The Brussels I Regulation

“The most successful instrument on international civil procedure of all time”[1]

The Brussels I Regulation[2] was adopted in 2012 and since then, it has become known as a very successful piece of legislation in relation to judicial co-operation within the European Union.[3] This amendment was followed by a press release[4] which aimed to streamline the process of judgements in civil and commercial matters making them easier and faster within the Union.[5] The previous Regulation[6] was successful in creating specific rules governing the jurisdiction of courts in areas of civil and commercial matters. It regulated that a judgement concluded in an alternative Member State was enforceable.[7] It allowed every Member State to facilitate its own laws on enforcement in matters which related to disputes between individuals and possibly suing them too in contractual matters.[8] However, this review did not come about without debate. There have been many proposals to amend the previous regulation[9] which were fought with uncertainty by legal academics claiming it was unnecessary.[10]

Although the Council of the European Union and academic commentators such as Delaygua[11] argue that, “this new law has improved the former regulation”[12] and made the circulation of judgements in civil and commercial matters easier and faster within the Union,[13] it is important to explore exactly how it does so and whether the new regulation fulfils the goals that prompted its revision.

[1] Laurens Je Timmer, ‘Abolition of Exequatur under the Brussels I Regulation: ILL Conceived and Premature?’ Journal of Private International Law 147

[2] Regulation 1215/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2012 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters (recast)”, [2012] OJ L351/1

[3] Laurens Je Timmer, ‘Abolition of Exequatur under the Brussels I Regulation: ILL Conceived and Premature?’ Journal of Private International Law 147

[4] European Commission, “Press release, “Recast of the Brussels I regulation: towards easier and faster circulation of judgments in civil and commercial matters within the EU”, Brussels, 6 December 2012, 16599/12, PRESSE 483 < http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_PRES-12-483_en.htm> (accessed 1/2/2017)

[5] Regulation (EU) No 1215/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2012
on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters (recast)

[6] Council Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 of 22 December 2000 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters

[7] ibid, Recital 6

[8] ibid, Article 5

[9] Owusu v Jackson (Case C-281/02) [2005] ECR I-1383 and Turner v Grovit (Case C-159/02 [2004] ECR I-3565 had made it clear that a review was necessary to comply with the obligations of the Regulation 2012 to streamline the process of judgements within the EU.

[10] Samuel Zogg, ‘Accumulation of Contractual and Tortious Causes of Action Under the Judgement Regulation’ (2015) Journal of Private International Law 39

[11] Quim Forner-Delaygua, ‘Changes to jurisdiction based on exclusive jurisdiction agreements under the Brussels I Regulation Recast’ (2015) Journal of Private International Law 379

[12] ibid

[13] Press release, Recast of the Brussels I regulation: towards easier and faster circulation of judgments in civil and commercial matters within the EU, Brussels, 6 December 2012, 16599/12, PRESSE 483)