The European Commission has published a report and a green paper on the application of EC Regulation No 44/2001 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters (the Regulation). Copies of the report and the green paper can be found here and here.
One of the several issues considered by the report and the green paper is the proposed reform to the application of the Regulation to arbitration and court proceedings relating to arbitration. It is suggested in the documents that there be a partial deletion of the arbitration exclusion in the Regulation, such that court proceedings in support of arbitration proceedings fall within its scope, and that a special rule allocating jurisdiction in such proceedings to the member state of the place of arbitration be inserted. It is further suggested that the court with jurisdiction over these proceedings should have the power to issue provisional measures in support of arbitration (this would presumably include anti-suit injunctions). It is also proposed that a rule be inserted to the effect that a court could refuse to enforce a judgment which is irreconcilable with an arbitral award.
The green paper calls for all interested parties to send their comments on the proposals to the Commission by 30 June 2009.
If adopted, one of the major effects of these proposals would be to reverse the controversial decision of the ECJ in the West Tankers case (which we have previously reported on the blog) such that the English courts would once again have jurisdiction to hear proceedings in support of arbitration agreements (including anti-suit injunctions), where the seat of the arbitration was England.