Focus on international litigation involving choice of court agreements (2002-2003)

Part II of the 19th Session of the Hague Conference recommends a "bottom-up" approach to advance negotiations

Meeting from 22-24 April 2002 as Commission I on General Affairs and Policy, delegates unanimously reconfirm the "great importance they attach to harmonising rules on jurisdiction, recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters on a worldwide basis". They also encourage the Hague Conference to "continue to pursue common solutions for these issues in the area of private international law, especially given the increasing need for finding solutions in this difficult arena".

In view of the outcome of Part I of the 19th Session (see here), Commission I recommends proceeding with an informal process starting with a discussion of a “core area” of possible grounds of jurisdiction (namely choice of court agreements, defendant’s forum, counter-claims, branches, submission, trusts and physical injury torts), as well as the existing provisions on recognition and enforcement upon which there is broad agreement. Notwithstanding this broad agreement, there is no discussion at this stage about limiting the project to a simple convention.

Conclusions of Commission I of the XIXth Diplomatic Session of April 2002

"The impact of the Internet on the Judgments Project: Thoughts for the future" (Prel. Doc. No 17 of February 2002)

Informal Working Group meets to examine the core area of possible grounds of jurisdiction.

Meeting on three occasions (22-25 October 2002, 6-9 January 2003, 25-28 March 2003), the Informal Working Group recommends that negotiations proceed on a convention focusing on choice of court agreements in business-to-business cases and prepares a draft to this end.

In its second meeting, the Informal Working Group considers some of the other grounds of jurisdiction foreshadowed by Commission I, but ultimately decides not to include these in its draft.

Documents relating to the Informal Working Group and the subsequent preparatory work of the Choice of Court Convention can be found on the Choice of Court Homepage.

A number of documents drawn up or submitted as part of this preparatory work (available here) are nevertheless relevant to international jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments generally.