The European Union having recently approved the Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements, that Convention will go into effect in the European Union (except Denmark) and in Mexico on October 1, 2015.
The convention facilitates international business by giving weight to choice of court clauses, also known as forum selection clauses, in the dispute resolution provisions in international contracts. Among other things, the Convention compels courts to respect such clauses, e.g. to accept jurisdiction over a dispute where mandated by such clause, and to not exercise jurisdiction if parties to a contract have agreed not to litigate in that court. For details of the Convention, see my April 27, 2015 post, “Some Progress for the Hague Choice of Court Convention”, or the Hague Conference on Private International Law website, www.hcch.net.
The Convention applies presently in only the European Union and Mexico, the only two states to have ratified it. There are just two other signatories: the United States and Singapore; there is no indication as to when they might ratify it. It is unfortunate that Canada has not even signed, let alone ratified, the Convention. There is much to be done before the full potential of this convention can be realized. Choice of Court Convention to go into Effect October 1, 2015