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Britain signs cross-border judgments deal
London's Old Bailey Pic: Shutterstock

15 Jan 2024 / britain Print

Britain signs deal on cross-border judgments

The British Government has signed an international agreement aimed at facilitating cross-border trade and investment.

The Hague 2019 Convention sets out conditions for the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters – including consumer and employment contracts – and possible grounds for their refusal.

Britain announced late last year that it intended to sign the deal. The EU member states and Ukraine are currently contracting parties. The US has signed, but not yet ratified, the convention.

‘Step forward’

Justice minister Lord Bellamy formally signed the agreement last week, describing it as “a significant step forward”, adding that it would strengthen Britain’s appeal to businesses as a centre for dispute resolution.

The British Government added that the move would particularly benefit businesses and people who lived and worked between the UK and other countries, giving them the assurance of uniform legal rules.

The Hague agreement will come into force in Britain 12 months after ratification, and will apply only to judgments given in proceedings started after that date.

The Law Society of England and Wales has previously backed accession to the convention, while stressing the need to continue discussions on joining the Lugano Convention on jurisdiction, the UK’s membership of which lapsed with Brexit.

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