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CHAPTER 1 General

Civil Jurisdiction and Judgments

Page 3



1.01 Civil jurisdiction and judgments in the age of Brexit and Covid

The United Kingdom amputated itself from, and legislated to cease to be a Member State of, the European Union on 31 January 2020. This did not mean that, at 11pm on that date, those rules of European law, rules of English law designed to operate because of European law, and decisions of courts interpreting those rules of law, ceased to be relevant to English lawyers. There are several reasons for this. First, a Withdrawal Agreement provided, in effect, that the law with which this book is concerned remained unchanged from the moment before Exit Day until the ‘completion’ of the ‘Implementation Period’, which primary legislation fixed as 11pm on 31 December 2020. Second, legal proceedings which were instituted before Completion Day were and remain governed by the rules of civil jurisdiction that were in force on the date of their institution. Third, the effect in the United Kingdom of judgments from the courts of other Member States as such, given in proceedings which were instituted before Completion Day, is to be governed by the judgment-recognition rules that applied in England on the date the foreign proceedings were instituted, even though the judgment in question may have been given years after that date.

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