ICC urges governments to ratify Hague Choice of Court Convention

  • 18 October 2007

Today the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) began sending letters to the Ministers of Justice around the world urging countries to join the Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements. The Convention was adopted by consensus by the Twentieth Diplomatic Session of the Hague Conference on Private International Law on 30 June 2005 but is not yet in effect.

The Convention is designed to reduce the time and expense courts and businesses face when dealing with international jurisdictional issues and enforcement of foreign court decisions. The Convention requires courts to respect agreements regarding choice of courts made in business-to-business contracts.

Following the publication of the Explanatory Report on the Convention earlier this year, Mexico became the first State Party to the Convention on 26 September 2007 when it deposited its instrument of accession. One more ratification or accession will suffice to bring the Convention into force.

“The Convention should go a long way to reduce the workload of courts and the expense to businesses of long court battles over essentially procedural points,” said ICC Secretary General Guy Sebban. “That is why ICC has long been an active supporter of the Convention and is today calling on governments to act promptly to ratify the Convention.”