The 2019 The Hague Judgments Convention: a game changer in International dispute resolution

On Tuesday 2 July 2019, the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH) finalized a new treaty on enforcement of judgments: the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Civil or Commercial Matters, or the 2019 The Hague Judgments Convention.

The new Convention has been a long time in the making. Its origins go back to 1992, when work began on a general convention dealing with jurisdiction and enforcement of judgments. Initially, political consensus could not be reached, and so the Hague Conference decided to focus on the area where consensus was possible, being the jurisdiction and enforcement of judgments where the relevant court was chosen on the basis of an exclusive jurisdiction clause. This resulted in the 2005 Hague Choice of Court Convention.

After 2005, the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments continued to be the main obstacle to cross-border litigation, which is a reason for international businesses to favour arbitration in many cases. The aim of the 2019 The Hague Judgments Convention is to reduce transaction and litigation costs in cross-border transactions and to effectively promote access to justice for all. It also facilitates multilateral trade and investment. The Convention will increase certainty and predictability, promote the better management of transaction and litigation risks, and shorten the timeframes for the recognition and enforcement of a judgement in other jurisdictions, thus providing better, more effective, and less costly justice for both individuals and businesses.

It is noted, however that the Convention will not enter into force for any state until (approximately) twelve months have elapsed since the ratification. This means that it will be a considerable time until the Convention applies to any judgment.

At HEUSSEN, we have a unique focus on assisting international clients and we therefore welcome the opportunities the 2019 the Hague Judgements Convention offers. We look forward to discussing these possibilities with you. Please feel free to contact us with any queries you may have.