The UPC Preparatory Committee met with the project coordinators in Brussels this week and finalised the agenda for its next meeting on 24/25 February 2016. It plans to reach agreement on the Court fees, recoverable costs and the opt-out fee, and on several other important issues, including: judicial recruitment and salaries, the Protocol on Privileges and Immunities, and legal rules on Arbitration, the Advisory Committee and the Registry. The UPC Case Management System will also be presented to the Committee. The System is still available on the UPC website (here) for testing and feedback; changes that have already been scheduled continue to be made but all feedback will be logged and taken into account for the further development to take place in April 2016.
The Rules of Procedure of the UPC will return to the Preparatory Committee in its following meeting (in April 2016). Although the text of the Rules was agreed and published in October 2015, it requires finalisation to take into account the agreement on the Court fees. Also, some other minor changes are required (such as how to deal with administrative errors in the opt-out process).
The Preparatory Committee’s final two meetings are scheduled for May and June 2016 – which is in line with its plan for completing its work by mid 2016 and the Court being operational in early 2017.