The european parliament and the council of the european union



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I

 

(Legislative acts)

 

REGULATIONS



 

REGULATION (EU) No 1215/2012 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL 

of 12 December 2012 

on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters

 

(recast) 

THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE 

EUROPEAN UNION,

 

Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European 



Union, and in particular Article 67(4) and points (a), (c) and (e) 

of Article 81(2) thereof, 

Having regard to the proposal from the European Commission, 

After transmission of the draft legislative act to the national 

parliaments, 

Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and 

Social Committee (

 1

 ), 



Acting in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure (

 2

 ), 



Whereas:

 

(1)



 On 

21 


April 

2009, 


the 

Commission 

adopted 

report 



on 

the application of Council Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 

of 22 December 2000 on jurisdiction and the recog­

nition and enforcement of judgments in civil and 

commercial matters (

 3

 ). The report concluded that, in 



general, the operation of that Regulation is satisfactory, 

but that it is desirable to improve the application of 

certain of its provisions, to further facilitate the free 

circulation of judgments and to further enhance access 

to justice. Since a number of amendments are to be 

made to that Regulation it should, in the interests of 

clarity, be recast.

 

(2)



 At 

its 


meeting 

in 


Brussels 

on 


10 

and 


11 

December 

2009, 

the European Council adopted a new multiannual 



programme entitled ‘The Stockholm Programme – an 

open and secure Europe serving and protecting 

citizens’ (

 4

 ). In the Stockholm Programme the European 



Council considered that the process of abolishing all 

intermediate measures (the exequatur) should be 

continued during the period covered by that Programme. 

At the same time the abolition of the exequatur should 

also be accompanied by a series of safeguards.

 

(3)



 The 

Union 


has 

set 


itself 

the 


objective 

of 


maintaining 

and 


developing an area of freedom, security and justice, inter 

alia, by facilitating access to justice, in particular through 

the principle of mutual recognition of judicial and extra- 

judicial decisions in civil matters. For the gradual estab­

lishment of such an area, the Union is to adopt measures 

relating to judicial cooperation in civil matters having 

cross-border implications, particularly when necessary 

for the proper functioning of the internal market.

 

(4)


 Certain 

differences 

between 

national 

rules 

governing 



jurisdiction and recognition of judgments hamper the 

sound operation of the internal market. Provisions to 

unify the rules of conflict of jurisdiction in civil and 

commercial matters, and to ensure rapid and simple 

recognition and enforcement of judgments given in a 

Member State, are essential.

 

(5)


 Such 

provisions 

fall 

within 


the 

area 


of 

judicial 

cooperation in civil matters within the meaning of 

Article 81 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the 

European Union (TFEU).

EN

 



20.12.2012 Official 

Journal 


of 

the 


European 

Union 


351/1


 

(

 1



 ) OJ C 218, 23.7.2011, p. 78. 

(

 2



 )  Position of the European Parliament of 20 November 2012 (not yet 

published in the Official Journal) and decision of the Council of 

6 December 2012. 

(

 3



 ) OJ L 12, 16.1.2001, p. 1. 

(

 4



 ) OJ C 115, 4.5.2010, p. 1.

(6)

 In 


order 

to 


attain 

the 


objective 

of 


free 

circulation 

of 

judgments in civil and commercial matters, it is 



necessary and appropriate that the rules governing juris­

diction and the recognition and enforcement of 

judgments be governed by a legal instrument of the 

Union which is binding and directly applicable.

 

(7)


 On 

27 


September 

1968, 


the 

then 


Member 

States 


of 

the 


European Communities, acting under Article 220, fourth 

indent, of the Treaty establishing the European Economic 

Community, concluded the Brussels Convention on Juris­

diction and the Enforcement of Judgments in Civil and 

Commercial Matters, subsequently amended by 

conventions on the accession to that Convention of 

new Member States (

 1

 ) (‘the 1968 Brussels Convention’). 



On 16 September 1988, the then Member States of the 

European Communities and certain EFTA States 

concluded the Lugano Convention on Jurisdiction and 

the Enforcement of Judgments in Civil and Commercial 

Matters (

 2

 ) (‘the 1988 Lugano Convention’), which is a 



parallel convention to the 1968 Brussels Convention. 

The 1988 Lugano Convention became applicable to 

Poland on 1 February 2000.

