Volume 109

Breaking Bad: Fail-Safes to the Hague Judgments Convention

by Diana A. A. Reisman

The underlying and optimistic premise of the 2019 Hague Judgments Convention is that a state’s transparent and impartial judicial system at the time that it becomes party to the Convention will not deteriorate. The Convention ignores the possibility of a State Party’s judicial system “breaking bad.” This Note explores the modalities available to the United States as a party if the judicial system of one of its co-contracting parties declines below a minimum standard. Beginning with the legal framework proposed by the Convention as compared to existing U.S. law on the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments, this Note explores the avenues under the Convention and other instruments in international law by which the United States might extricate itself from its treaty obligations to a compromised State Party. While this Note supports U.S. adherence to the Convention, it recommends that the United States consider making a reservation to the Convention addressing the contingency of a state whose judicial system breaks bad. 

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