Global trade and intercontinental tourism are on the rise in today’s world. This, in turn, leads to more cross-border law suits. Inevitably, jurisdictions will be confronted with legal concepts that are unknown in the host forum. This contribution investigates whether, and to what extent, punitive damages judgments originating in the United States can be enforced against the assets of a defendant in a number of selected Member States of the EU. More specifically, the article explores the possibilities of enforcing American punitive damages judgments in five EU countries, namely Germany, Italy, Spain, France and England. This comparative analysis reveals that the case law in these selected countries is relatively divergent as to the stance adopted towards foreign punitive damages, resulting in different degrees of acceptance of this legal remedy.
Ukraine, upon giving up the nuclear arsenal left on its territory by the USSR, entered in 1994 into a Memorandum on Security Assurances with the United Kingdom, United States and Russian Federation (Budapest Memorandum). Since the crisis began between the Russian Federation and Ukraine in February 2014, a number of States have invoked the Budapest Memorandum. Unclear, however, is whether this instrument constituted legal obligations among its Parties or, instead, is a political declaration having no legal effect. The distinction between political instruments and legal instruments is a recurring question in inter-State relations and claims practice. The present article considers the Budapest Memorandum in light of the question of general legal interest – namely, how do we distinguish between the legal and the political instrument?