UK publishes framework for UK-EU partnership on civil judicial cooperation

The post below was first published on our Litigation blog

On 13 June, the UK government published a presentation setting out its proposals for continued judicial cooperation once the UK leaves the EU. The presentation is part of a series produced by the UK negotiating team for discussion with the EU.

Overall the paper is long on aspirational statements and short on specifics, but it does indicate that the UK government is keen to reach a new, bespoke agreement with the EU across the full range of civil judicial cooperation, including business and consumer as well as insolvency and family. It notes that the EU has already signalled its willingness to consider a new form of relationship in respect of family law, and the UK wants to see this extended across the sphere of civil judicial cooperation.

The presentation refers to the Lugano Convention, which currently governs issues of jurisdiction and the enforcement of judgments between the EU, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, but says that the UK wants “a broader agreement that reflects our unique starting point”. None of this is surprising. The UK government stated, as long ago as last August, that it would seek to continue to participate in the Lugano Convention as well as seeking an agreement with the EU which closely reflected the principles of judicial cooperation under the current EU framework (see our blog post on the UK’s August 2017 position paper “Providing a cross-border civil judicial cooperation framework”).

The presentation notes that it is in the UK and the EU’s mutual interest to reach such an agreement, in order to provide certainty as to which country’s court will hear a case, which law will be used and that judgments can be enforced in the UK and the EU. We wholeheartedly agree, but would welcome significantly more detail as to the basis on which the UK will seek to reach such an agreement.

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