Online Symposium: Abolition of Exequatur and Human Rights


In June, the European Court of Human Rights ruled in Povse v. Austria that the abolition of exequatur was compatible with the European Convention of Human Rights, and that the mechanism introduced by the Brussels IIa Regulation was not dysfunctional from the perspective of the Convention.

In December 2010, the Court of  Justice of the European Union had also ruled in Joseba Andoni Aguirre Zarraga v. Simone Pelz that the allegation of  violation of fundamental rights should not prevent the free circulation of judgments under the Brussels IIa Regulation.

For several years, European scholars debated whether the project of the European Commission to abolish exequatur and to suppress the public policy exception would comport with Member States ECHR obligations. Many thought that it would not. Member States eventually successfully resisted the project which was not adopted in the Brussels I Recast.

From this week-end onwards, will organize an online symposium on Abolition of Exequatur and Human Rights. Scholars from different jurisdictions will share their first reaction on the Povse judgment and on its consequence on the evolution of European civil procedure. Readers interested in participating may either contact directly the editors or use the comment section.

6 replies
  1. Roberta Oertel says:

    I would like to attend the online Symposium on the Abolition of Exequatur.
    Kind regards,
    Roberta Oertel

  2. Louis Galichet says:

    Is it necessary to suscribe ? to be connected at one moment in particular ?

    As I understood this information, it will be a succession of posts on the topic, on this website. Is that correct ?

    Best regards

    L. Galichet

  3. Stilly says:

    Many thought abolishing exequatur and to suppress the public policy exception would not comport with Member States ECHR obligations,why the European Court of Human Rights think that the mechanism was not dysfunctional from the perspective of the Convention?

  4. Horatia Muir Watt says:

    Your question is very general, so it’s difficult to answer without referring back to what I have already said about the abolition of exequatur (and public policy exception) in the context of Brussels I (recast). However, if you are asking why, in Povse, the ECtHR considers that there is no violation of the Convention in the specific context of a fast-track child return order, the arguments advanced in support of its conclusion are set out in Povse, which should be read too in the light of Sneersone and the ECJ/CJEU cases on the same point. Much turns upon the application of the Bosphorus presumption in this particular context. In §79-83 Povse explains the reasons for which it holds that the Austrian courts had no discretion in making the return order, in contrast to the situation in MSS (therefore Bosphorus applies), and then §84 onwards, the reasons for which the presumption is not rebutted here (there is no showing there was not effective access to the courts of the country of the pre-abduction home). These are the reasons given. From this point, debate is open as to the legitimacy of the Bosphorus presumption itself, or on the conditions in which it may be rebutted, or indeed on whether, in the factual circumstances of the case, it was appropriate to do so or not. I don’t know which of these points your question addresses.

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