New Draft Explanatory Report on the Judgments Convention

The HCCH has released a revised draft explanatory report on the Judgments Convention, prepared by Prof. Francisco Garcimartín and Prof. Geneviève Saumier. In the current political climate, it is very difficult to imagine the President, who likes to tear up treaties with abandon, signing let alone ratifying the new Convention when it is promulgated.

And given the trouble the United States has had in obtaining the Senate’s consent to ratification of the less-ambitious Choice of Court Agreements Convention, it is difficult to see why the Judgments Convention would have a better fate.1 But we should remind ourselves that the Judgments Convention is clearly in the national interest. Especially in a time of perceived US decline on the world stage, it is more important than ever to try to bind other major states to a system of law on international judicial assistance that obligates the US to do little or nothing more than what it does already. Right now, when it comes to judgment recognition, just as when it comes to the taking of evidence, we are just giving it away: why not get something in return?

  1. I will, however, mention some scuttlebutt I heard about the possibility of a package deal. Recall that the main opposition to COCA comes from the Uniform Law Commission, which wants COCA to be implemented by state law rather than federal law. Perhaps there is some deal to be reached in which COCA will be implemented in federal law, with a statute analogous to the FAA, while the Judgments Convention would be implemented in state law, thus maintaining the historic primacy of state law on questions of judgment recognition?

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