- Elgar European Law series
Chapter 6: Exclusive jurisdiction
Article 24 (ex Article 22) of the Brussels I Regulation provides for exclusive jurisdiction over certain proceedings by reason of their principal subject-matter. The rules laid down by Article 24 are overriding in character. They apply regardless of domicile, appearance or contrary agreement between the parties to the dispute. A court seised contrary to Article 24 must decline jurisdiction of its own motion, and a judgment given in contravention of Article 24 must be refused recognition and enforcement in the other Member States. Thus the courts of the Member State on which Article 24 confers exclusive jurisdiction are obliged to hear and determine the claim, and cannot decline jurisdiction in favour of a court of a non-member country. But Article 24 merely designates the Member State whose courts have exclusive international jurisdiction by virtue of subject-matter, and leaves the internal allocation of such jurisdiction between the courts of the designated Member State to the law of that State. It is now clear that Article 24 has a reflexive effect, in the sense that it impliedly permits a Member State to apply its provisions analogistically in favour of a non-member country with which a corresponding connection exists.
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