Brexit and English Jurisdiction Agreements: The Post-Referendum Legal Landscape
10 Pages Posted: 19 Sep 2016 Last revised: 14 Dec 2016
Date Written: September 15, 2016
This article presents an early view of the impact of BREXIT on English jurisdiction agreements in international commercial contracts. It is almost certain that the Brussels I Recast Regulation will cease to apply in the UK after BREXIT and as a result the near automatic recognition and enforcement of English court judgments in the continuing EU (and Lugano Convention Contracting States) and vice versa will be in jeopardy. Contrary to some recent speculation, it is unlikely that the Brussels Convention will revive and the option to adhere to the Lugano Convention also does not seem to be viable for a newly ‘liberated’ UK. The article suggests practical solutions to minimise the litigation risk arising from English jurisdiction agreements in relation to the EU. Significantly, the Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements can be harnessed to regulate English exclusive jurisdiction agreements in relation to the EU in matters within the scope of the Convention. If the courts of a post-BREXIT EU Member State are seised in a case concerning an English exclusive jurisdiction agreement, Article 6 of the Hague Convention should accord deference to the elected forum.
Keywords: private international law, conflict of laws, international commercial litigation, Brussels I Recast Regulation, Brussels Convention, Lugano Convention, exclusive jurisdiction agreements, non-exclusive jurisdiction agreements, unilateral jurisdiction agreements
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