‘Lisbon Guidelines’ on the Protection of Privacy in Private International and Procedural Law

28 July 2022

On 23 June 2022, the Lisbon Guidelines on Privacy, drawn up by the ILA Committee on the Protection of Privacy in Private International and Procedural Law (‘the Committee’), were formally endorsed by the International Law Association at the 80th ILA Biennial Conference, hosted in Lisbon (Portugal).

The Committee was established in 2013 further to the proposal of Prof. Burkhard Hess, Director at the Max Planck Institute Luxembourg, to create a forum on the protection of privacy in the context of private international and procedural law. Prof. Hess chaired the Committee, and Prof. Jan von Hein (Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg) and Dr. Cristina M. Mariottini (Max Planck Institute Luxembourg) were the co-rapporteurs.

In accordance with the mandate conferred by the International Law Association, the Committee – which comprised experts from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Croatia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America – focused on the promotion of international co-operation and the contribution to predictability on issues of jurisdiction, applicable law, and circulation of judgments in privacy (including defamation) matters, taking into account, i.a., questions of fundamental rights. In this framework, the Committee expanded its analysis also to the questions arising from the interface of privacy with personal data protection. Furthermore, it included in its investigation emerging phenomena such as Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation (‘SLAPP’).

The Guidelines are premised on two fundamental principles: notably, (i) foreseeability of jurisdiction, and (ii) parallelism between jurisdiction and applicable law. They are accompanied by a detailed Article-by-Article Commentary, which provides a comprehensive analysis of the Guidelines, complemented by examples, including illustrations taken from copious national, regional and supranational jurisprudence.

The adoption of the Guidelines marks the completion of the Committee’s mandate.