 

(8)



 On 

22 


December 

2000, 


the 

Council 


adopted 

Regulation 

(EC) No 44/2001, which replaces the 1968 Brussels 

Convention with regard to the territories of the 

Member States covered by the TFEU, as between the 

Member States except Denmark. By Council Decision 

2006/325/EC (

 3

 ), the Community concluded an 



agreement with Denmark ensuring the application of 

the provisions of Regulation (EC) No 

44/2001 in 

Denmark. The 1988 Lugano Convention was revised 

by the Convention on Jurisdiction and the Recognition 

and Enforcement of Judgments in Civil and Commercial 

Matters (

 4

 ), signed at Lugano on 30 October 2007 by the 



Community, Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland 

(‘the 2007 Lugano Convention’).

 

(9)


 

The 1968 Brussels Convention continues to apply to the 

territories of the Member States which fall within the 

territorial scope of that Convention and which are 

excluded from this Regulation pursuant to Article 355 

of the TFEU.

 

(10)


 The 

scope 


of 

this 


Regulation 

should 


cover 

all 


the 

main 


civil and commercial matters apart from certain well- 

defined matters, in particular maintenance obligations, 

which should be excluded from the scope of this Regu­

lation following the adoption of Council Regulation (EC) 

No 4/2009  of  18  December  2008  on  jurisdiction, 

applicable law, recognition and enforcement of 

decisions and cooperation in matters relating to main­

tenance obligations (

 5

 ).


 

(11)


 For 

the 


purposes 

of 


this 

Regulation, 

courts 

or 


tribunals 

of 


the Member States should include courts or tribunals 

common to several Member States, such as the Benelux 

Court of Justice when it exercises jurisdiction on matters 

falling within the scope of this Regulation. Therefore, 

judgments given by such courts should be recognised 

and enforced in accordance with this Regulation.

 

(12)


 This 

Regulation 

should 

not 


apply 

to 


arbitration. 

Nothing 


in this Regulation should prevent the courts of a Member 

State, when seised of an action in a matter in respect of 

which the parties have entered into an arbitration 

agreement, from referring the parties to arbitration, 

from staying or dismissing the proceedings, or from 

examining whether the arbitration agreement is null 

and void, inoperative or incapable of being performed, 

in accordance with their national law. 

A ruling given by a court of a Member State as to 

whether or not an arbitration agreement is null and 

void, inoperative or incapable of being performed 

should not be subject to the rules of recognition and 

enforcement laid down in this Regulation, regardless of 

whether the court decided on this as a principal issue or 

as an incidental question. 

On the other hand, where a court of a Member State, 

exercising jurisdiction under this Regulation or under 

national law, has determined that an arbitration 

agreement is null and void, inoperative or incapable of 

being performed, this should not preclude that court’s 

judgment on the substance of the matter from being 

recognised or, as the case may be, enforced in accordance 

with this Regulation. This should be without prejudice to 

the competence of the courts of the Member States to 

decide on the recognition and enforcement of arbitral 

awards in accordance with the Convention on the Recog­

nition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, done 

at New York on 10 June 1958 (‘the 1958 New York 

Convention’), which takes precedence over this Regu­

lation. 


This Regulation should not apply to any action or 

ancillary proceedings relating to, in particular, the estab­

lishment of an arbitral tribunal, the powers of arbitrators, 

the conduct of an arbitration procedure or any other 

aspects of such a procedure, nor to any action or 

judgment concerning the annulment, review, appeal, 

recognition or enforcement of an arbitral award.

EN

 



L 351/2 

Official Journal of the European Union 

20.12.2012

 

(



 1

 ) OJ L 299, 31.12.1972, p. 32, OJ L 304, 30.10.1978, p. 1, OJ 

L 388, 31.12.1982, p. 1, OJ L 285, 3.10.1989, p. 1, OJ C 15, 

15.1.1997, p. 1. For a consolidated text, see OJ C 27, 26.1.1998, 

p. 1. 

(

 2



 ) OJ L 319, 25.11.1988, p. 9. 

(

 3



 ) OJ L 120, 5.5.2006, p. 22. 

(

 4



 ) OJ L 147, 10.6.2009, p. 5. 

(

 5



 ) OJ L 7, 10.1.2009, p. 1.

(13)

 There 


must 

be 


connection 

between 

proceedings 

to 

which this Regulation applies and the territory of the 



Member States. Accordingly, common rules of juris­

diction should, in principle, apply when the defendant 

is domiciled in a Member State.

 

(14)



 A 

defendant 

not 

domiciled 



in 

Member 



State 

should 


in 

general be subject to the national rules of jurisdiction 

applicable in the territory of the Member State of the 

court seised. 

