Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements

The Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements (the Hague Convention), came into force between the EU (except Denmark) and Mexico on 1 October 2015.

The Hague Convention aims to ensure the effectiveness of choice of court agreements between parties to international commercial transactions. It provides for uniform rules on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters (in a similar way to the Brussels Regulation as between EU states). It applies to 'exclusive' choice of court agreements, although a Contracting State has the option of declaring that it will also recognise and enforce judgments given by courts designated in a 'non-exclusive' choice of court agreement.

The US and Singapore have also signed the Hague Convention, through they are yet to ratify it. Only when they and others ratify will it become of real significance to those trading internationally. Importantly, the Brussels Regulation regime will continue to determine questions of jurisdiction and the enforcement of judgments as between EU member states; as between those states the Hague Convention will not apply.