A Multi-Speed European Union, Brexit, and the Future of Judicial Cooperation

A Multi-Speed European Union, Brexit, and the Future of Judicial Cooperation

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EU measures in the area of civil justice cooperation cover many areas. However, they leave the impression of a patchwork. On the one hand, they do not necessarily cover all Member States. On the other hand, some measures are extended to third States. Also, there are countries in the midst of Europe such as Liechtenstein which do not engage in any multilateral measures of civil justice cooperation. An additional layer of complexity is added by a number of Hague Conventions covering similar areas than EU regulations. In the near future, the UK will no longer participate in EU civil judicial cooperation. This will leave a large legislative gap that needs to be filled. The Brussels I Regulation, cornerstone of cross-border enforcement of judgments, cannot be unilaterally replicated by the UK legislator as it is based on reciprocity. Neither can the Brexit gap be fully and satisfactorily covered by the 2007 Lugano Convention which still requires exequatur proceedings and does not prioritise exclusive choice of court agreements in parallel proceedings. Lugano States also have to assume a certain role of the CJEU. The 2005 Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements spares out some commercially relevant fields of law.This research assesses the status quo and future of civil justice cooperation within the EU and in relation with third States, in particular the future relationship between the EU and the UK.

Eva Lein, Professor at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland
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