Source: All England Reporter
Publisher Citation: [2003] All ER (D) 191 (May)
Court: Court of Justice of the European Communities (Fifth Chamber)

Judges Wathelet (President of Chamber), Edward, La Pergola, Jann (Rapporteur) and Rosas

Judgment Dates: 15 May 2003


Conflict of laws - Jurisdiction - Brussels Convention - Extent of application of convention - Meaning of 'civil and commercial matters' and 'customs matters' - Convention on Jurisdiction and Enforcement of Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters, art 1.

The Case

'Civil and commercial matters', within art1 of the Convention on Jurisdiction and the Enforcement of Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters (the Brussels convention) covered a claim by which a contracting state sought to enforce against a person governed by private law a private law guarantee contract which was concluded in order to enable a third person to supply a guarantee required and defined by that state, in so far as the legal relationship between the creditor and the guarantor, under the guarantee contract, did not entail the exercise by the state of powers going beyond those existing under the rules applicable to relations between private individuals. The exception within art1, disapplying the convention in 'customs matters', did not apply to such a claim where the guarantor might raise pleas in defence relating to whether the debt was owed, based on matters excluded from the scope of the convention (namely 'customs matters'), since that defence had no bearing on whether the action itself was included in the scope of the convention.

Practice Areas

If you are a LexisLibrary subscriber you can read more about this case here.