The Hague conference’s “Judgments Project” 2.0—how will it work in relation to e-commerce?
Date of this Version
The Hague Conference on Private International Law (Hague Conference) has been working to harmonise and improve the application of the rules of private international law for more than 100 years. Some of the recent successes include the Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements (the Convention), concluded on 30 June 2005, and the Hague Principles on Choice of Law in International Commercial Contracts, approved on 19 March 2015. In 1992, work on a new and ambitious convention was initiated at the Hague Conference. However, due to a range of factors, not least its wide scope, the great ambitions of the Judgments Project (as it was referred to) proved impossible at the time. When the work on the Judgments Project was first initiated, little regard was given for the special needs created by the internet. However, it soon became apparent that the internet raised several complex issues that made the finalising of the Judgments Project more difficult. At the same time, the widespread use of the internet amplified the importance and necessity of international instruments like the previously proposed Convention. In recognition of the importance of the project, the Hague Conference has now resumed work on the Judgments Project. A report issued by the Council on General Affairs and Policy of the Conference in April 2011 breathed new life into the project.1 This marked the start of renewed efforts driving the Judgments Project forward. The outcome of this work is found in the report of the fifth meeting of the working group on the Judgments Project (26–31 October 2015) with a pro- posed draft text resulting from the meeting.2 The Convention is a significant initiative with the potential to provide real benefits. The structure and approach adopted, as well as of the goals pursued are generally sound. However, as can be expected, some additional work is needed. In this brief article, I will analyse some of the key features of the proposed draft text with particular emphasis on how the text will work in the context of the internet and e-commerce.