The Hague Judgments Convention in the United States: A 'Game Changer' or a New Path to the Old Game?

39 Pages Posted: 14 Dec 2020

See all articles by Ronald A. Brand

Ronald A. Brand

University of Pittsburgh - School of Law

Date Written: December 10, 2020


The Hague Judgments Convention, completed on July 2, 2019, is built on a list of “jurisdictional filters” in Article 5(1), and grounds for non-recognition in Article 7. If one of the thirteen jurisdictional tests in Article 5(1) is satisfied, the judgment may circulate under the Convention, subject to the grounds for non-recognition found in Article 7. This approach to Convention structure is especially significant for countries considering ratification and implementation. A different structure was suggested in the initial Working Group stage of the Convention’s preparation which would have avoided the complexity of multiple rules of indirect jurisdiction, each of which comes with its own complexity and risk for non-uniform interpretation. That alternative structure, however, may in fact be possible under the current Convention text, using Article 15 as a work-around. Article 15 allows the recognition or enforcement of judgments under national law. For countries like the United States, with very liberal existing law on the recognition of foreign judgments, Article 15 may in fact provide a more efficient, effective, and economical approach, even under the Convention. This article considers the benefits and risks of the complex Convention structure which was chosen, as well as the alternative Convention architecture that was left behind in the negotiation process. It then suggests that the path through Article 15 may well offer a valuable alternative in the implementation and operation of the Convention in countries with existing liberal and non-discriminatory approaches to judgments recognition.

Keywords: private international law, Hague Convention, recognition of judgments, jurisdiction, conflicts of law, treaties, litigation, dispute resolution

JEL Classification: K33, K41, D74

Suggested Citation

Brand, Ronald A., The Hague Judgments Convention in the United States: A 'Game Changer' or a New Path to the Old Game? (December 10, 2020). University of Pittsburgh Law Review, Forthcoming, U. of Pittsburgh Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2020-36, Available at SSRN:

Ronald A. Brand (Contact Author)

University of Pittsburgh - School of Law ( email )

3900 Forbes Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
United States

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