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European Review of Contract Law

Managing Editor: Grundmann, Stefan

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Volume 15, Issue 1


Once more unto the Breach: the Actio Pauliana is a Matter Relating to a Contract in EU Private International Law

Michiel Poesen
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  • KU Leuven, Faculty of Law, Institute of Private International Law, Tiensestraat 41 / 3417, 3000 LeuvenKU LeuvenFaculty of Law, Institute of Private International LawTiensestraat 41/34173000 LeuvenBelgium
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Published Online: 2019-03-27 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ercl-2019-0004


The decision of the European Court of Justice (‘ECJ’) in Feniks sp z o o v Azteca Products & Services SL provides further insight into the demarcation of the head of jurisdiction in matters relating to a contract, which is contained in the Brussels I Regulation Recast, Article 7(1). In particular, the decision characterises an avoidance action, a so-called actio pauliana, as a contractual matter. As a consequence, disputes that are based on such an action can be brought in the court of the place of performance of the contractual obligation the avoidance action aims to protect. This contribution will explain that while the decision of the ECJ is seemingly in line with recent precedents, it cannot be reconciled with the principle of predictability of jurisdiction, because the decision is based on an overly broad interpretation of the concept of ‘matters relating to a contract’. The ramification of the decision is that a third party that is somehow involved in the contractual dealings of others is at risk of being sued in the place of performance of a contract with which it has a too tenuous connection.

Keywords: actio pauliana; matters relating to a contract; characterisation; jurisdiction; Regulation No 1215/2012 (Brussel I Regulation Recast)

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Published Online: 2019-03-27

Published in Print: 2019-03-20

Citation Information: European Review of Contract Law, Volume 15, Issue 1, Pages 58–65, ISSN (Online) 1614-9939, ISSN (Print) 1614-9920, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ercl-2019-0004.

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