The European Parliament and the European Council have adopted a new version of the Brussels I Regulation which strengthens choice of court agreements. The Recast Regulation will apply to court proceedings falling within its scope that have commenced after 10 January 2015 in all EU Member States.
The Recast Regulation makes the following key changes:
- The Recast Regulation seeks to address the unsatisfactory situation arising from the Brussels I Regulation, which gave priority to the jurisdiction of the court first seised of a dispute, regardless of any exclusive jurisdiction clause agreed between the parties. The Recast Regulation contains an exception to the priority rule where an exclusive jurisdiction agreement has been reached. This ends the so called “torpedo actions” and means that even where an action is brought in the court of another jurisdiction, a court of the jurisdiction nominated in an agreement between the parties will still have jurisdiction, trumping the court first seised.
- Jurisdiction clauses are now severable from other contractual terms, meaning such clauses will remain in force even where the underlying contract is found to be void.
- In addition, the Recast Regulation removes the requirement that one or more of the parties be domiciled in the EU, therefore all jurisdiction agreements designating an EU member state court, are now governed by the Recast Regulation.
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