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Brussels I recast

Czech Republic: New rules on jurisdiction, recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters as of 10 January 2015

The recast Brussels regulation (Regulation (EU) No 1215/2012 on jurisdiction and the recognition of judgments in civil and commercial matters recast) introduces a simplified procedure for the recognition and enforcement of judgments of a Member State in other Member States. In particular, the previous need for a declaration of enforceability in the courts of the Member State in which enforcement is sought has been eliminated. In order to trigger the enforcement process it will now be sufficient for a judgment creditor to simply present a copy of the judgment together with a standard form certificate: specimen.

Besides that, the recast Brussels regulation seeks to eliminate the risk of so-called "Italian Torpedoes" which, due to its vulnerability to tactical litigation, was one of the major criticisms of the previous regulation. Italian Torpedoes were a practice whereby claims in relation to the same matter in dispute were brought in the courts of two different Member States. Under the previous regulation the second court seized of the case would have to stay proceedings until the first court had determined the issue of jurisdiction, even if the proceedings in the first court were brought in breach of an exclusive jurisdiction agreement conferring the matter in dispute to the second court. Therefore, a party could rush to commence litigation first in a different jurisdiction, thereby significantly delaying related proceedings.

Where parties have agreed to confer exclusive jurisdiction on the court of a Member State, that Member State will now be authorised to determine whether it has jurisdiction to hear a matter irrespective of whether proceedings have already been initiated in a different Member State. As a consequence, where a party has issued proceedings in other Member States, the courts of those Member States are now required to stay the proceedings in their jurisdiction.

In addition, the recast regulation provides that a consumer may bring proceedings against the other party in the courts of the consumer’s domicile, regardless of the domicile of the other party, i.e. even if the other party is e.g. a non-EU defendant.

Source: Regulation (EU) No 1215/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2012 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters (recast)