The recast Brussels Regulation ((EC) No. 1215/2012), which repeals the Brussels I Regulation ((EC) No. 44/2001), came into operation on 10 January 2015. 

Background

The Brussels I Regulation established a set of EU rules that determine which court has jurisdiction in cross-border disputes and how court judgments issued in one EU Member State are recognised and enforced in another Member State.  The purpose of reforming the Brussels I Regulation was to remedy a number of deficiencies in the current operation of the Regulation. 

Key Changes

Key changes introduced by recast Regulation include:

  1. The abolition of the “exequatur” procedure (the need to obtain a court order to enforce a foreign judgment).
  2. Enhancing the effectiveness of jurisdiction agreements, to address the problem known as the “Italian torpedo”.
  3. Extension of the rules relating to jurisdiction agreements to non-EU parties.
  4. Introduction of a limited international lis pendens rule.
  5. Extension of the rules relating to consumers and employees to non-EU traders and employers.
  6. Clarification of the exclusion of arbitration from the scope of the Regulation.

A briefing note discussing the key changes in the recast Regulation and the impact of these changes is available here.

New rules of court

New rules of court to facilitate the operation of the recast Regulation are to be introduced shortly.  In the interim, the Courts Service has issued 3 Practice Directions, in respect of the High Court, Circuit Court, and District Court (available here). 

The Practice Direction, for each court, highlights issues which litigants and practitioners should have regard to in respect of:  (a) civil or commercial proceedings falling within the scope of the recast Regulation, or (b) enforcement in Ireland of a judgment given in a civil or commercial matter by a court in another EU Member State in proceedings commenced on or after 10 January 2015, or of an authentic instrument drawn up or registered or a court settlement approved or concluded in another EU Member State on or after that date.