European Commission publishes further 'no-deal' notice on civil justice

On 18 January, the European Commission published a notice outlining the impact a no-deal Brexit will have on the enforcement and recognition of UK judgments in EU27 countries.

It sets out a series of broad principles that will apply to the enforcement of cross-border judgments from the UK following a no-deal Brexit.

In its notice, the EU states that where the instrument concerned requires exequatur, if a UK court’s judgment has been exequatured but not yet enforced in an EU27 country before the exit date, that judgment can still be enforced in the EU27.

The Commission goes on to state that, in any other case, EU rules will no longer apply to UK judgments in the EU27. This principle will apply even where:

  • the judgment was handed down before the withdrawal date, or
  • the enforcement proceedings were commenced before the withdrawal date.

Instead, the Commission states that the national rules of each EU member state will apply to the enforcement UK judgments. Read the full European Commission notice

Solicitors should also note that on the 28 December 2018 the UK deposited its instrument of accession to the Hague Choice of Court Agreements Convention 2005. In the event of a no deal, the UK will be a contracting party to the Convention and it is intended that it will enter into force on 1 April 2019.

For its part, the UK government, under the draft Civil Jurisdiction and Judgments (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019, indicated that it will continue to enforce judgments given in other EU/EEA states where proceedings were initiated before the withdrawal date.

The Law Society has published further guidance for solicitors in this area. Read our updated guidance on the impact a 'no-deal' Brexit will have on the recognition and enforcement of judgments.

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