Center of Main Interests, International Insolvency Case Venue, and Equality of Arms: The Eurofood Decision of the European Court of Justice

01 Jan 2007

This Article examines the Eurofood-E.C.J. decision and evaluates its impact on the decisions of the Irish and the Italian courts to open main insolvency cases for Eurofood. This Article also addresses the broader international insolvency law issues that the E.C.J. decision left open. Part II of this Article provides background information on the format and binding effect of a decision of the E.C.J. Part III explores the background of Parmalat and Eurofood and describes the Eurofood cases in the Irish and Italian courts prior to the E.C.J. decision. Part IV examines the E.C.J. decision, its rationale, and its application to the Irish and Italian cases. Part V focuses on the E.C.J. decision's application to procedural problems in insolvency law of the "equality of arms" principle, which the E.C.J. had previously imported from the European Court on Human Rights and had applied principally in the contexts of criminal defense and administrative law. Part V also explains how the E.C.J. used this concept to impose E.U. procedural law on the determination of the location of a debtor's CoMI and the resulting proper national venue for its insolvency. Part VI examines the substantive insolvency law issues that the Eurofood-E.C.J. decision addressed and the procedural issues apart from those involved in the "equality of arms" analysis. Part VII contains concluding remarks.