Civil Jurisdiction and Judgments
Foreign judgments taking effect under the Brussels and Lugano rules
From 1 January 1987 judgments from courts in certain European states were able to take effect in England under legislation designed to produce the free circulation of judgments in civil and commercial matters across Europe. To begin with this was done by Conventions1 given effect in English law by Civil Jurisdiction and Judgments Act 1982; more recently these were superseded by Regulations2 and a Convention3 taking effect in England under European law. At their most expansive these interlocking schemes covered 31 national jurisdictions: the 27 Member States of the European Union plus the United Kingdom, as well as Iceland, Norway and Switzerland. The fundamental assumption upon which they were built was that if the states in question had common rules for original adjudication, and could be trusted to apply them properly, the main objection to the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments would dissolve. Objections to the jurisdiction of the adjudicating court could be dealt with by the court before it adjudicated, rather than being allowed to be raised after the adjudicating court had finished its work. The substance of the judgment would be immune to review or re investigation, and the mechanism for the transposition of the judgment from the legal order of one state to another would be made as uncomplicated as possible.