AG Richard de la Tour on jurisdiction clauses in purely internal contracts

A few weeks ago (12 October 2023), Advocate General Richard de la Tour delivered his opinion on the case No C-566/22, Inkreal v. Dúha reality.

With a request for a preliminary ruling lodge on 26 August 2022, the Supreme Court of the Czech Republic (Nejvyšší soud) referred the following question to the Court of Justice: “From the perspective of the existence of an international element, which is required for Regulation (EU) No 1215/2012… to apply, is the application of that regulation be based solely on the fact that two parties with their seat in the same Member State agree on the jurisdiction of courts of another EU Member State?”.

The request has been made in proceedings between two companies domiciled in the same Member State concerning the designation of the court having territorial jurisdiction to hear an application for payment of claims arising from the non-performance of two loan agreements concluded in that Member State containing the designation of a court of another Member State in the event of a dispute. More precisely, the two loan agreements were concluded between FD, a resident in Slovakia, as the assignor, and Dúha reality, a company domiciled in Slovakia, as the assignee. Subsequently, FD assigned the claims arising from those loan agreements to Inkreal, a company domiciled in Slovakia. Both contracts contained a jurisdiction clause in favour of Czech courts.

According to AG Richard de la Tour, the question referred to the Court is whether the existence of a jurisdiction clause constitutes, in itself, an international element sufficient to result in the application of Art 25(1) of Regulation (EU) No 1215/2012.

In the Advocate General’s views, Art 25(1) of Brussels Ia Regulation must be interpreted as “meaning that in a purely internal situation, it is not applicable based solely on the fact that the parties domiciled in the same Member State have designated a court or courts of another Member State to settle any disputes between them which have arisen or which may arise”.

On choice of courts agreements, the readers of RDIPP may refer to:

Gaetano Vitellino, 2019, No 4, 999 ff.;
Francesca C. Villata, 2015, No 4, 973 ff.;
Marco Lopez de Gozalo and Andrea La Mattina, 2012, No 1, 87 ff.;
Silvia Marino, 2010, No 4, 915 ff.;
Gianluca Contaldi, 1998, No 1, 79 ff.;
Ilaria Queirolo, 1997, No 3, p. 601 ff.

Moreover, see, in our Book Series:

Ilaria Queirolo, Book No 51;
Francesca C. Villata, Book No 77.

As usual, full details of the articles are available here, while the tables of content of the books published in the Book series are available here.