Cross-border protocols for commercial courts edge closer

An international forum of senior judges held in London this month paved the way for more cross-border cooperation between commercial courts.

The purpose of the forum, organized by the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, Lord John Thomas, who recently visited Cayman as guest speaker at the Cayman Islands Judiciary’s eighth annual Distinguished Guest Lecture Series, was to develop protocols for cross-border collaboration and cooperation.

Senior judges from commercial courts on five continents gathered for the first time for the newly formed Standing International Forum of Commercial Courts. Sixteen jurisdictions were represented by their chief justices. Chief Justice Anthony Smellie and Justice Nicholas Segal represented Cayman’s commercial court, the Financial Services Division of the Grand Court.

The forum, held at the London Commercial Court, covered several areas of initial collaboration. They included enforcing judgments of foreign courts; using technology and managing cases involving entities and investments based in other countries; prioritizing arbitration and mediation in commercial dispute resolution; and planning for development and implementation of protocols that emerge from continuing dialogue and meetings.

Chief Justice Smellie said the first order of business was to establish a “starting point” for the Forum by understanding the existing legislative and regulatory provisions in each jurisdiction, and to gauge what each is likely to achieve in the future in the areas under consideration.

The expectation is that the sharing of ideas may lead to the adoption and development of best practices and protocols as presented by participating courts, the chief justice said.

Meeting the other chief justices from around the world demonstrated that “we are of one mind,” the chief justice said.

“There is no question that this forum will lead to very significant consensus around the world” on the subjects under discussion, he added.

The next meeting of the Standing International Forum is to take place in New York in October 2018, when it is anticipated that working parties will begin to consolidate memoranda of understanding governing specific aspects of cross-border cooperation.

News source: Cayman Compass

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