Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements

The Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements was concluded in June 2005. It is designed to promote international trade and investment by offering greater certainty for parties involved in business-to-business contracts and international litigation, through the creation of an optional worldwide framework of rules on jurisdiction, and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters.

States may become a party to the Hague Convention either by (1) signature followed by ratification, acceptance or approval, or (2) by accession. The Hague Convention requires two ratifications or accessions before it will enter into force, and it will enter into force three months after the deposit of the second instrument of ratification. For an updated list of signatories and ratifying states, see the HCCH website.

Mexico acceded to the Hague Convention in November 2007.

The Hague Convention was ratified by Singapore on 2 June 2016 and will enter into force as between Singapore, the EU (except Denmark) and Mexico on 1 October 2016.

On 10 December 2014, Council Decision 2014/887/EU on the approval, on behalf of the EU, of the Hague Convention of on Choice of Court Agreements, was published in the Official Journal. (For further information, see Legal update, Council Decision approving the Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements published in Official Journal ( www.practicallaw.com/5-591-7866) .) The UK and Ireland are taking part in the adoption and application of this Council Decision (see recital 8 of the Council Decision). In accordance with Articles 1 and 2 of Protocol No 22, annexed to the Treaty on EU ( www.practicallaw.com/9-201-2935) and to the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU ( www.practicallaw.com/2-107-6192) , Denmark is not taking part in the adoption of this Council Decision and is not bound by it or subject to its application. On 11 June 2015, the Latvian Presidency deposited, on behalf of the EU, the instrument of approval of the Hague Convention (see Legal update, Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements to enter into force on 1 October 2015 ( www.practicallaw.com/3-616-4574) ). Accordingly, the Hague Convention will enter into force on 1 October 2015, so that all member states (except Denmark), and Mexico, will be bound by it.

The MoJ has published Civil Jurisdiction and Judgments (Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements 2005) Regulations (SI 2015/1644), which will make supplementary and consequential amendments to CPR 6 and the Civil Jurisdiction and Judgments Act 1982 to facilitate the entry into force of the Convention.

The Hague Convention was signed by the US in January 2009. (See Legal update, US signs up to the Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements ( www.practicallaw.com/9-384-7534) .) The signing of the Hague Convention does not have any immediate legal consequences for the US, but simply shows a political will to conclude it in due course.

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