New legislation introduced by Regulation 1215/2012, applicable since January 10, 2015
January 10, 2015 saw the implementation of Regulation 1215/2012 on jurisdiction, recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters, also known as the Brussels I bis Regulation, which replaces Regulation 44/2001 with respect to the same matters (Brussels I Regulation).
However, both Regulations will co-exist for some time, as the new Brussels I bis regulation applies to legal action taken on or after January 10, 2015 and to authentic instruments and court settlements authorized as of such date. For example, if the enforcement of a judgment given in one Member State is intended in another State, due to legal action taken before January 10, 2015 (even if the judgment is issued after such date), the old and not the new Regulation will apply.
The most important new features introduced by Regulation 1215/2012 are as follows:
- Extension of rules of jurisdiction to defendants domiciled in third States (in other words, States that do not belong to the European Union) in relation to consumers and workers.
- Possibility of establishing a choice-of-court clause, even if neither of the parties is domiciled in a Member State.
- Priority of the courts stipulated in the choice-of-court clause to determine the validity of the clause in the event of lis pendens and therefore of different claims filed with the courts of a State other than the State stipulated and in the stipulated State, irrespective of which claim was filed first.
- Possibility of staying proceedings in a Member State due to lis pendens or actions related to other proceedings carried out in a third State.
- Abolishment of exequatur (or previous declaration of enforceability) which must be obtained pursuant to Regulation 44/2001 in order to be able to initiate the actual enforcement of a court judgment issued in a different Member State.
The new Regulation undoubtedly poses major challenges for the future; not only those that normally result from the doubts that may arise in relation to the regulation of certain matters, but also others, such as the unification of rules concerning third States.
Garrigues Litigation and Arbitration Department