Letters Blogatory contributor Pietro Franzina has noted the recent decision of the EU justice ministers approving the Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements. According to the EU press release, there are a few steps left to take, but it seems that eventually the European Parliament will approve the COCA and it will then enter into force for Europe.

Where does this leave the United States? The last I heard, folks were still arguing about the relative merits of the various proposals for implementing the Convention in US law, which turn on differing views about American federalism that will seem entirely Byzantine to even the most sympathetic foreign observer. The Senate has adjourned until after the mid-term election, and if the polls are accurate and the Republicans will control the Senate beginning in January, then prospects for ratification seem pretty dim. You could say that COCA is a business-friendly commonsense measure that Republicans as well as Democrats should support, but the Republican Party has not been in a treaty-ratifying mood for a long time, so I am not optimistic about the treaty’s prospects in the short- or medium-term.