Measuring the Effectiveness of the EU Civil Justice Framework: Theoretical and Methodological Challenges

Mihail Danov, Paul Beaumont

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


A number of harmonised private international law instruments appear to be the foundation of the whole EU civil justice framework, which primarily aims to provide effective remedies for litigants in cross-border cases. Given the level of diversity across the EU, a major feature of the EU legal landscape is the triangular relationship between the allocation of jurisdiction and identification of applicable law, on the one hand, and the available remedy, on the other hand. It appears that, when it comes to the administration of justice in a cross-border context within the EU, this triangular relationship encompasses the ability of the Member States’ courts to deal with cross-border disputes which may be important for the forum selection process. An EU model of administration of justice, which allows litigants to choose where to litigate, may result in some jurisdictions being promoted as dominant. This can only happen, of course, because the EU has already created free movement of judgments in large areas of commercial and family law. Once a judgment has been secured in any one EU Member State it should be enforceable in all others with little or no hindrance. However, litigants may have to consider where a judgment is to be actually enforced given that the rules on actual enforcement are not harmonised in the EU (this may be particularly significant in relation to family law disputes). The dominant jurisdictions could be attracting more cross-border cases, and thus some jurisdictions may become a venue of choice for the high value cross-border disputes. It is important to assess, on the basis of relevant empirical data, how the current EU Civil Justice framework is shaping the litigants’ strategies and whether the objectives of the EU PIL legislative instruments are effectively pursued in a cross-border context. An empirical study is underway in several Member States, with different legal traditions/heritages.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationYearbook of Private International Law
EditorsAndrea Bonomi, Gian Paolo Romano
Place of PublicationGermany
PublisherSellier European Law Publishers
Number of pages30
ISBN (Print)978-3-504-08009-9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2016

Bibliographical note

 Respectively, Associate Professor in Law, University of Leeds, and Professor of European Union and Private International Law and Director of the Centre for Private International Law of the University of Aberdeen. This paper is written within the framework of research project JUST/2013/JCIV/AG/4635 on ‘Cross-Border Litigation in Europe: Private International Law Legislative Framework, National Courts and the Court of Justice of the European Union’. The project, which includes also Professor Stefania Bariatti (University of Milan, Italy), Professor Jan von Hein (University of Freiburg, Germany), Professor Carmen Otero (Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain), Professor Thalia Kruger (University of Antwerp, Belgium) and Dr Agnieszka Frąckowiak-Adamska (University of Wroclaw, Poland), attracted over €730,000.00 in financial support from the EU Commission Civil Justice Programme. The usual disclaimers, including the disclaimer excluding the Commission’s responsibility, apply.


  • European Union Law Private International Law EU Civil Justice Effectiveness Private International Law Theory EUPILLAR access to justice administration of justice Brussels I, Brussels IIa, Rome I, Rome II, Maintenance


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