Lugano Convention 2007

Scope of application

The Convention on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters (Lugano Convention; SR 0.275.12) was concluded in Lugano on 30 October 2007. The signatories are the Swiss Confederation, the European Community, the Kingdom of Denmark, the Kingdom of Norway and the Republic of Iceland. It is the successor to the Lugano Convention on jurisdiction and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters of 16 September 1988 (SR 0.275.11), which is why it is often referred to as the revised Lugano Convention. At the same time, it also serves as a parallel agreement to Council Regulation (EC) 44/2001 of 22 December 2000 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters (the Brussels I Regulation), which in turn will be replaced by Regulation (EU) 1212/2012 on 10 January 2015.

While the Lugano Convention 2007 entered into force for the European Union, Denmark and Norway on 1 January 2010, it has only applied to Switzerland since 1 January 2011. For Iceland, it entered into force on 1 May 2011.

For states that join the European Union after the conclusion of the Lugano Convention, the Convention applies automatically from their EU accession date.

Materials and case law

The official explanatory report on the Lugano Convention 2007 was produced by Professor Fausto Pocar.

Under Article 3 paragraph 3 of Protocol 2 to the Lugano Convention 2007, the European Commission is responsible for setting up a system for exchanging information on decisions taken in application of both Lugano Conventions of 1988 and 2007 (as well as the legal instruments named in Art. 64) (currently under development; previously the European Court of Justice was responsible).

Standing committee and meeting of experts

Under Article 4 of the Protocol No. 2 to the Lugano Convention 2007, there is a Standing Committee made up of representatives of the contracting parties that can be convened as required. Its tasks include consultation on the revision of the Convention and on amending the annexes (e.g. if the scope of application is extended to include new EU member states), and the adoption of new language versions.

At its first meeting on 3 May 2011, the Standing Committee stated that it would not require a protocol in relation to the law on maintenance for the time being, as its ordinary revision mechanisms could be used as required to resolve possible inconsistencies that have arisen since the LugC came into force (in the dispatch dated 18 February 2009 on the revised Lugano Convention, the Federal Council, in order to avoid certain inconsistencies (in particular in relation to agreements on jurisdiction and lis pendens) between the Regulation (EC) 4/2009 on maintenance obligations and the LugC, considered calling for an Additional Protocol on the relationship between these two instruments; BBl 2009 1777, 1797-1798).

At its second meeting (25 September 2013), the Standing Committee on the LugC discussed the possible modification of the revised Lugano Convention (LugC) to bring it line with the new version of the Brussels I Regulation (1215/2012). The Standing Committee made no recommendation on the possible amendment of the Lugano Convention and did not decide on any further steps. In addition, it was discussed whether an amendment of the Lugano Convention was necessary in connection with the planned introduction of the European patent with unitary effect and the Unified Patent Court. Here the Standing committee decided to wait for the results of further investigations into the necessity of an amendment, and to consider the question again if so required.

Article 5 of Protocol No. 2 to the Lugano Convention 2007 also provides for a "meeting of experts", to enable an exchange of views on the development of case law  (see the "Reports on national case law"). New legislation that might influence the application of the Convention may also be discussed in this forum. These expert meetings are held at irregular intervals, normally every one to two years.

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