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a

  • ADR

    Alternative Dispute Resolution: extra-judicial procedures used for resolving civil or commercial disputes.

  • Access to justice

    One of three priorities set out by the EU to enable individuals and companies to exercise their rights in an EU country other than their own. Other priorities are mutual recognition of judicial decisions and increased convergence in procedural law.

  • Accession negotiations

    Negotiations between the EU and countries preparing to join the EU, in which justice forms a key part.

  • Accession partnership

    Agreements between the EU and each country applying to join the EU, which set a framework for the countries to adopt or move closer to EU policies and work alongside the EU to achieve this objective.

  • Accession process

    Negotiations between the EU and countries applying to join the EU, and the convergence of applicants' laws with EU law.

  • Action plan

    Concerted measures between two or more countries to achieve a certain set of previously accepted objectives.

  • Applicable law

    Applicable law is a specific concept of private international law Choose translations of the previous link  and refers to the national law that governs a given question of law in an international context. A court hearing an action does not necessarily apply its national law to settle the dispute. The law that is actually applicable is determined by the rules of conflict of laws.

  • Authentic instrument

    An authentic instrument is a document recording a legal act or fact whose authenticity is certified by a public authority. Certain authentic instruments are enforceable Choose translations of the previous link .

b

  • Brussels I

    The expression Brussels I is often used to refer to Council Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 of 22 December 2000 on jurisdiction and the recognition Choose translations of the previous link  and enforcement Choose translations of the previous link  of judgments in civil and commercial matters.

  • Brussels IIa

    The expression Brussels IIa is often used to refer to Council Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003 on jurisdiction and the recognition Choose translations of the previous link  and enforcement Choose translations of the previous link  of judgments in matrimonial matters and in matters of parental responsibility. The Regulation lays down rules governing international jurisdiction Choose translations of the previous link  and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in cases concerning divorce, separation and annulment of marriage and judgments concerning parental responsibility.

c

  • Case law

    Case-law is used internationally to refer to rules of law flowing from a set of convergent decisions of the courts. The case-law of the Court of Justice of the European Union français is particularly rich in decisions on the interpretation of the Union treaties, directives and regulations. It is a source of Union law.

  • Commission Communication

    A Communication is a policy document with no mandatory authority. The Commission takes the initiative of publishing a Communication when it wishes to set out its own thinking on a topical issue. A Communication has no legal effect.

  • Commission Recommendation

    In EU law Choose translations of the previous link , a Recommendation is a legal instrument that encourages those to whom it is addressed to act in a particular way without being binding on them. A recommendation enables the Commission (or the Council) to establish non-binding rules for the EU countries or, in certain cases, Union citizens.

  • Conflict of jurisdiction

    See "international jurisdiction Choose translations of the previous link ".

  • Conflict of laws

    See "applicable law Choose translations of the previous link ".

  • Contractual obligations

    Where two people conclude a contract, they generally enter into a two-way obligation - one undertakes to provide the other with goods or a service and the other undertakes to pay the price. Each of the parties to the contract is also bound by an obligation towards the other to compensate him if the contract is not performed properly or not performed at all.

  • Convention

    Conventions can also be known as treaties or agreements and are the most widely-used instruments of public international law Choose translations of the previous link . A convention is an agreement between several States and/or international organisations laying down the law in relations between them and between their respective nationals.

d

  • Debtor

    The party owing a debt to another party. EU measures relating to insolvency proceedings having cross-border effects make it more difficult for a debtor to escape obligations.

  • Decision

    In EU law Choose translations of the previous link , a decision is a legislative instrument that is binding in its entirety on all those to whom it is addressed.

  • Directive

    In EU law Choose translations of the previous link  a directive is a legislative instrument that is binding on the EU countries to whom it is addressed as regards the result to be attained but leaves them free to determine the form and methods.

e

  • EU acquis

    Also known as "acquis communautaire". The entire body of legislation of the EU, of which a significant body relates to justice. Applicant countries must accept the acquis before they can join the EU.

  • EU law

    EU law means the set of rules adopted by the European Union. EU law consists mainly of the Treaties, the instruments adopted by the institutions under the Treaties, such as Regulations Choose translations of the previous link  and Directives Choose translations of the previous link . The case-law of the Court of Justice is also one of the sources of EU law. EU law is distinguished from public international law Choose translations of the previous link  in a number of respects.

  • Enforceability

    Enforceability is a concept of civil procedure. Judgments are enforceable in that they can be enforced Choose translations of the previous link  with the aid, if necessary, of the forces of law and order. Judgments and authentic instruments Choose translations of the previous link , that are certified enforceable, are the main documents that are enforceable. Enforceability is confined to the State of the court which gave the judgment. To be enforceable abroad, the judgment must be declared enforceable (by what is known in some countries as the exequatur Choose translations of the previous link  procedure) or in the UK and in Ireland be registered.

