“Towards Easier and Faster Circulation of Judgments in Europe”: Recast of Brussels I Regulation Adopted

The European Council today passed a recast of the Brussels I Regulation, as the regulation on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters is commonly known.

We will no doubt hear more about the changes and their impact on Italian Torpedos or the West Tankers issue. The recast regulation will apply 24 months after its entry into force, which is 20 days after its publication in the Official Journal. Thus, the new rules will apply from early 2015. For now, here is from today’s press release:

“The recast regulation will substantially simplify the system put in place by “Brussels I” as it will abolish exequatur, i.e. the procedure for the declaration of enforceability of a judgment in another member state. According to the new provisions, a judgment given in a member state will be recognised in the other member states without any specific procedure and, if enforceable in the member state of origin, will be enforceable in the other member states without any declaration of enforceability.

The recast regulation will provide that no national rules of jurisdiction may be applied any longer by member states in relation to consumers and employees domiciled outside the EU. Such uniform rules of jurisdiction will also apply in relation to parties domiciled outside the EU in situations where the courts of a member state have exclusive jurisdiction under the recast regulation or where such courts have had jurisdiction conferred on them by an agreement between the parties.

Another important change will be a rule on international lis pendens which will allow the courts of a member state, on a discretionary basis, to stay the proceedings and eventually dismiss the proceedings in situations where a court of a third state has already been seized either of proceedings between the same parties or of a related action at the time the EU court is seized.

The recast regulation will start applying two years after its entry into force. The United Kingdom and Ireland have decided to take part in the adoption and application of the recast regulation. Once adopted, it will also be applicable to Denmark in the context of the 2005 agreement between the EU and Denmark in this area.”

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