The 2005 Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements is an international treaty that governs the enforcement of choice of court agreements in cross-border disputes. The Convention provides a framework for the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters, contributing to the predictability and stability of international trade and investment.
The Convention was adopted by the Hague Conference on Private International Law on June 30, 2005, and entered into force on October 1, 2015. As of now, 32 countries have signed the Convention, while Mexico has signed, but not yet ratified it.
The signatories of the Convention include the European Union and its member states (except Denmark), Mexico, Singapore, Montenegro, and Israel. The United States has signed the Convention, but it has not been ratified yet.
The Convention’s main objectives are to promote international jurisdictional coherence and accuracy, to facilitate cross-border enforcement of judgments, and to reduce the risk of conflicting judgments. It provides a set of rules to determine which court should have jurisdiction over disputes arising from a commercial contract, and how judgments issued by that court can be enforced in other signatory countries.
Under the Convention, a choice of court agreement between parties is generally binding, and courts in signatory countries must give effect to it, unless one of the exceptions applies. The exceptions include, inter alia, situations where the choice of court agreement is null and void, where the chosen court lacks jurisdiction, or where the judgment is contrary to public policy of the enforcing country.
The Convention also establishes a system for the recognition and enforcement of judgments issued by courts of other signatory countries. Judgments issued by the chosen court must be recognized and enforced in other signatory countries, subject to limited grounds for refusal, such as public policy or lack of notice to the defendant.
In conclusion, the 2005 Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements is an important international instrument for promoting the predictability and stability of international trade and investment. Its signatories recognize the importance of a coherent and efficient international adjudication system, where parties can rely on their choice of court agreements and enforce their rights and obligations in other signatory countries.