The Hague Judgments Convention: A fast track to international dispute resolution

On July 2nd of 2019, the Hague Conference on Private International Law presented the long awaited swing within the International Judicial System, the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Civil or Commercial Matters, also known as the 2019 Hague Judgments Convention.

The uniqueness of this new Treaty is the establishment of the very first single global mechanism allowing the recognition of cross-border judgements, both in civil, as well as commercial legal cases. The goal is the creation of legal certainty and security within the framework of cross-border litigation and operations of transaction. As a result, the judicial system will work faster, saving both time and money for the litigating parties and for the State, unblocking the judicial system, since a foreign decision will be considered as valid as a national court decision.

While its’ two ancestors focused more on jurisdiction and enforcement of judgements, the Hague Judgements Convention does not only concern judgements based on exclusive jurisdiction clauses, but is extended to areas such as employment law, as well as consumer contracts. This constitutes it into a great tool both for physical, as well as legal entities, as it creates an overall legal and economic stability. It is important to highlight that although the Treaty applies to civil and commercial law, it does not apply to family law, bankruptcy, intellectual property, custom or administrative services, transportation and income matters.

The Convention concerns Member States of the Hague Conference and will only apply among the ones that sign and ratify it. The European Commission has already started elaborating the EU accession to the Treaty, though the position of the United Kingdom is still unclear, due to the upcoming Brexit. However, if the British Parliament does sign the Convention, post-Brexit, this will only ease the enforcement of judgements between the United Kingdom and the countries of the EU. Once ratification goes through, there is a timeframe of approximately 12 months until the Treaty comes to force and becomes applicable in any ratifying country.

N. Kalifatidou
Advocate – Legal Consultant
Arsen Theofanidis LLC