Dispute Resolution | Norway and the United Kingdom concludes agreement for the recognition and enforcement of rulings in civil cases

On 13 October 2020, the Norwegian government announced that Norway and the United Kingdom has concluded an agreement for the recognition and enforcement of rulings in civil cases. The agreement will become effective in the event the United Kingdom does not become an independent party to the Lugano Convention within 31 December 2020.

Recognition and enforcement of rulings in civil cases

The jurisdiction, the recognition and enforcement of rulings in civil cases between most European countries is governed by the Lugano Convention. The Lugano Convention therefore provides legal unity in transnational disputes covered by the convention. Parties to the Lugano Convention are the EU, Denmark and the EFTA-states Norway, Iceland and Switzerland.

Following the United Kingdoms’ exit from the European Union, one of the looming questions has been their continued membership to the Lugano Convention after the interim period which is scheduled to end by 31 December 2020. Although this general question remains unsettled; Norway and the United Kingdom has reached an agreement which mitigates some of the issues that will occur if the United Kingdom does not become an independent party to the Lugano Convention.

To this end, Norway and the United Kingdom has agreed that if the United Kingdom has not been affiliated to the Lugano Convention by 31 December 2020, a bilateral agreement between Norway and the United Kingdom from 1961 will again take effect. This agreement was in large parts replaced by the Lugano Convention with minor adjustments. The agreement will now, perhaps, become applicable between the two jurisdictions.

Our remarks

The BAHR dispute resolution team welcomes the agreement entered into between Norway and the United Kingdom. The agreement ensures that rulings by Norwegian courts against persons or companies in the United Kingdom, and vice versa, can be enforced effectively. The agreement, however, only addresses fractions of the topics regulated in the Lugano Convention, leaving many issues unresolved should the United Kingdom not become an independent party to the Lugano Convention.

Read the statement from the Norwegian government here and the find the agreement below.

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