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Brexit raises a whole range of legal issues in multiple areas. The consequences on the EU framework for jurisdiction, recognition and enforcement of judgments are of particular interest for private parties involved in cross-border commercial agreements. This paper explores the legal basis for the jurisdiction of courts and the enforcement and recognition of judgments between the UK and EU-27 courts after Brexit. In addition, it broadly contrasts the main differences of the proposed solutions compared to the EU system. The paper argues that international conventions can provide answers to some of the questions as they set out rules for the jurisdiction, enforcement and recognition of judgments. However, there are factors that can have an impact on possible legal outcomes, such as the framework of the future deal between the UK and the EU-27, the moment of the commencement of proceedings by the parties in the transition period, or the fact that the parties did not opt for exclusive jurisdiction in their agreements. The Withdrawal Agreement provides for some clarity on which EU law provisions apply during the transition period. In addition, the EC Notices and the UK Brexit legislation provide for guidelines as to the rules applicable in and immediately after the transition period. Nevertheless, as the paper analyses, there is still a need for further clarification. Therefore, other methods of dispute resolution proposed in the article such as moving to arbitration instead of English court jurisdiction could provide legal certainty for private parties.

Keywords: EU law, Brexit, art 50, withdrawal agreement, recognition and enforcement of judgements, EU civil justice and judicial cooperation, cross-border commercial disputes.



This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution − Non-Commercial − No Derivatives 4.0 International License.


Suggested citation: M Kulińska, ‘Cross-Border Commercial Disputes: Jurisdiction, Recognition and Enforcement of Judgments After Brexit’ (2020) 16 CYELP 279.