In a promising development for those looking to enforce court judgments internationally, on 2 March 2022 the USA became the sixth signatory to the HCCH 2019 Judgments Convention. The Hague Judgments Convention aims to provide a unified framework to simplify the process of enforcing court judgments between contracting states. The Convention’s proposals are wide reaching and could dramatically reduce the costs and time needed to enforce overseas.
The main uncertainty around the Judgments Convention to date is whether it will be embraced by the international community and brought into force in enough jurisdictions to make an appreciable difference. Until this latest announcement, Costa Rica, Israel, Russia, Ukraine and Uruguay had signed up the Judgments Convention. The addition of the USA to that list may galvanise support for the Convention and lead to numerous other signatories (the Hague’s Choice of Court Convention for example has 37 contracting states).
The USA’s signature comes relatively quickly after the EU Council’s decision of 16 July 2021 to accede to the Convention as well. Although that formal process has not yet concluded (and the EU is therefore not yet a contracting state under the Convention), the combined effect of these decisions is that the Hague Judgments Convention looks set to become a very important part of international enforcement in the near future.
For more information on this article, please contact Charlie Temperley.