Legal Translation Services, Brussels II and US Divorces

We’ve blogged about legal translation and legal interpretation services in the context of international child custody cases. According to the case JKN v JCN, which involves the doctrine of forum non conveniens, it was held that a court can decide not to exercise its jurisdiction in a divorce case if it seems better overall for the case to be in another state. The goal of this doctrine is to have the couple divorced in only one state or country, as opposed to two. However, in this case, the question was whether Europe’s Brussels II treaty requires a country to exercise its divorce jurisdiction, in contradiction to the traditional doctrine of forum non conveniens.

For Americans, the question is whether or not Brussels II is applicable to a jurisdictional question between the US and an EU country. According to the decision here, the court specifically notes that the EU cannot legislate for nonmember countries and, when dealing with a nonmember, discarding forum non conveniens would “create ugly jurisdiction conflicts, with conflicting court orders from different countries, and allow no means for resolving them.”

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