USCIB Letter to Hague Delegates Regarding the Draft Convention on
Jurisdiction and the Enforcement of Foreign Judgments
February 26, 2001
Dear Hague Delegates,
The purpose of this letter is to convey to you the views of the members of the United States Council for International Business (USCIB) concerning the continued negotiations on the Draft Convention on Jurisdiction and the Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Commercial and Civil Matters. The USCIB has been actively engaged in coordinating the views of U.S. business on the Draft Convention and sharing those views with the U.S. Government and all delegates. We regret that we are unable to send a representative to this latest meeting of the Experts Group, but hope that the views expressed here will prove useful as you conduct your deliberations.
USCIB wishes to encourage delegates to consider a significant streamlining of the scope of the white-listed jurisdictional provisions of the Draft Convention. We believe that the focus of the Convention should be on business-to-business activities, for the following reasons:
· Many of the white-listed jurisdictional provisions outside of the business-to-business context present very complex issues, on which stakeholders have not arrived at a consensus;
· It is imperative that the resolution of these issues is achieved through a consensus process of all the stakeholders; and
· Given the current timeframe for finalizing the Convention, such a consensus-based resolution will be extremely difficult, if not impossible.
After reviewing thoroughly the jurisdictional provisions in the Draft Convention, our members strongly believe that consensus on the white-listed jurisdictional provisions is most likely only possible for business-to-business contractual activities. Therefore, we encourage delegates to limit the scope of the white-listed provisions in the convention to these activities. This view in no way suggests that USCIB members do not recognize the need to continue to discuss the additional jurisdictional issues so as to provide a consensus-based jurisdictional framework for legitimate disputes.
Finally, we feel it is important to reiterate our concerns with Article 37 of the Draft Convention which provides for carve-outs for regional arrangements.
We look forward to continuing to work with you and all stakeholders to achieve a result on the Draft Convention that is acceptable to all. We wish you every success in this important meeting.
Thomas M.T. Niles