Universiteit Leiden

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Publication of EU JudgeCo Principles

TRI Leiden has been strongly involved, together with Nottingham Law School, in the development of the EU Cross-Border Insolvency Court-to-Court Cooperation Principles (‘EU JudgeCo Principles’). They were finalised in February 2015 and recently a book has been published. During a business rescue conference in Vienna, Professor Bob Wessels (left) presented the book to Michael Shotter, Head of the Civil Justice Policy Unit, DG Justice and Consumers of the European Commission.

Furthering Cross-Border Judicial Cooperation

The EU JudgeCo Principles include principles on their non-binding status and their objectives, case management of courts and the equal treatment of creditors and principles about the judicial decisions itself, on its reasoning and for instance on providing a stay or moratorium. Several principles relate to the course of the proceedings, such as notifications and authentication of documents, and principles on the outcome of judicial cooperation, for instance cross-border sales, assistance to a reorganisation or rules for binding creditors to an international reorganisation plan. The 26 EU JudgeCo Principles are accompanied by 18 EU Cross-Border Insolvency Court-to-Court Communications Guidelines (‘EU JudgeCo Guidelines’), a set of very practical guidelines to facilitate communications in individual cross-border cases.

Developing the EU JudgeCo Principles and Guidelines

The EU JudgeCo Principles and Guidelines will strengthen efficient and effective communication between courts in EU Member States in insolvency cases with cross-border effects. They have been produced by a team of scholars of Leiden Law School and Nottingham Law School in a period of two years (2013-2014) in collaboration with some fifty experts, including 25 judges representing just as many different countries. The EU JudgeCo Principles try to overcome present obstacles for courts in EU Member States such as formalistic and detailed national procedural law, concerns about a judge’s impartiality, uneasiness with the use of certain legal concepts and terms, and, evidently language. The texts further build on existing experience and tested resources, especially in cross border cases in North America, but are structurally set into an EU insolvency law context.

The project was funded by the European Union and the International Insolvency Institute (III) (www.iiiglobal.org). The draft texts have been tested on their suitability in practice by the group of experts mentioned as well as during training and discussion sessions with over 100 judges during the last quarter of 2014, with positive results. Evidently, the proof will be in the concrete use in practice of the EU JudgeCo Principles. In the near future within the European Union (with the recast of the Insolvency Regulation) judicial cooperation and communication will be a cornerstone in the efficient and effective administration of insolvency cases. Insolvency judges understand the challenges international business is bringing to them and I am confident that the principles will significantly contribute to the architecture of European insolvency law and an efficient and trustworthy role of courts therein. The EU JudgeCo Principles and Guidelines certainly can serve as a significant guide.

Order a copy

The book has been published by Eleven International Publishing in The Hague. See flyer on the EU Cross-Border Insolvency Court-to-Court Cooperation Principles or visit their website.

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