Chapter 6: Exclusive jurisdiction
6. Exclusive jurisdiction OVERRIDING CHARACTER 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 22 are overriding in character. They apply regardless of domicile,1 appearance,2 or contrary agreement between the parties to the dispute.3 A court seised contrary to Article 22 must decline jurisdiction of its own motion,4 and a judgment given in contravention of Article 22 must be refused recognition and enforcement in the other Member States.5 Thus, as was recognised by David Donaldson QC in Choudhary v Bhattar,6 the courts of the Member State on which Article 22 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, as the European Court explained in Apostolides v Orams,7 Article 22 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. Although the point is not yet definitively settled, it is thought that Article 22 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.8 Article 22 of the Brussels I Regulation9 provides: See Article 22 itself. See Article 24. See Article 23(5). See...
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