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The new features under the Recast Regulation 1215/2012

 

 

The significance of the EU Regulation 44/2001 is well known as its rules determine both the jurisdiction of courts in the EU in civil and commercial disputes and the conditions for the recognition and the enforcement of their judgments in other EU member States.

 

As of 10th January 2015, the EU Regulation 1215/2012 (“Recast Regulation”) replaced the EU Regulation 44/2001 hence any proceedings instituted on or after the 10th of January 2015 will be based on or regulated by the Recast Regulation.

 

Many of the basic principles under the EU Regulation 44/2001 remain unrevised although the paragraph numbering have such as the general rule of jurisdiction under Article 2 which stated that EU defendants should be sued in the courts of their domicile (new Article 4) and the alternative grounds of jurisdiction such as in matters relating to contract and torts (Article 5) (new Article 7). 

 

The key changes effected by the Recast Regulation include jurisdiction agreements; the lis pendens rule; arbitration-related court actions and the abolition of exequatur.

 

1. Jurisdiction agreements

 

One of the most central changes is that the Recast Regulation provides an expanded recognition of exclusive jurisdiction agreements within the European legal framework, under the new Article 25 by improving the position for litigants who have agreed that a particular Member State is to be granted exclusive jurisdiction. For example, a Cypriot company and a Russian company have an English jurisdiction clause in their agreement, the English court will have jurisdiction under the new Article 25.

 

2. The abolition of exequatur

 

The old process for recognizing and enforcing judgments under which a declaration of enforceability was required to enforce a foreign judgment in another member state (Art 39 of the EU Regulation 44/2001) has been abolished. Now parties can apply to have a judgment from another EU Member State recognized and enforced by presenting a copy of the judgment and a certificate in a prescribed format (Articles 37 and 53).

 

3. The Arbitration Exception

 

Arbitration had been expressly excluded from the scope of the EU Regulation 44/2001 under Article 1.2(d), but there was little guidance as to what was covered. The recast Regulation seeks to reinforce and clarify the arbitration exception by expressly confirming that the Regulation does not apply to any court actions or proceedings ancillary to arbitration.

 

4. Lis alibi pendens

 

Previously under Article 27 of the EU Regulation 44/2001 priority was given to the Court which was the first seized nonetheless  under the Recast Regulation reforms the lis pendens rule has been reformed. In particular, when an exclusive jurisdiction clause is involved priority is given to the court designated in such an agreement and there is no need to wait for any other Member State courts seised earlier in time to consider their jurisdiction first. Any such other courts will be required to stay their proceedings in the meantime. (New Article 31(2)).  

 

 

 

 

For further information on this topic please contact

Ms. Nada Starovlah (nstarovlah@pittaslegal.com) at SOTERIS PITTAS & CO LLC,

by telephone (+357 25 028460) or by fax (+357 25 028461)