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Domestic Case-Law on the Twin Regulations: A Recent Decision by a Dutch Court

The Council Regulation on Matrimonial Property Regimes (2016/1103) and the Regulation on the Property Consequences of Registered Partnerships (2016/1104) entered into force on 29 January 2019. Although a relatively short period of time has elapsed since the actual operation of the Regulations, it has already begun to develop some judgements of the national courts of the EU Member States. Such case law helps to understand the specifics of the application of the Twin Regulations.

On 23 June 2021, the District Court of The Hague (Rechtbank Den Haag) published a decision in case No. C / 09 / 612056 / HA ZA 21-469, which concerned the issue of the division of the joint property (house) of two spouses who were married in Morocco. The Court noted that in addition to its jurisdiction under Regulation 1215/2012 (Brussels I bis), as the defendant is domiciled in the Netherlands, the issue of jurisdiction in the present case is also governed by the Regulation 2016/1103. According to its Article 6, the court of the Member State within the territory of which the spouses have their habitual residence at the time the court is seised shall have jurisdiction. The Court has stated that it has jurisdiction regardless of which of the two Regulations applies.

On the question of applicable law, the District Court of The Hague disagreed with the applicant on the application of Regulation 2016/1103 and stated that this Regulation applies only to legal proceedings instituted, to authentic instruments formally drawn up or registered and judicial agreements approved or concluded on or after 29 January 2019. Since the parties of the case were married on 15 November 1988 this case does not fall within the scope of Regulation 2016/1103. Therefore, the division of the spouses' assets must be assessed under Netherlands law as the common nationality of both spouses (only one spouse has Moroccan nationality).

This judgment of the District Court of The Hague is an example of the case law of national courts in deciding on the application of the Twins Regulations and is mostly related to the issues of the temporal application of the Regulations.

di Arnoldas Rutkauskas

4 August 2021