The Brussels Regulation is probably the most significant legal instrument for jurisdiction and enforcement in civil and commercial matters for English (and indeed European) lawyers. So its revision (or Recast) after more than 10 years in force is a matter of note.
All member state courts now apply the Recast Regulation to civil and commercial proceedings issued on or after 10 January 2015, subject to certain excluded matters. Dickinson and Lein’s new book on the provisions of the Recast Regulation is therefore very timely, and looks set to become a key source of reference for all lawyers practising in private international law.
Dickinson and Lein have approached their review of the Recast in a methodical manner. They take each provision in turn and provide not just an explanation as to its meaning but also a guide to its application. They also contrast the provision in question with its predecessor (where there is one). This comprehensive approach is helpful, allowing the reader to identify easily relevant commentary (with pleasingly extensive footnotes) on particular provisions.
Dickinson and Lein also consider topical issues of importance to commercial practitioners across Europe. For example, the authors weigh in to the ongoing debate about the validity (or otherwise) of hybrid (asymmetrical) jurisdiction clauses as a matter of EU law, following the controversial 2012 French Supreme Court decision Rothschild v Mme X.
Authors: Andrew Dickinson, Eva Lein
Publisher: OUP (£155)
The authors do not shy away from criticism of the final Recast text. In particular, they provide a detailed (and persuasive) critique of the new international lis pendens rules at articles 33 and 34, provisions about which the authors declare they have ‘serious concerns’. The authors also helpfully set out the backdrop to the introduction of those new provisions and analyse whether or not those new rules satisfactorily address the problematic consequences of the decision by the Court of Justice of the European Union in Owusu v Jackson.
In an era where it is increasingly common for lawyers appearing before member state courts to refer to authorities on common EU instruments from other member state courts, this new textbook is likely to prove a valuable resource for practitioners (and judges) across Europe.
Moreover, Dickinson and Lein usefully present the Recast in English, German and French, as well as background parliamentary papers, earlier European Commission proposals and a list of conventions referred to in article 76. Overall, the impression is of a thorough and genuinely European survey.
This text deserves to be an essential addition to the bookshelves of practitioners across Europe.
Sarah Garvey is PSL counsel and head of litigation knowhow and training at Allen & Overy