Johannes Schmidt on Legal Certainty in European Civil Procedure Law

Johannes Schmidt’s doctoral thesis on “Legal Certainty in European Civil Procedure Law. An Analysis of ECJ Judgments Regarding the Brussels Convention and the Brussels I Regulation.” (Rechtssicherheit im europäischen Zivilverfahrensrecht – Eine Analyse der Entscheidungen des EuGH zum EuGVÜ und der EuGVVO; Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, 2015) has just been published in German. The doctoral dissertation was written under the supervision of Professor Rolf Stürner and was accepted by the University of Freiburg.

When interpreting the Brussels Convention and the Brussels I Regulation, the European Court of Justice (CJEU) has regularly employed the concept of legal certainty in various contexts. Johannes Schmidt questions if and to what extent the case law of the CJEU actually contributes to legal certainty. For this purpose, he scrutinizes at first, if the methodical criteria of “adherence to the wording” and “continuity of the case law” make the decisions of the CJEU foreseeable. Secondly, the results reached by the CJEU are analysed with respect to the principle of legal certainty. This part takes the perspective of the lawyers and courts who have to apply the European civil procedure rules in their interpretation by the CJEU. It investigates the foreseeability of jurisdiction and lis pendens and it raises the question, which price is to be payed for legal certainty.

The study comes to a critical conclusion. The last part suggests changes, mainly with regard to the style of reasoning.

Thanks to Johannes Schmidt for providing the text.