The new Lugano Convention enters into force in the European Union and Norway on 1 January 2010. It will replace the 1988 Lugano Convention on Jurisdiction and the Recognition and Enforcement of Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters.
The 1988 Lugano Convention is an agreement between the member states of the European Union and Iceland, Norway and Switzerland, which governs questions of jurisdiction in cross-border disputes of a civil and commercial nature.
The new Convention will bring the agreement into line with the Brussels Regulation (governing questions of jurisdiction between Member States of the European Union) which came into force on 1 March 2002.
Ratification by Iceland and Switzerland is still outstanding. The Swiss Parliament is currently discussing ratification, and it is possible that a referendum will be called on the issue. Subject to this, the Convention is expected to enter into force in Switzerland on 1 January 2011. Until Iceland and Switzerland ratify the new Convention, the 1988 agreement will continue to apply in those countries.