Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Monday, March 05, 2018

Complications of Brexit

Why can't we just leave? (BTW, the headline refers to Engish-language courts, not UK courts.)

Why English courts are opening in the EU
It's English law, in English - but the courtroom is in Paris.

According to French reports, the new "international chamber" is an attempt to capitalise on Brexit and steal London's crown as a global hub for lucrative commercial legal disputes.

Other English-language courts are popping up in the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium, with those behind them also talking about seizing opportunities from the UK's departure from the EU.

English courts have long been chosen by companies based all over the world to govern their contracts. So are these new rivals a threat to London's crown?

French justice minister Nicole Belloubet… said in December that the UK's exit from the EU could mean it losing access to a "common judicial space" with the attractiveness of London courts "replaced by other European jurisdictions"…

Key to the warnings about London losing its crown is an EU regulation that allows judgements in one member state to be enforced across the bloc…

Otherwise, rulings made in London may not be automatically recognised in the EU - there could be extra paperwork, confusion about which jurisdiction should hear a case, and an overall loss of certainty…

This will depend on the negotiations between the UK and the EU…

"Just having English language proceedings would not be enough to attract foreign litigants away from England and Wales," Mickaël Laurans, of the Law Society of England and Wales predicted.

However, the French court - which opens on Thursday - will go further than than those in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany by having the power to make rulings on English law…

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