Why the UK should join the Hague 2019 Convention – Law Society response

We’re calling for the UK to join the Hague 2019 Convention as soon as possible, to boost the reputation of England and Wales as a jurisdiction of choice for international dispute resolution.

We’ve responded to the government's consultation on the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Civil or Commercial Matters (Hague 2019).

The consultation sought views on government plans for the UK to become a contracting state to Hague 2019 by ratifying the convention and implementing it into domestic law.

Read the consultation on the GOV.UK website

Our view

We support the UK accession to Hague 2019 as soon as possible.

As a unified global framework, Hague 2019 will improve the recognition and enforcement of judgments in different jurisdictions.

It offers much broader scope than alternative conventions, applying to a wider range of disputes.

By boosting the enforceability of UK judgments, joining Hague 2019 will:

  • increase confidence in the use of our courts and our law
  • enhance the reputation of England and Wales as a jurisdiction of choice for international dispute resolution

It may also encourage other countries to join, making UK courts even more attractive as UK judgments will become enforceable under the Convention in these jurisdictions.

It is however important that the UK becoming a contracting state to Hague 2019 should not halt efforts to accede to the Lugano Convention.
Lugano is the preferable framework for rules on jurisdiction and enforcement of judgments between the UK and the EU/EFTA states, as it’s broader than Hague 2019 in a number of respects.

Learn about our Lugano campaign

What this means for solicitors

The UK joining Hague 2019 would improve how judgments are recognised and enforced in other jurisdictions, including:

  • greater legal clarity
  • reduced costs
  • shorter timeframes

Next steps

The consultation closed on 9 February 2023.

We expect the Ministry of Justice to publish options or recommendations within the next six months.

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