Paul Lefebvre, a partner at Hanotiau & Van Den Berg, successfully represented Facebook in Belgian litigation where the Belgian Data Protection Authority (BDPA) attempted to get different Facebook entities held responsible for alleged infringements of the 1995 Data Protection Directive as well as, since its entry into force, the GDPR.
The Brussels Court of Appeal ruled on 8th May 2019 that it had no international jurisdiction over Facebook Inc. and Facebook Ireland Limited.
With regard to Facebook, Belgium the Court of Appeal ruled that it had international jurisdiction and decided that, before it could rule on the merits of the case concerning facts after 25th May 2018 (after the entry into force of the GDPR as standing of the BDPA for the facts before its entry into force was rejected), several preliminary questions had to be asked to the European Court of Justice with regard to the scope of the “one-stop-shop principle.”
The BDPA defended the position that this principle did not extend to the proceedings initiated by the regulators before the national courts. The Court of Appeal declared that it was not convinced by this approach but preferred to pose the question to the European Court of Justice in this respect considering the importance of the debate.