A Working Group of the Hague Conference on Private International Law is revisiting possible multilateral rules on the recognition of foreign judgments. This was the subject of broader negotiations on jurisdiction and judgments that ran from 1992 until 2005, concluding in the Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements. Any effort to coordinate judgments recognition rules necessarily requires consideration of the jurisdictional bases of authority of the court from which a judgment originates. Problems of coordination are exacerbated because differences in existing jurisdictional bases are colored by: (1) basic differences between civil law and common law approaches to judicial analysis, (2) differences in the extent to which jurisdiction is a constitutional matter, and (3) differences in focus on the interests of plaintiffs and defendants. Recent developments in both the United States and the European Union have both highlighted existing differences in approaches to adjudicative jurisdiction, and demonstrated some areas in which there may be greater hope for common ground. While rules on general jurisdiction may be moving closer together, rules on specific jurisdiction seem to be suffering greater divergence. Any new multilateral efforts will also have to take into account the impact on parallel efforts to obtain ratifications of the Choice of Court Convention. While there are jurisdictional bases on which agreement should not be difficult in a new judgments project, those are probably the bases for which recognition and enforcement abroad will be least valuable to the judgment creditor.The paper is forthcoming in A Commitment to Private International Law - Essays in Honor of Hans Van Loon.
Ronald A. Brand (University of Pittsburgh School of Law) has posted Jurisdictional Developments and the New Hague Judgments Project on SSRN.