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International Law

Globalization of Legal Services: Navigating New Opportunities in China and Beyond

China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a government-backed global investment plan involving trillions of dollars in the years ahead, is further fueling an already decade-long trend of record-breaking annual growth in outbound investments. More than 100 countries across Asia, Europe, Africa, and Oceania have joined the initiative. Combined, they represent roughly a third of the world’s GDP and two-thirds of its population. This aggressive internationalization strategy is driving opportunities for legal services to multinational corporations, investors, entrepreneurs, high-wealth individuals, and other clients in China and beyond.

International Law

The Unified Patent Court: What Is the Future of Patent Litigation in Europe?

Enforcing patents throughout Europe is likely about to change with the Unitary Patent (UP) system and the forthcoming Unified Patent Court (UPC). This new approach will allow inventors and companies to apply for and obtain patent protection through a single procedure and then enforce their rights through a pan‑European court. Currently, national and European patents are enforced in national courts. The new unitary system aims to simplify registration and renewal procedures, provide broad geographic patent protections, reduce direct and indirect costs, and end the need for parallel litigation. As such, companies could see significant reductions in their patent acquisition, maintenance, and enforcement costs for their cross-border and international patent portfolios.

International Law

Human Rights Defenders Face Increased Threats

Attacks on lawyers, judges, human rights defenders, and journalists are not only growing around the world, but also such attacks are increasing in frequency and severity. Last year, Front Line Defenders, a Dublin-based organization with regional offices worldwide, documented the killing of more than 300 human rights defenders, with a sharp increase in Latin America during the past five years. Corruption and a lack of judicial independence and impartiality are among the barriers to accountability for the unlawful killing of activists and for the misuse of legal proceedings against human rights advocates. The ABA Center for Human Rights will be monitoring two high‑profile human rights cases that highlight the significance of these challenges: the criminal case of those accused of killing Berta Cáceres, an advocate for indigenous people’s rights in Honduras, and the criminal trial of Milena Quiroz, a Colombian activist charged with rebellion in apparent retaliation for her social movement activism.

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International Law

Book Review: Kiss, Bow, or Shake Hands: Courtrooms to Corporate Counsels (ABA Publishing, 2018)

This latest installment in the Kiss, Bow, or Shake Hands series of books by bestselling author Terri Morrison is a fantastic communication tool geared toward attorneys who practice in all segments of law and in varied settings, including in private, government, and corporate practice. Morrison does an excellent job of outlining why cultural sensitivity is so important in the legal profession and gives examples of situations where non-verbal communication, body language, and a personal relationship between a client and an attorney can either seal or sink the deal in many countries around the world.

International Law News