Execution, Transylvanian-Style?

Czech Republic: On 10 January 2015, a new Regulation on jurisdiction and on the recognition and enforcement of judgments comes into force across the entire European Union

Having been in force for almost 15 years, Regulation 44/2001/EC (also known as „Brussels I”) will be abolished and replaced by Regulation (EU) No. 1215/2012, which as of 10 January 2015 provides new rules for jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments across the EU. The scope of application of the new Regulation has its boundaries: it does not apply to maintenance obligations (alimony / child support), which are specifically addressed by Regulation (EC) 4/2009, nor to bankruptcy or insolvency judgments, nor to arbitral awards and inheritance judgments. The new Regulation applies throughout the EU. Judgments handed down before 10 January 2015 will continue to be governed by the previous rules contained in Brussels I, which still envision a separate procedure on the declaration of enforceability (known as exequatur); for judgments rendered after 10 January 2015, this procedure has been abolished without any substitution. Foreign judgments may then be enforced in other EU states with a minimum of administrative effort (though pursuant to the national rules of enforcement that are in place in the given member state). In practice, this means that any court ruling that is handed down from 10 January 2015 onwards – be it in Narva, Turku, or Belfast – may be enforced in Dublin, Przemysl, or Catania. All it takes is a form, to be filled in and certified by the court in the country of judgment. The Regulation provides certain reasons for a refusal of recognition: if recognition would be contrary to public order (ordre public), if the defendant was given no fair hearing (e.g. because of a failure of service of process, or of appearance, or because the opportunity to prepare a proper defense was denied), or if the judgment whose enforcement is sought is irreconcilable to an existing judgment between the same parties. This defense must be invoked in a special procedure set out in Article 45 et seq. of the new Regulation.

For the rest, the Regulation has preserved most of the rules contained in Brussels I. Insofar as changes were made, they concern relatively specific constellations, such as the jurisdiction for defendants from a third EU country or a choice-of-forum clause agreed between two parties neither of which is resident in the EU. The regulation also addresses the case of claims brought in the EU with respect to a matter which is already pending in a third country’s court.

Source: Regulation (EU) No. 1215/2012

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