’s topic, especially procedural autonomy and national harmonization. Dr. Cristina Mariottini spoke about privacy, in particular as it relates to the Internet (viz. defamation and reputation); fundamental and human rights; the General Data Protection Regulation; and future developments in the field. Dr. Lily Martinet addressed the topic of “Traditional Cultural Expressions and International Intellectual Property Law”; her case-by-case illustrations of the subject were truly enlightening. Professor Hélène Ruiz Fabri, the other co-director of the MPI LUX, introduced the flagship project of the Institute’s Department of International Law and Dispute Resolution—the Max Planck Encyclopedia of International Procedural Law (EiPro). Oxford University Press will launch the first tranche of EiPro in 2019. Dr. Martyna Fałkowska-Clarys focused on the history and variable landscape of international criminal justice. Dr. Henok Asmelash covered the World Trade Organization (WTO) and dispute settlement. Dr. Edoardo Stoppioni took a critical look at international investment law (and arbitration), BITs, and ICSID—for example, from the Marxist, feminist, and “critical legal studies” points of view.

The programme on Wednesday, October 3, opened with Jaap Hoeksma, a philosopher of law and blogger on the Peace Palace Library’s website, and Jeroen Vervliet (in an interactive way). The pair discussed the genesis of a new constitutional topos, namely the European Union as a union of citizens of states. The current environment reflects the progression from the treaties of the 1950s to “Lisbon,” demonstrating “an ever closer union,” although an explicit finality or goal has never been defined. Considering the citizen in a democratic composite and the precept of the rule of law jointly helps to avoid a traditional Westphalian system of sovereign states that obstructs constructive thinking on European integration. The ensuing new standard of transnational relations is called the “Maastrichtian Model.” The same morning, Dr. Michel Erpelding (MPI LUX) took us to Upper Silesia during the League of Nations era, the interbellum, following World War I. In describing the Upper Silesian experience, Dr. Erpelding emphasized its “forecasting” of the post-World War II intra-European collaboration. He also covered the important roles of people, such as Felix Calonder, Georges Kaeckenbeeck, and Jean Monnet, in the administration of this region. Ms. Mady Delvaux-Stehres next lectured on robot law, civil law rules on robotics, liability, and the development of a new legal framework for these novel areas. Ms. Delvaux-Stehres is a member of the European Parliament, and she previously served as Luxembourg’s Minister of Transport (1994–1999) and Minister of Health, Social Security, Youth and Sport (1989–1994). Wednesday’s programme ended at the CJEU, where the delegates were kindly received by dignitaries, thanks to the efforts of Dr. Rüdiger Stotz, Director-General for Information Technology, Library and Communication (assisted by Mr. Loïs Wagner). Jos Kuerten introduced the CJEU Library to the Annual Course participants, and Advocate General Eleanor Sharpston explained the work of an Advocate General at the CJEU. The Luxembourg Annual Course came to a close at the downtown Neumünster Abbey, where everyone who had tiredlessly laboured on this year’s meeting was thanked profusely.

The 38th Annual Course of the International Association of Law Libraries will take place in Sydney, Australia, from October 27 to October 30, 2019. I hope to meet you there! Jeroen Vervliet, President of the International Association of Law Libraries

Jeroen Vervliet  

President of the International Association of Law Libraries

This Blog contains entries by members of the International Association of Law Libraries on issues germane to the Association’s areas of focus. Views expressed in an individual entry only represent the views of the author.