However, in order to ensure the protection of consumers 

and employees, to safeguard the jurisdiction of the courts 

of the Member States in situations where they have 

exclusive jurisdiction and to respect the autonomy of 

the parties, certain rules of jurisdiction in this Regulation 

should apply regardless of the defendant’s domicile.

 

(15)


 The 

rules 


of 

jurisdiction 

should 

be 


highly 

predictable 

and 

founded on the principle that jurisdiction is generally 



based on the defendant’s domicile. Jurisdiction should 

always be available on this ground save in a few well- 

defined situations in which the subject-matter of the 

dispute or the autonomy of the parties warrants a 

different connecting factor. The domicile of a legal 

person must be defined autonomously so as to make 

the common rules more transparent and avoid conflicts 

of jurisdiction.

 

(16)


 In 

addition 

to 

the 


defendant’s 

domicile, 

there 

should 


be 

alternative grounds of jurisdiction based on a close 

connection between the court and the action or in 

order to facilitate the sound administration of justice. 

The existence of a close connection should ensure legal 

certainty and avoid the possibility of the defendant being 

sued in a court of a Member State which he could not 

reasonably have foreseen. This is important, particularly 

in disputes concerning non-contractual obligations 

arising out of violations of privacy and rights relating 

to personality, including defamation.

 

(17)



 The 

owner 


of 

cultural 



object 

as 


defined 

in 


Article 

1(1) 


of Council Directive 93/7/EEC of 15 March 1993 on the 

return of cultural objects unlawfully removed from the 

territory of a Member State (

 1

 ) should be able under this 



Regulation to initiate proceedings as regards a civil claim 

for the recovery, based on ownership, of such a cultural 

object in the courts for the place where the cultural 

object is situated at the time the court is seised. Such 

proceedings should be without prejudice to proceedings 

initiated under Directive 93/7/EEC.

 

(18)


  In relation to insurance, consumer and employment 

contracts, the weaker party should be protected by 

rules of jurisdiction more favourable to his interests 

than the general rules.

 

(19)


 The 

autonomy 

of 

the 


parties 

to 


contract, 

other 

than 


an 

insurance, consumer or employment contract, where 

only limited autonomy to determine the courts having 

jurisdiction is allowed, should be respected subject to the 

exclusive grounds of jurisdiction laid down in this Regu­

lation.


 

(20)


 Where 

question 



arises 

as 


to 

whether 


choice-of-court 

agreement in favour of a court or the courts of a 

Member State is null and void as to its substantive 

validity, that question should be decided in accordance 

with the law of the Member State of the court or courts 

designated in the agreement, including the conflict-of- 

laws rules of that Member State.

 

(21)


  In the interests of the harmonious administration of 

justice it is necessary to minimise the possibility of 

concurrent proceedings and to ensure that irreconcilable 

judgments will not be given in different Member States. 

There should be a clear and effective mechanism for 

resolving cases of lis pendens and related actions, and 

for obviating problems flowing from national differences 

as to the determination of the time when a case is 

regarded as pending. For the purposes of this Regulation, 

that time should be defined autonomously.

 

(22)


 However, in order to enhance the effectiveness of 

exclusive choice-of-court agreements and to avoid 

abusive litigation tactics, it is necessary to provide for 

an exception to the general lis pendens rule in order to 

deal satisfactorily with a particular situation in which 

concurrent proceedings may arise. This is the situation 

where a court not designated in an exclusive choice-of- 

court agreement has been seised of proceedings and the 

designated court is seised subsequently of proceedings 

involving the same cause of action and between the 

same parties. In such a case, the court first seised 

should be required to stay its proceedings as soon as 

the designated court has been seised and until such 

time as the latter court declares that it has no jurisdiction 

under the exclusive choice-of-court agreement. This is to 

ensure that, in such a situation, the designated court has 

priority to decide on the validity of the agreement and 

on the extent to which the agreement applies to the 

dispute pending before it. The designated court should 

be able to proceed irrespective of whether the non- 

designated court has already decided on the stay of 

proceedings.

EN

 

20.12.2012 Official 



Journal 

of 


the 

European 

Union 



351/3



 

(

 1



 ) OJ L 74, 27.3.1993, p. 74.

This exception should not cover situations where the 

parties have entered into conflicting exclusive choice-of- 

court agreements or where a court designated in an 

exclusive choice-of-court agreement has been seised 

first. In such cases, the general lis pendens rule of this 

Regulation should apply.

