2012/7/25 - 20 Cdo 4468/2008 (summary)

Czech Republic – Supreme Court – Decision No. 20 Cdo 4468/2008 – July 25, 2012

(Council Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 – ratione temporis – Wolf Naturprodukte)



In this enforcement case, the creditor, an Austrian corporation, sought against the debtor, a Czech corporation, the recognition of enforceability and the enforcement of a judgment under Council Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 of 22 December 2000 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters (the Brussels I Regulation) rendered by a Regional Court in Austria. A District Court (CZ) dismissed the creditor’s claim, holding that the judgment rendered in Austria was rendered after the Brussels I Regulation had come into force in the Member State of origin (AT) but before that Regulation came into force in the country of recognition (CZ). That opinion was upheld by the appellate Regional Court. The creditor lodged an extraordinary appeal from that resolution with the Supreme Court of the Czech Republic, which referred the case for a preliminary ruling to the Court of Justice of the European Union, asking whether or not Article 66(2) of the Brussels I Regulation should be interpreted in such a way that it requires for that Regulation to apply that the Regulation be, at the time of the rendering of a judgment, in force both in the country where the judgment is rendered and in the Member State of the European Union where the party seeks the recognition and enforcement of that judgment.

The Court of Justice of the European Union issued a preliminary ruling of June 21, 2012, in that case (C-514/10), ruling that Article 66(2) of the Brussels I Regulation must be interpreted in such a way that it is necessary for the Brussels I Regulation to apply with a view to recognizing and enforcing a judgment that the Regulation be, at the time of the rendering of that judgment, in force both in the Member State of origin and in the Member State of enforcement.

As a result of the preliminary ruling of the CJEU, the Supreme Court of the Czech Republic dismissed the creditor’s extraordinary appeal and affirmed the decisions of the lower courts, which had ruled that the enforcement of the judgment rendered by the Austrian court could not be carried out even under the Czech Act on international private and procedural law, since no treaty on mutual recognition and enforcement of judgments had been entered into between the Czech Republic and the Republic of Austria.