The Scope and Application of Brussels Regulation

Introduction In conditions of current globalization the issue of recognition and enforcement of judicial decisions in civil and commercial matters becomes especially topical. Nowadays, one may observe networking tendencies in economy. It means, for example, that certain businesses operate all over the world. At the same time, every country has its own legislation to which such businesses are subjected. Such situation creates certain challenges for network businesses as the legislation can affect their efficiency in a negative way.

Business owners are interested in a protection of their companies and enterprises. That is why recognition and enforcement of judgments made by foreign courts can be a powerful instrument for business protection. Indeed, for foreign investor, recognition and enforcement of foreign court decision may constitute a guarantee of that his capital is in a safe environment. The international community drew attention to this issue almost half a century ago, when Brussels Convention on jurisdiction and the enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters of 1968 was adopted.

In particular, this Convention foresees that a judgment made in one of the participating states should be recognized in other participating state without any specific procedure. In addition the Convention provides that such judgment should be enforceable in other participating state, “when, on the application of any interested party, it has been declared enforceable there. ” Certainly up to this date the Convention experienced some adjustments. In 2000 European Community adopted EU Regulation No.

44/2001 on the jurisdiction and the recognition of judgments in civil and commercial matters (Brussels Regulation). The Brussels I regulation is meant to replace the provisions of the Brussels Convention. This paper is an attempt to provide analysis of Brussels regulation. In particular, I will explore the scope of the Regulation and matters that are left beyond it. I will also consider interpretation practice regarding Brussels Regulation and estimate the clarity of its provisions. The Scope and Application of Brussels Regulation

According to the introductory statement of the Brussels I Regulation, the main purposes of its adoption were: to maintain and develop “an area of freedom, security and justice, in which the free movement of persons is ensured”; to provide unified rules of conflict of jurisdiction in civil and commercial matters; to facilitate formalities; to create a legal instrument for free movement of judgments in civil and commercial matters; and to provide a link between applied proceedings and the territory of Member States bounded by the Regulation.

It is also emphasized that “Continuity between the Brussels Convention and this Regulation should be ensured, and transitional provisions should be laid down to that end. ” Therefore, the relationship between Brussels Convention and Brussels I Regulation remains unclear. However, it is also stated that for the territories of EU members which are Contracting States to the Convention and which are excluded from Brussels Regulation according to the Treaty establishing the European Community.

Such territories are included into EU, but due to historical, geographical, economic and cultural aspects have special relationship to the national governments, and thus, to the European Union and its laws. Therefore, some of EU laws do not apply to such territories. Among such territories are some French overseas departments, British overseas territories, Netherlands Antilles and Aruba, Greenland and others. In addition, Brussels Regulation is not valid for Denmark and relations between Denmark and other EU member in area of recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters are regulated by the Convention.