The CJEU on jurisdiction clauses in internal contracts

After the opinion of Advocate General Richard de la Tour, yesterday (8 February 2024) the Court of Justice delivered its judgment 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 jurisdiction over the case – an application for payment of claims arising from the non-performance of two loan agreements concluded in that Member State – on the ground of a jurisdiction clause conferring jurisdiction to a court of another Member State. 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.

In the decision, the Court of Justice, contrary to the opinion of Advocate General Richard de la Tour, stated that Art 25 of Regulation No 1215/2012 must be interpreted “meaning that an agreement conferring jurisdiction by which the parties to a contract who are established in the same Member State agree on the jurisdiction of the courts of another Member State to settle disputes arising out of that contract is covered under that provision, even if that contract has no other connection with that other Member State”.

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

Riccardo Rossi, 2023, No 3, 579 ff.;
Gaetano Vitellino, 2019, No 4, 999 ff.;
Francesca C. Villata, 2015, No 4, 973 ff.;
Marco Lopez de Gonzalo 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.