  • Enforcement

    The enforcement of a judgment consists of securing compliance with it, if necessary by means of coercion as allowed by the law, including the intervention of the forces of law and order. If you win your case in the courts but the other side does not spontaneously comply with the court's order, you can go to the police or a bailiff, depending on the situation, to have the judgment carried out.

  • Exequatur

    Exequatur, is a concept specific to the private international law Choose translations of the previous link  and refers to the decision by a court authorising the enforcement in that country of a judgment, arbitral award, authentic instruments Choose translations of the previous link  or court settlement given abroad.

f

  • Forum

    The forum is a specific concept of private international law. It means the courts of a given country in which an action is brought. The concept of forum underlies the concepts of lex fori Choose translations of the previous link  and forum-shopping Choose translations of the previous link .

  • Forum-shopping

    Forum-shopping is a specific concept of private international law Choose translations of the previous link . A person who takes the initiative of bringing a court action may be tempted to choose his court on the basis of the law applied there. A person starting an action might be tempted to choose a forum Choose translations of the previous link  not because it is the most appropriate forum but because the conflict of laws Choose translations of the previous link  rules that it applies will prompt the application of the law that he or she prefers.

g

  • Green Paper (European Commission)

    A Green Paper is a consultation document published by the Commission on a specific topic to prompt reactions from interested circles on a variety of questions. The Commission's aim in publishing a Green Paper is to better determine the future orientations of its policy on the question.

i

  • International jurisdiction

    International jurisdiction refers to the fact that the courts of a given country will be the most appropriate to hear and determine a case that has an international dimension. A dispute has an international dimension where, for example, the parties have different nationalities or are not resident in the same country. In such a situation the courts of several countries might have jurisdiction in the case, and we have what is known as a conflict of jurisdiction. The rules of international jurisdiction lay down criteria for determining the country whose courts will have jurisdiction in the case.

l

  • Lex causae

    The lex causae is a specific concept of private international law Choose translations of the previous link  and refers to the law governing the substance of the case, designated by the rules of conflict of laws. See applicable law Choose translations of the previous link .

  • Lex fori

    The lex fori is a specific concept of private international law and refers to the law of the court in which the action is brought. Where an action is brought in a court and has an international dimension, the court must consider the law applicable Choose translations of the previous link  to the case. In certain circumstances, the lex fori will apply. Traditionally the lex fori governs questions of procedure, regardless of the lex causae.

  • Lex loci delicti

    The lex loci delicti is a specific concept of private international law Choose translations of the previous link  and refers to the law of the country where, in terms of non-contractual obligations, the harmful event occurred.

m

  • Maintenance

    The law requires members of the same family to provide mutual assistance on the basis of family solidarity: parents must feed, educate and maintain their children. In some EU countries children must assist their parents in case of need. A divorced spouse is obliged to pay maintenance to a former spouse who has custody of their children. This obligation is generally discharged by a monthly payment known as maintenance.

n

  • Non-contractual obligations

    There is a non-contractual obligation where a person who is responsible for loss sustained by another person is required to compensate the victim, in cases not linked to the performance of a contract, such as traffic accidents, environmental damage or defamation.

p

  • Private international law

    Private international law, as used in its broad sense, means the set of legal rules governing international relations between private individuals.

  • Public international law

    Public international law means the set of legal rules governing international relations between public bodies such as States and international organisations. Conventions Choose translations of the previous link  and uniform laws Choose translations of the previous link  are common instruments of public international law.

r

  • Recognition

    Recognising a judgment given in one EU country in another means agreeing that it may have effect there. Judgments basically have effect only in the State where they are given. Recognition in another State is possible only if the law of the other State so allows or if an international convention or an EU instrument provides for it.

  • Regulation

    In EU law, a Regulation is an instrument of general scope that is binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all EU countries. They are directly applicable, so they require no transposal into the EU countries' domestic law and directly confer rights or impose obligations.

  • Rome I

    Rome I is the expression often used to refer to Regulation (EC) No 593/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 June 2008 on the law applicable Choose translations of the previous link  to contractual obligations Choose translations of the previous link .

  • Rome II

    Rome II is the expression often used to refer to Regulation (EC) No 864/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 July 2007 on the law applicable Choose translations of the previous link  to non-contractual obligations Choose translations of the previous link .

t

u

  • Uniform laws

    Uniform laws are instruments prepared jointly by several States and/or international organisations to help States wishing to reform and modernise their legislation. International organisations Choose translations of the previous link  such as UNCITRAL and UNIDROIT draft uniform laws.