2016/7/13 - 21 Nd 151/2016 (summary)

Judgement of the Supreme Court dated 13 July 2016, file number 21 Nd 151/2016

(divorce, territorial jurisdiction)

The spouses, citizens of the Czech Republic residing in Switzerland, filed a joint application for divorce. The District Court has submitted a case to the Supreme Court to decide which court should decide the case as the conditions of territorial jurisdiction were missing or/and could not be ascertained.

The Supreme Court held that Council Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003 (the "Brussels II bis" Regulation) was applicable in the case in question, even though Switzerland is not a Member State of the European Union. The reason is that the considered aspect in these cases is the fact, whether third-country nationals have links that are sufficiently strong with the territory of a Member State in accordance with the criteria laid down in the Brussels IIbis Regulation for establishing the jurisdiction. In the present case, both spouses were nationals of the Czech Republic. Therefore, the jurisdiction of the Czech courts was established by the provisions of Article 3 of the Brussels II bis Regulation. Neither spouse had a “general court” in the Czech Republic within the meaning of Article 85 (1) of the Code of Civil Procedure, since neither spouse is resident in the Czech Republic. Therefore, the provisions of Section 86 (1) of the Code of Civil Procedure applied in this case, according to which the “general court” is the court in which the last known residence of the person is.