Last week (23 November 2023), the Ministry of Justice of the United Kingdom has published the response (available here) to a public consultation (dated 15 December 2022) on whether the UK should become a Contracting Party to the 2019 Hague Judgments Convention.
In its conclusions, the UK Government states that it is the right time for the UK to join the 2019 Hague Judgments Convention and will seek to do so as soon as practicable. The Government duly noted the possible downsides of the ratification, expressed by some respondents, certain of which centred around the Convention’s limitations in scope particularly by contrast with the Lugano Convention. However, as the consultation responses highlighted, the benefits of joining the Hague 2019 far outweigh any of its downsides. Moreover, joining the 2019 Hague Judgment Convention does not prevent the UK from joining the Lugano Convention in future, nor does it change existing domestic law, on which parties can continue to rely for the recognition and enforcement of judgments not covered by the 2019 Hague Judgment Convention. The latter also includes provisions which would allow the UK to decline to apply the terms of the Convention with another State party should it be considered to go against UK policy.
On a practical level, the Government will move to sign the Convention as soon as possible, once all of the necessary implementing legislation and rules have been put in place to facilitate the Convention’s smooth operation in the UK. The Convention should have UK-wide extent based on the benefits to all three of the UK jurisdictions expressed by respondents. Moreover, the Convention will be implemented using a registration model. Finally, the Government has concluded that there were no sufficient policy reasons for the UK to make a declaration under Arts 14, 16 or 19 of the Convention.
On the 2019 Hague Judgments Convention, the readers of RDIPP may refer to:
Fausto Pocar, 2021, No. 1, 5 ff.; Alberto Malatesta, 2021, No. 4, 878 ff.; Gilles Cuniberti, 2020, No. 1, 33 ff.