Firms caught up in endless international legal disputes will be spared time and money thanks to Ministers signing up to the 2019 Hague Convention today (12 January 2024). 

The landmark treaty means legal judgements made in UK courts regarding people and companies tied up in cross-country disputes will be recognised and enforced in the courts of other nations who have joined the Convention – and vice versa. 

Currently, while most countries have domestic rules which allow judgments from other countries to be recognised and enforced, these rules are different in each state. This can deter vital business investment.  

By providing an international framework of rules for recognition and enforcement of judgments, the Convention provides greater certainty for businesses and individuals who are impacted by   litigation on contracts or employment decisions across borders – while saving them time and money getting a judgment enforced in another country.  

Justice Minister, Lord Bellamy, said:    

Joining the Hague Convention marks a significant step forward for the UK within private international law and strengthens our appeal to businesses as a centre for dispute resolution.  

The robust and reliable regime the Convention offers for the recognition and enforcement of judgments will provide confidence to people and businesses who are involved in civil and commercial disputes as they live, work and do business across borders.

This will particularly benefit businesses and people who live and work between the UK and other countries, giving them the assurance of uniform legal rules, which will help encourage international trade and investment.  

Under the rules of the Convention, businesses will know that if a dispute arises, their judgment can be enforced in another country.  

There are currently 29 parties who are already part of the 2019 Hague Convention – from Ukraine to the EU Member State Countries, with Uruguay also joining this year. This means UK judgments will be recognised and enforced in all of these countries.  

With 91 members of the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH), the main multilateral forum for private international law rules consisting of several conventions including the 2019 Hague Convention, Hague 2019 has a potentially global reach.  

Source: Ministry of Justice and Lord Bellamy KC

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