The CJEU on the protection of the defaulting defendant in the 2007 Lugano Convention

A few weeks ago (30 March 2023), the Court of Justice delivered its judgment on the case No C-343/22, PT v. VB.
The Court was asked by the German Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof) to interpret Art 34(2) of the 2007 Lugano Convention, i.e. the rule that refuses recognition and enforcement of a foreign judgment on the ground of the protection of the defaulting defendant.
Indeed, in the dispute in the main proceedings, upon VB’s application, a Swiss authority notified PT, who resides in Germany, of an order to pay debts relating to rent; against that order, PT lodged an objection. Subsequently, VB brought an action against PT before a Swiss Tribunal, without applying for the objection to be lifted. That court attempted to serve the application, drafted in French, at PT’s place of residence in Germany. The latter, who does not understand French, refused to accept that service without a German translation of the application. Later, the Swiss Tribunal delivered a judgment ordering PT to pay the debts. On that ground, VB applied to a German Regional Court for a declaration of enforceability of the Swiss judgment; since the court granted the application, PT appealed against that decision. A question arises on which document must be regarded as the document which instituted the proceedings in order to decide whether the Swiss judgment is to recognise.
In the decision, the Court of Justice stated that Art 34(2) of the 2007 Lugano Convention must be interpreted “the statement of claim in an action for repayment under Swiss law, which was brought after a Swiss order for payment had been issued previously and which did not include an application for dismissal of the objection lodged against that order for payment, constitutes the document which instituted the proceedings, within the meaning of that provision”.

On the topics addressed in the judgment, the readers of RDIPP may refer to:

Chiara E. Tuo, 2019, No 2, 302 ff.;
Giacomo Biagioni, 2011, No 4, 971 ff.;
Bruno Nascimbene, 2002, No 3, 659 ff.

Moreover, see, in our Book Series:

Fausto Pocar (ed), Book No 67;
Chiara E. Tuo, Book No 78.