EU

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY: EXTENSION OF COPYRIGHT TERM

<p>The July 2008 proposal to extend copyright protection from 50 to 95 years, for performers and phonogram producers, should have been adopted by the EP by the end of March.<br /><a href="http://www.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/file.jsp?id=5667672&language">http://www.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/file.jsp?id=5667672&language</a>=en&mailer=true </p>
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BRUSSELS I REGULATION REVIEW

In 2009 the Commission launched its 5-year review of the operation of the Brussels I Regulation, 44/2001 on “jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters”. The Commission is analysing the responses to last year’s consultation, including on the controversial issue of its application to arbitrations, on which it may seek further expert input. Given the complexities of the file, and the volume of competing work, the Commission is unlikely to issue a proposal this year, but should do in 2011.
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BEST PRACTICE IN ANTITRUST PROCEEDINGS

<p>At the beginning of March, the Bar Council, together with the Law Society, jointly responded to 3 linked Commission consultations in the competition field, launched in January. See: <a href="http://ec.europa.eu/competi">http://ec.europa.eu/competi</a>tion/consultations/2010_best_practices/index.html </p>
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CONSUMER RIGHTS DIRECTIVE: HEARING WITH NATIONAL PARLIAMENTS

<p>The EP held a hearing in late March with National Parliaments on the proposal for a Consumer Rights Directive (2008/0196/COD). The focus of the debate was the appropriate level of consumer protection and the Commission's full harmonisation approach. The Bar supports targeted full harmonisation, leaving issues such as remedies to Member State national law. The EP is aiming for an adopted report on the proposal by the summer. </p>
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BELGIAN PRESIDENCY STUDY ON OPERATION OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE MEASURES

<p>The Belgian Council Presidency, which will last from July to December 2010, will undertake a broad study on the effectiveness of existing EU criminal justice measures and the possible need to replace many of them with new Lisbon Treaty legislative instruments. </p>
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TRANSPARENCY OF DEBTORS’ ASSETS

<p>In 2008 the Commission conducted a public consultation on this issue, to which the Bar responded, suggesting that a practical solution could be to create a European Provisional Order. That idea was picked up in the EP’s own April 2009 resolution on the consultation, and the Legal Affairs Committee of the EP is now looking in more detail at prompting the Commission to issue a legislative proposal giving it effect. The Bar is active on the file. </p>
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COMBATING LATE PAYMENTS IN COMMERCIAL TRANSACTIONS

<p>The EP is due to adopt its draft report on this April 2009 proposal at the May Plenary session. See:<br /><a href="http://www.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/file.jsp">http://www.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/file.jsp</a>? </p> <p>id=5769082 </p>
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VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE – THE EUROPEAN PROTECTION ORDER

<p>By the time of reading, the Council should have adopted conclusions on "the eradication of violence against women in the EU", in line with a call from the European Parliament in 2009. One of the measures is a proposal for a directive establishing the European Protection Order, allowing victims of domestic violence to move to another EU Member State without losing the benefit of a protective measure (e.g. a non-molestation order) issued in the original Member State. The issue is complicated however, by the fact that such cases are variously treated as criminal, civil, or a hybrid, by the Member States. The Spanish Presidency is pushing for progress. See: <a href="http://register.consilium.europa.eu/pdf/en/09/st17/st17513">http://register.consilium.europa.eu/pdf/en/09/st17/st17513</a>.en09.pdf </p>
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EXCHANGE OF CRIMINAL EVIDENCE

<p>The Bar Council recently responded to the Commission’s Green Paper on the possible extension of the European Evidence Warrant, to cover evidence that is not yet in existence (e.g. taking a witness statement) or that exists but is not directly available without further action (e.g. obtaining DNA samples). The existing EEW is widely seen in practice as too limited in scope. The Bar is calling for defence rights to be dealt with first, and for provision to facilitate the obtaining of defence evidence cross-border too. At the time of writing it is not yet clear whether the Commission will issue its own proposal, or be beaten to it by a Member State proposal on the issue of obtainability of evidence, which is also in the works. </p>
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JHA COUNCIL CONCLUSIONS ON THE FINANCIAL CRISIS

<p>The Council’s Civil Justice Working Group has been developing a set of Council conclusions on the justice response to the financial crisis. It will cover measures in the justice field that should contribute to future financial stability, including enforcement of judgments; transparency of debtors’ assets; insolvency law instruments, as well as more securityorientated issues. It was to have been adopted in Council by now, but as at the time of writing, has not been. </p>
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