Informal meeting of Justice and Home Affairs Ministers, 19 July 2019, Finland

A working lunch of EU Justice Ministers on 19 July 2019 in Helsinki considered the topic of “EU Civil Justice and Multilateralism”. A background paper was produced. One notes the following extract: « Another avenue for the EU to consider is the possibility of concluding – insofar as Member States so agree -international agreements also in areas where the Union does not yet possess exclusive competence. In practice, instead of legislating on a certain subject not yet covered by EU law, it could be more efficient to have all Member States, or the EU when possible in terms of each treaty, ratify a given international agreement. The value-added in this approach would be that all Member States would thus apply the same legal framework both in their mutual relations and in relations with third-country parties to the agreement. A possible candidate to explore the feasibility of this approach could be the 2000 Hague Convention on the Protection of Adults.

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Barbados acceded to the Child Abduction and Child Protection Conventions

According to a press release from the Hague Conference last Friday, Barbados acceded on 11 July 2019 to the Convention of 25 October 1980 on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction and to the Convention of 19 October 1996 on Jurisdiction, Applicable Law, Recognition, Enforcement and Co-operation in Respect of Parental Responsibility and Measures for the Protection of Children, which will enter into force for Barbados, respectively, on 1 October 2019 and on 1 May 2020.

Source: here

Non-certification as EEO in case of defendant without a known address

The Court of Justice delivered yesterday (27 June 2019) its judgment in case C‑518/18 (RD v SC), which is about the EEO Regulation:

“Regulation (EC) No 805/2004 […] creating a European Enforcement Order for uncontested claims must be interpreted as meaning that, where a court is unable to obtain the defendant’s address, it does not allow a judicial decision relating to a debt, made following a hearing attended by neither the defendant nor the guardian ad litem appointed for the purpose of the proceedings, to be certified as a European Enforcement Order”.

Source: here

Brussels II ter adopted by the Council

The Council adopted today a revision of Brussels II bis, i.e. the future Brussels II ter.

Key features of Brussels II ter:

         “clearer rules on the opportunity for the child to express his/her views with the introduction of an obligation to give the child a genuine and effective opportunity to express his/her views;

  • the complete abolition of exequatur for all decisions in matters of parental responsibility. This will save time and money for citizens whenever a decision needs to circulate from one member state to another. This abolition of exequatur is accompanied by a number of procedural safeguards;
  • enhanced and clearer rules on intra-EU child abduction cases with the introduction, for example, of clear deadlines to ensure that these cases are treated in the most expeditious manner;
  • clearer rules on the circulation of authentic instruments and extra-judicial agreements. The text foresees that agreements on divorce, legal separation or matters of parental responsibility, will be allowed to circulate when they are accompanied by the relevant certificate.
  • clearer provisions on the placement of a child in another member state, including the need to obtain prior consent for all placements, except where a child is to be placed with a parent;
  • the harmonisation of certain rules for the enforcement procedure. While the enforcement procedure remains governed by the law of the member state of enforcement, the regulation includes some harmonised grounds for suspending or refusing enforcement, thereby giving more legal certainty to parents and children”.

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New document for today’s Hague 22nd Diplomatic Session (Judgments Convention)

The Hague Conference Permanent Bureau published a new preliminary document for the 22nd Diplomatic Session (Judgments Convention) which commenced today: Prel. Doc. No 12 of June 2019 – Note on reconsidering “marine pollution and emergency towage and salvage” within the scope of the draft Convention on the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments in civil or commercial matters. It may be read here

CJEU on Articles 1 and 54 Brussels I

The Court of Justice delivered today its judgment in case C‑361/18 (Ágnes Weil v Géza Gulácsi), which is about Brussels I:

“1. Article 54 of Council Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 […] must be interpreted as meaning that a Member State’s court hearing an application for a certificate certifying that a judgment given by the court of origin is enforceable must, in a situation […] where the court which gave the judgment to be enforced did not adjudicate, when giving that judgment, on whether that regulation was applicable, ascertain whether the dispute falls within the scope of that regulation.

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Limitation period on the enforcement of foreign judgments (The Hague)

The Hague Conference Permanent Bureau has published this month (May 2019) a new preliminary document in anticipation of the 22nd Diplomatic Session from 18 June to 2 July 2019 (Judgments Convention): Prel. Doc. No 11 of May 2019 – Limitation period on the enforcement of foreign judgments in the context of the 2018 draft Convention.

Extract: “Conclusion 71. Based on the foregoing analysis, different solutions are proposed to address the two issues raised in Section I, where a shorter (Issue 1) or shorter and discriminatory (Issue 2) limitation period potentially applies to the enforcement of the foreign judgment in the requested State.

72. Issue 1: Whether, and, if so, how the draft Convention should permit the court addressed to refuse enforcement on the basis that a limitation period under the law of the requested State has lapsed, with particular attention to States which consider limitation periods to be a matter of substance.

73. Option A: introduce a specific “Limitation Periods” Article into the draft Convention. The Article would specify that the court addressed may refuse enforcement due to the expiration of a limitation period applicable to the enforcement of foreign judgments under the law of the requested State. Under this option, the applicable limitation period would be determined by the law of the requested State, and the lapse of the limitation period under its law would constitute a basis for refusal (consistent with Art. 4(1)). The legal certainty as to what the law of the requested State is in this regard could be further enhanced by requiring States, when joining the draft Convention, to submit a description of their laws and procedures concerning the limitation periods for enforcement of foreign judgments (a “Country Profile”). The approach of requiring the submission of a Country Profile was adopted in the 2007 Child Support Convention.

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CJEU on Article 3 Succession Regulation (definitions of decision and authentic instrument)

The CJEU delivered today its judgment in case C‑658/17 (WB intervener: Przemysława Bac, acting in her capacity as notary), which is about Article 3 Succession Regulation:

“1. The second subparagraph of Article 3(2) of Regulation (EU) No 650/2012 […] must be interpreted as meaning that failure by a Member State to notify the Commission of the exercise of judicial functions by notaries, as required under that provision, is not decisive for their classification as a ‘court’.

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