 

(23)


 This 

Regulation 

should 

provide 


for 

flexible 



mechanism 

allowing the courts of the Member States to take into 

account proceedings pending before the courts of third 

States, considering in particular whether a judgment of a 

third State will be capable of recognition and 

enforcement in the Member State concerned under the 

law of that Member State and the proper administration 

of justice.

 

(24)


 When 

taking 


into 

account 


the 

proper 


administration 

of 


justice, the court of the Member State concerned should 

assess all the circumstances of the case before it. Such 

circumstances may include connections between the facts 

of the case and the parties and the third State concerned, 

the stage to which the proceedings in the third State have 

progressed by the time proceedings are initiated in the 

court of the Member State and whether or not the court 

of the third State can be expected to give a judgment 

within a reasonable time. 

That assessment may also include consideration of the 

question whether the court of the third State has 

exclusive jurisdiction in the particular case in circum­

stances where a court of a Member State would have 

exclusive jurisdiction.

 

(25)


 The 

notion 


of 

provisional, 

including 

protective, 

measures 

should include, for example, protective orders aimed at 

obtaining information or preserving evidence as referred 

to in Articles 6 and 7 of Directive 2004/48/EC of the 

European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 

2004 on the enforcement of intellectual property 

rights (

 1

 ). It should not include measures which are not 



of a protective nature, such as measures ordering the 

hearing of a witness. This should be without prejudice 

to the application of Council Regulation (EC) 

No 1206/2001  of  28  May  2001  on  cooperation 

between the courts of the Member States in the taking 

of evidence in civil or commercial matters (

 2

 ).


 

(26)


  Mutual trust in the administration of justice in the Union 

justifies the principle that judgments given in a Member 

State should be recognised in all Member States without 

the need for any special procedure. In addition, the aim 

of making cross-border litigation less time-consuming 

and costly justifies the abolition of the declaration of 

enforceability prior to enforcement in the Member 

State addressed. As a result, a judgment given by the 

courts of a Member State should be treated as if it had 

been given in the Member State addressed.

 

(27)


  For the purposes of the free circulation of judgments, a 

judgment given in a Member State should be recognised 

and enforced in another Member State even if it is given 

against a person not domiciled in a Member State.

 

(28)


 Where 

judgment 



contains 

measure 



or 

order 


which 

is 


not known in the law of the Member State addressed, 

that measure or order, including any right indicated 

therein, should, to the extent possible, be adapted to 

one which, under the law of that Member State, has 

equivalent effects attached to it and pursues similar 

aims. How, and by whom, the adaptation is to be 

carried out should be determined by each Member State.

 

(29)



 The 

direct 


enforcement 

in 


the 

Member 


State 

addressed 

of 

a judgment given in another Member State without a 



declaration of enforceability should not jeopardise 

respect for the rights of the defence. Therefore, the 

person against whom enforcement is sought should be 

able to apply for refusal of the recognition or 

enforcement of a judgment if he considers one of the 

grounds for refusal of recognition to be present. This 

should include the ground that he had not had the 

opportunity to arrange for his defence where the 

judgment was given in default of appearance in a civil 

action linked to criminal proceedings. It should also 

include the grounds which could be invoked on the 

basis of an agreement between the Member State 

addressed and a third State concluded pursuant to 

Article 59 of the 1968 Brussels Convention.

 

(30)


 A 

party 


challenging 

the 


enforcement 

of 


judgment 

given 

in another Member State should, to the extent possible 



and in accordance with the legal system of the Member 

State addressed, be able to invoke, in the same procedure, 

in addition to the grounds for refusal provided for in this 

Regulation, the grounds for refusal available under 

national law and within the time-limits laid down in 

that law. 

The recognition of a judgment should, however, be 

refused only if one or more of the grounds for refusal 

provided for in this Regulation are present.

EN

 



L 351/4 

Official Journal of the European Union 

20.12.2012

 

(



 1

 ) OJ L 157, 30.4.2004, p. 45. 

(

 2

 ) OJ L 174, 27.6.2001, p. 1.



(31)

  Pending a challenge to the enforcement of a judgment, it 

should be possible for the courts in the Member State 

addressed, during the entire proceedings relating to such 

a challenge, including any appeal, to allow the 

enforcement to proceed subject to a limitation of the 

enforcement or to the provision of security.

 

(32)



 In 

order 


to 

inform 


the 

person 


against 

whom 


enforcement 

is sought of the enforcement of a judgment given in 

another Member State, the certificate established under 

this Regulation, if necessary accompanied by the 

judgment, should be served on that person in reasonable 

time before the first enforcement measure. In this 

context, the first enforcement measure should mean the 

first enforcement measure after such service.

