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Brexit: justice for families, individuals and businesses?

On 20th March 2017 the House of Lords EU Justice Sub-Committee published a report to consider the effect of Brexit upon access to justice for families, individuals and businesses.

The report finds that:The current system for civil justice cooperation across the EU Member States works well.Disputes that cross borders, whether family or commercial, are currently settled by judgments that are enforceable across the EU. This gives families, businesses and individuals the legal consistency and predictability on which they depend.

Unless the current system of ‘mutual recognition’ of judgments across the EU is duplicated, Brexit could lead to serious hardship for families, individuals and businesses because they could be left subject to national rules across 27 other Member States.

The Government has emphasised the importance of separating the UK from the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the EU, and the recommendation is that alternatives must be in place before the UK’s withdrawal is completed.

Chairman of the Committee, Baroness Kennedy of The Shaws said:

'Unless the Government can agree a replacement of the existing rules on mutual recognition of judgments, there will be great uncertainty over access to justice for families, businesses and individuals.

The Committee heard clear and conclusive evidence that there is no means by which the reciprocal rules currently in place can be replicated in the Great Repeal Bill. Domestic legislation can’t bind the other 27 member states.

We therefore call on the Government to secure adequate alternative arrangements, whether as part of a withdrawal agreement or a transitional deal.'

Click here to read the full report: