The UK Government has recently published a paper setting out its position on cross-border civil judicial cooperation following Brexit.
It highlights that cross-border commerce, trade and family relationships will continue after the UK leaves the EU and there is therefore an ongoing need for coherent common rules to govern interactions between legal systems.
To this end, says the Government
, the UK, as a non-member state outside the direct jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the European Union, will seek to agree new close and comprehensive arrangements for civil judicial cooperation with the EU.
Commenting on these plans, the Law Society of Scotland has said that UK and EU negotiating teams must reach just, fair and practical agreements that do not disadvantage UK or EU citizens and businesses that need to go to court to resolve cross-border disputes
or assert their rights after Brexit.
“They must be able to access an appropriate route to resolve disputes and it will be crucial to have agreement prior to leaving the EU to allow cooperation between different EU states on the way courts deal with cross-border cases, to prevent additional cost, delay and distress for people,” explained Michael Clancy, Director of Law Reform at the Law Society of Scotland.
“Cross-border trade will continue after Brexit so it will be essential to ensure that consumers can still have confidence, particularly if they are buying online, that they can seek redress if need be when buying from sellers in other member states,” he added. “Similarly there will need to be clear and workable rules for businesses involved in cross-border trade to resolve any disputes. This would be particularly important for small businesses as they, like consumers, will have limited resources but should be able to take action in the event of something going wrong.”
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