Choice of Forum Agreements Under the Brussels I Recast and Under the Hague Convention: Coherences and Clashes

Journal of Private International Law

37 Pages Posted: 23 Aug 2016

Date Written: August 22, 2016


Choice of forum agreements are widely used. International uniform law has entered into force recently, namely the Hague Convention of 30 June 2005 on Choice of Court Agreements on 1 October 2015, the Brussels Ibis Regulation on 10 January 2015. Both instruments are formally independent but in the legislative process the drafters of the Convention took notice of the Brussels I Regulation, and the European legislator took notice of the Convention while working on the Recast of the Brussels I Regulation in order to “strengthen” choice of forum agreements and to bring about “coherence” of the Brussels regime with the Hague Convention. Against this background, the two instruments now in place are compared in respect to its most important policy decisions: the definition of the internationality of the case as a prerequisite of the applicability of the respective instrument, the understanding of the choice of law rule on the nullity of the agreement, the scope and mode of a public policy control of the agreement and, most extensively, the respective mechanisms for coordinating parallel proceedings, in particular the new mechanism under the Brussels Ibis Regulation granting priority for the designated court. This new mechanisms turns out to be too complex, leaving important points open. Therefore, de lege ferenda an alternative mechanism is suggested along the lines of the Hague Convention by making use of the recent judgment of the ECJ in Gothaer Versicherung. This alternative would not only be much easier and thus more predictable, it would also be able to coordinate each and every parallel proceedings, not only those involving a choice of court agreement.

Keywords: Choice of forum agreement, forum selection clause, Hague Convention, Brussels I Regulation, Brussels Ibis Regulation, Recast, internationality, validity, form, public policy control, Gasser, lis pendens, Gothaer Versicherung

JEL Classification: K19, K39, K41, K49

Suggested Citation

Weller, Matthias, Choice of Forum Agreements Under the Brussels I Recast and Under the Hague Convention: Coherences and Clashes (August 22, 2016). Journal of Private International Law, Available at SSRN:

Matthias Weller (Contact Author)

University of Bonn ( email )

Regina-Pacis-Weg 3
Postfach 2220
Bonn, D-53012

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