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. (more…)

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The Judgments Convention: In America’s Interest

President Obama gave a speech last week at the Air Force Academy that reminded listeners of the importance of treaties in the national interest. In addition to remarks about well-known treaties in areas like defense and the law of the sea, he had this to say about lesser-known treaties that help facilitate everyday life and commerce:

We don’t always realize it, but treaties help make a lot of things in our lives possible that we take for granted—from international phone calls to mail. Those are good things. Those are not a threat to our sovereignty. I think we can all agree on that.

He also noted the importance of treaties to the national interest of a great power like the United States in which some like to think we can simply have our way by fiat, in perpetuity:

And we lead not by dictating to other nations, but by working with them as partners; by treating other countries and their peoples with respect, not by lecturing them. This isn’t just the right thing to do; it’s in our self-interest. It makes countries more likely to work with us, and, ultimately, it makes us more secure. So we need smart, steady, principled American leadership.

Great words for the beginning of the meeting of the Special Commission on the Judgments Project, which began this month in The Hague.
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The Judgments Convention Takes A Big Step

It seems crazy to talk about the Judgments Convention when the prospects for the Choice of Court Agreements Convention, which should be an easier lift, seem so grim. But the Hague Conference has recently taken big steps towards a Judgments Convention with the publication of a proposed draft text, with an explanatory note. A Special Commission will be meeting in the Hague from June 1 to 9.
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A New Draft Of The Judgments Convention: Is It Good For America?

The Hague Conference has published a provisional edition of the Report on the Fourth Meeting of the Working Group on the Judgments Project, with a preliminary draft text. Bloggers including Claudia Madrid Martínez at Cartas Blogatorias and Pietro Franzina at Aldricus have already noted the new document. I know many American lawyers are skittish about the possibility of a Judgments Convention, and so I want to discuss the new draft text with the following question in mind: would a Judgments Convention be good for America?
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