EU

CONSUMER PROTECTION

<p>The EP is shortly to adopt an own initiative report on Consumer Protection under the new Lisbon Treaty and the priorities and policies it wishes to see in the future. It is also opining on the completion of the Internal Market for Consumers. </p>
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APPEAL TO CJEU ON LAWYER – CLIENT CONFIDENTIALITY AND INHOUSE COUNSEL

<p>C-557/07, Akzo Nobel Chemicals Ltd and Akcros Chemicals Ltd v Commission </p> <p>The Court of First Instance decision of September 2007, which declined to take the opportunity to extend the scope of Legal professional privilege in EU law to in-house counsel who are members of Bars or law societies, is subject to appeal before the Court of Justice of the EU. The opinion of Advocate General Kokott is expected on 29 April 2010. </p>
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ENFORCEMENT OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS

<p>In May, the EP should adopt an own-initiative report responding to the Commission’s 2009 Communication on enhancing the enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights COM(2009)467). See further: <a href="http://www.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/file.jsp?id=5817632">www.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/file.jsp?id=5817632</a> </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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REVIEW OF SUPPORT FOR VICTIMS OF CRIME

<p>The European Commission is currently reviewing two existing EU measures designed to support victims of crime: Council Directive relating to compensation to (cross-border) crime victims 2004/80/EC and the complementary Framework Decision 2001/220/JHA on the standing of victims in criminal proceedings. The Commission is expected to launch a public consultation this Spring, with all options open, including possible new EU legislation. </p>
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EU AND MEMBER STATES RATIFY THE “INTERNET TREATIES”

<p>At the end of last year, the EU and its Member States ratified the World Intellectual Property Organisation (“WIPO”)’s Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty, the socalled "Internet" Treaties. The two WIPO copyright treaties contain rules on distribution, rental, the right of public communication and the "making available" of protected content online, all aimed at upgrading the rights of authors, performers and producers to withstand the challenges of the digital age. For more information, </p> <p>see: <a href="http://www.wipo.int/about-ip/en/">http://www.wipo.int/about-ip/en/</a> </p>
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PROPOSAL FOR A REGULATION ON CONFLICTS RULES IN SUCCESSION

<p>By the time of reading, the UK will have informed the EU institutions regarding its decision on whether or not to opt-in to the October 2009 Commission proposal for a regulation on jurisdiction, applicable law, recognition and enforcement of decisions and authentic instruments in matters of succession, and the creation of a European Certificate of Succession (Procedure reference COD(2009)0157. The Bar, and other branches of the UK legal profession recommended that it should not opt-in at this stage. The proposal as adopted has some good ideas, but there remain two primary areas of concern, being clawback and the current provisions on jurisdiction and certificates of succession. The proposal is available at:<a href="http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=COM:2009">http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=COM:2009</a>:0154:FIN:EN:PDF </p>
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ENFORCEMENT OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS

The EP’s Legal Affairs Committee (JURI) is preparing an own-initiative report responding to the Commission’s recent Communication on enhancing the enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights COM(2009)467). A draft report should be available by the time of reading, with adoption in Plenary planned for April. For more information, see: <a href="http://www.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/file.jsp?id=5817632">http://www.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/file.jsp?id=5817632</a>
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INTERCONNECTIVITY OF COMPANY LAW REGISTRIES

<p>The Commission has just closed a public consultation on possible ways to improve access to information on businesses across the EU; and more effective application of the company law directives. See: </p> <p><a href="http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/consultations/2009/interconnection">http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/consultations/2009/interconnection</a>_of_business_registers_en.htm </p>
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GUIDELINES FOR FUTURE CRIMINAL LAW IN EU LEGISLATION

At the end of 2009, the Council adopted Conclusions setting out “Model Provisions, guiding the Council’s criminal law deliberations” to be used by the EU legislator when inserting criminal law provisions into EU legislative instruments adopted in pursuit of EU policies (e.g. environmental protection) The idea is to have agreed positions on contentious issues that arise repeatedly, e.g. the definition of intent, or what constitutes criminal behaviour.<a href="http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_Data/docs/pressdata/en">http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_Data/docs/pressdata/en</a>/jha/111543.pdf
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