EU Private International Law
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EU Private International Law

Harmonization of Laws

Peter Stone

This book focuses on harmonization of conflict laws at the European Community level, which has been driven by the introduction of a series of conventions and regulations. It offers critical assessment of these advances across four main areas of concern: civil jurisdiction and judgments; the law applicable to civil obligations; family law; and insolvency.
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Chapter 4: Alternative Jurisdiction

Peter Stone


INTRODUCTION In Chapter II of the Brussels I Regulation, Section 2 (Articles 5–7)1 specifies a variety of cases in which, by way of derogation from Article 3, a defendant who is domiciled in one Member State may be sued in another Member State. In such cases the Regulation gives the plaintiff a choice of suing in the State of the defendant’s domicile in accordance with Article 2, or in a court of another Member State in accordance with Articles 5–7. The choice is given to the plaintiff, and it is not open to any of the courts involved to override the plaintiff’s choice on such grounds as the relative appropriateness or convenience of such courts.2 In contrast with Article 2, which confers jurisdiction on the courts in general of the Member State in which the defendant is domiciled, and leaves to the law of the State in question the allocation of jurisdiction between its courts, Articles 5–7 usually confer jurisdiction on a particular court of another Member State. The bases of jurisdiction used by Article 5 involve a connection between the cause of action and the territory of the court on which jurisdiction is conferred. As the European Court has frequently emphasized, this freedom of choice was introduced in view of the existence in certain well-defined cases of a particularly close relationship between a dispute and the court which may be most conveniently called upon to take cognizance of the matter.3 Thus, for example, Articles 5...

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