 

(33)


 Where 

provisional, 

including 

protective, 

measures 

are 


ordered by a court having jurisdiction as to the 

substance of the matter, their free circulation should be 

ensured under this Regulation. However, provisional, 

including protective, measures which were ordered by 

such a court without the defendant being summoned 

to appear should not be recognised and enforced under 

this Regulation unless the judgment containing the 

measure is served on the defendant prior to enforcement. 

This should not preclude the recognition and 

enforcement of such measures under national law. 

Where provisional, including protective, measures are 

ordered by a court of a Member State not having juris­

diction as to the substance of the matter, the effect of 

such measures should be confined, under this Regulation, 

to the territory of that Member State.

 

(34)



 Continuity 

between 


the 

1968 


Brussels 

Convention, 

Regu­

lation (EC) No 44/2001 and this Regulation should be 



ensured, and transitional provisions should be laid down 

to that end. The same need for continuity applies as 

regards the interpretation by the Court of Justice of the 

European Union of the 1968 Brussels Convention and of 

the Regulations replacing it.

 

(35)



 Respect 

for 


international 

commitments 

entered 

into 


by 

the Member States means that this Regulation should not 

affect conventions relating to specific matters to which 

the Member States are parties.

 

(36)


 Without 

prejudice 

to 

the 


obligations 

of 


the 

Member 


States under the Treaties, this Regulation should not 

affect the application of bilateral conventions and 

agreements between a third State and a Member State 

concluded before the date of entry into force of Regu­

lation (EC) No 44/2001 which concern matters governed 

by this Regulation.

 

(37)


 In 

order 


to 

ensure 


that 

the 


certificates 

to 


be 

used 


in 

connection with the recognition or enforcement of judg­

ments, authentic instruments and court settlements under 

this Regulation are kept up-to-date, the power to adopt 

acts in accordance with Article 290 of the TFEU should 

be delegated to the Commission in respect of 

amendments to Annexes I and II to this Regulation. It 

is of particular importance that the Commission carry 

out appropriate consultations during its preparatory 

work, including at expert level. The Commission, when 

preparing and drawing up delegated acts, should ensure a 

simultaneous, timely and appropriate transmission of 

relevant documents to the European Parliament and to 

the Council.

 

(38)


 This 

Regulation 

respects 

fundamental 

rights 

and 


observes 

the principles recognised in the Charter of Fundamental 

Rights of the European Union, in particular the right to 

an effective remedy and to a fair trial guaranteed in 

Article 47 of the Charter.

 

(39)



 Since 

the 


objective 

of 


this 

Regulation 

cannot 

be 


suffi­

ciently achieved by the Member States and can be 

better achieved at Union level, the Union may adopt 

measures in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity 

as set out in Article 5 of the Treaty on European Union 

(TEU). In accordance with the principle of propor­

tionality, as set out in that Article, this Regulation does 

not go beyond what is necessary in order to achieve that 

objective.

 

(40)



 The 

United 


Kingdom 

and 


Ireland, 

in 


accordance 

with 


Article 3 of the Protocol on the position of the United 

Kingdom and Ireland, annexed to the TEU and to the 

then Treaty establishing the European Community, took 

part in the adoption and application of Regulation (EC) 

No 44/2001.  In  accordance  with  Article  3  of  Protocol 

No 21  on  the  position  of  the  United  Kingdom  and 

Ireland in respect of the area of freedom, security and 

justice, annexed to the TEU and to the TFEU, the United 

Kingdom and Ireland have notified their wish to take part 

in the adoption and application of this Regulation.

 

(41)


  In accordance with Articles 1 and 2 of Protocol No 22 

on the position of Denmark annexed to the TEU and to 

the TFEU, Denmark is not taking part in the adoption of 

this Regulation and is not bound by it or subject to its 

application, without prejudice to the possibility for 

Denmark of applying the amendments to Regulation 

(EC) No 

44/2001 pursuant to Article 3 of the 

Agreement of 19 October 2005 between the European 

Community and the Kingdom of Denmark on juris­

diction and the recognition and enforcement of 

judgments in civil and commercial matters (

 1

 ),


EN

 

20.12.2012 Official 



Journal 

of 


the 

European 

Union 



351/5



 

(

 1



 ) OJ L 299, 16.11.2005, p. 62.

HAVE ADOPTED THIS REGULATION: 

CHAPTER I 



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