The Ministry of Justice has published the UK government's response to the consultation on joining the Hague Convention of 2 July 2019 on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Civil or Commercial Matters, concluding that it is the right time for the UK to join the convention.

As its name suggests, the convention provides a framework for the recognition and enforcement of judgments and requires contracting states to recognise and enforce judgments in civil or commercial matters given in other contracting states.

The convention was billed by the Hague Conference on Private International Law as 'a true gamechanger in international dispute resolution'. With the European Union's accession to and the United States' signing of the convention last year, it appears to be living up to this billing.

After the disappointment with the EU's lack of support for the UK joining the Lugano Convention following Brexit, this is an extremely welcome positive step towards providing some legal certainty to those engaging in cross-border litigation with the EU – and beyond.

The UK government intends to sign the convention as soon as possible. The implementing legislation must then be in place for ratification to take place. The convention will come into force 12 months after ratification.

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