Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements

Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements

The Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements is an international treaty that aims to promote international legal certainty and predictability in cross-border commercial disputes. It provides rules and procedures for honouring exclusive choice of court agreements between parties involved in international contracts.

The convention was adopted on June 30, 2005, and entered into force on October 1, 2015. It is currently binding on the member states that have ratified or acceded to the treaty. The convention has been ratified by several countries, including members states of the European Union, Mexico, Singapore, Montenegro, and most recently the United Kingdom following Brexit. The United States, China, Ukraine, and Israel have signed the convention but has not yet ratified it. The key provisions of the Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements include:

Choice of court agreements: The convention establishes the principle that where parties to an international contract have agreed to resolve their disputes before the courts of a specific country, the chosen court should generally have exclusive jurisdiction over the case. This means that other courts should decline jurisdiction in favour of the chosen court.

Recognition and enforcement: The convention provides for the recognition and enforcement of judgments rendered by the chosen court in accordance with the choice of court agreement. Member states are required to recognise and enforce such judgments, subject to limited grounds for refusal.

Exclusions and exceptions: The convention sets out limited grounds for non-recognition or non-enforcement of judgments, including situations where the choice of court agreement is invalid, the court chosen lacked jurisdiction, or the judgment is contrary to public policy.

International cooperation: The convention promotes international judicial cooperation by establishing mechanisms for communication and cooperation between courts of member states. It encourages courts to consult with each other and exchange information to ensure the effective resolution of cross-border disputes.

The Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements aims to enhance legal certainty and predictability in international commercial transactions by providing a framework for the recognition and enforcement of exclusive choice of court agreements. It contributes to the development of a more uniform and consistent approach to cross-border litigation, thereby facilitating international trade and commerce.

The Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements applies only to exclusive choice of court agreements and does not cover non-exclusive agreements or other types of jurisdiction agreements. Additionally, its impact is limited to the member states that have ratified or acceded to the convention.
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