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The UK has ratified the Hague 2019 Judgments Convention - what does that mean for victims of personal injury?

The UK's ratification of the Hague 2019 Judgments Convention, which took place on 27 June, marks a significant development for those involved in cross-border disputes. 

This convention aims to provide a more streamlined process for the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments in civil or commercial matters. 

However, as we've explored previously, it's important to note that the convention has certain limitations and exclusions that may limit how much assistance is afforded to personal injury victims

For instance, there are categories of proceedings that are excluded from the convention's scope, and judgments for costs awards arising from conditional fee arrangements may not be recognised on public policy grounds. 

For anyone seeking to rely on the benefits of the convention, it's important to note that it will not enter into force immediately – there's now a 12 month wait for it to enter into law. Additionally, the convention will only apply to judgments in proceedings commenced after its entry into force i.e. after 27 June, 2025. 

What next?

As the UK heads towards a general election, what could a new government work towards to build on the progress represented by ratification of the Hague Convention? 

Could bilateral agreements with individual EU member states create a framework of cooperation and mutual assistance in cross border personal injury claims, or would numerous individual agreements prove unworkable? 

Whilst those of us specialising in cross border personal injury claims continue to navigate the uncertainties around enforcement of judgments in non-Hague Convention scenarios, what's clear is that public awareness campaigns on the available avenues for recourse if an individual suffers an accident abroad, and access to specialist legal advice in an ever-changing legal landscape, will remain paramount.

Find out more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in supporting people and families following an accident abroad at our dedicated international serious injury section.