The Chamber of Deputies (Luxembourg’s unicameral parliament) voted yesterday to pass the draft law approving the Protocol on Privileges and Immunities (PPI) of the Unified Patent Court (UPC). Luxembourg’s Council of State (a body consulted during the legislative process) approved the bill last November and on 29 January 2018 the Chamber of Deputies’ Committee on Foreign and European Affairs, Defence, Cooperation and Immigration recommended to the Chamber of Deputies that it adopt the bill. Yesterday was the Chamber of Deputies’ first vote on the bill. To be adopted, a bill must either be passed again by the Chamber of Deputies in a second vote, or both the Chamber and the Council of State must decide to waive the second vote. In this case, the Chamber decided to waive the second vote. Provided the Council of State also does so, the law must then be granted royal assent and be published in the Mémorial (the official gazette) before it can enter into force.
Both the UPC’s Court of Appeal and Registry will be in Luxembourg. The PPI will confer legal status on the Court and certain privileges and immunities on the Court and its Registrar, Deputy-Registrar, judges and other staff to ensure its proper functioning, and it will enter into force 30 days after the last of Luxembourg, France, Germany and the UK have deposited their instruments of ratification, approval or accession with the General Secretariat of the EU Council. France, which is hosting in Paris the seat of the UPC’s central division, deposited its instrument of ratification on 14 February 2018. In the UK, which is hosting in London a section of the central division, the remaining piece of legislation enabling ratification was passed on 8 February 2018. In Germany, which is hosting in Munich the other section of the central division, the parliament passed a draft law on 2 June 2017 enabling ratification but the law’s promulgation is on hold due to the case pending in the German Federal Constitutional Court.