Will Australia accede to the Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements

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Choice of court agreements are a standard and important component of modern contracts. Recent events suggest that Australian principles of private international law in respect of choice of court agreements are about to change. In November 2016, Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Treaties recommended accession to the Convention on Choice of Court Agreements through an ‘International Civil Law Act’. The Convention applies in international cases to exclusive choice of court agreements concluded in civil or commercial matters. It contains three basic rules, each subject to exclusions and exceptions. First, where a court is designated in an exclusive choice of court agreement, that court is essentially obliged to exercise jurisdiction. Second, if a court is faced with an exclusive choice of court agreement in favour of another court, the court is obliged to decline to exercise its jurisdiction. Third, judgments made in proceedings giving effect to exclusive choice of court agreements must be recognised and enforced. This note briefly considers whether Australia will accede to the Convention and how accession could impact how Australian
courts address exclusive choice of court agreements.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)148-152
JournalMacquarie Law Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


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