Free movement of judgments. Towards a global judicial area?
PhD student: Mrs E.M.S. Apers
Promotor: Prof G. van Calster
Duration: 1/10/2013 - 30/9/2017
Mutual recognition and enforcement of judgments are a cornerstone of the Eus policy in the field of the area of freedom, security and justice. Realising that the internal market could not be fully functional if countries did not recognise each others judgments, the original six EEC Member States as far back as 1968 concluded a Convention to ensure reciprocal recognition and enforcement: the 'EEX-Convention'. The Union has since grown exponentially. It is no longer only concerned with the economy, but places more and more emphasis on the free movement of the individual citizen and fundamental rights. This evolution to an EU based on individual freedoms has also impacted the rules of private international law, of which recognition and enforcement form an important part. More and more EU instruments provide for a near-automatic procedure for the recognition and enforcement of judgments and more countries conclude bilateral agreements worldwide. However, not all areas of private international law have been harmonised at EU level. Moreover, Member States also face judgments coming from outside the EU. Finally, EU harmonisation as well as national law provide for grounds upon which recognition and enforcement of judgments may be refused, such as public policy. Challenges and practical hurdles therefore remain for both businesses and individual citizens when it comes to a free movement of judgments. Via a thorough analysis of selected legislation, case law and scholarship this dissertation will analyse whether the need for a freer movement of judgments in this globalising world requires further legislative action at EU level and if so, what such instrument should look like. It effectively revisits the challenges faced by the negotiators of the 1968 EEX-Convention in a dramatically changed Union and ditto world.