In Luxembourg, the legal system is based on civil law. The French Civil Code, in turn based on the Napoleonic codes, represents the basis for today’s legislation in Luxembourg. Other international treaties are part of the Luxembourg laws and the European Union law also has its share of influence.
The New Code of Civil Procedure
The New Code of Civil Procedure was amended by a law in 1998. Until then, Luxembourg was still using the original Code of Civil Procedure decreed in 1806 by Napoleon. The New Code of Civil Procedure describes and specifies the principles that govern the Luxembourg courts. Also, it describes numerous ordinary or special procedures on subjects such as parental authority or adoption and other family law issues.
The New Code of Civil Procedure also details the guidelines for procedures such as the right to bring an action, the grounds of defence, submission of evidence, execution of judgments and others.
Influence from other sources of law
The Brussels I Regulation and the case law of the European Court of Justice influence the application and interpretation of national jurisdictional principles in Luxembourg. The Luxembourg courts act in compliance with them and align with their guidelines.
Other law sources, such as the human rights principles and public and private international principles, are important in the application of the national jurisdictional rules in Luxembourg.
The most specific jurisdictional rules in Luxembourg apply to Luxembourg nationals and they apply in their favor. Article 14 of the Civil Code offers privileges to Luxembourg nationals to the disadvantage of foreigners.
According to this article, any Luxembourg national can sue a foreigner before a Luxembourg court (even if the person in cause does not reside in Luxembourg) for execution of a contractual obligation, either in Luxembourg or abroad.
Another specific rule is the one stipulated in 4th Article of the law dated August 25/1883 regarding consumer’s protection. According to this law, if the final consumer resides in Luxembourg, then the Luxembourg courts are deemed competent in the matter even if the contract stipulates that another jurisdiction is competent. This applies in the context of sale of goods or services provision.
The District Court in Luxembourg deals with ordinary civil and commercial matters. It has jurisdiction in all civil and commercial matters, unless the law does not specify that the jurisdiction belongs to another court.
There are no specific courts for commercial matters; however, these are administered by a simplified procedure.
For information regarding specific legal matters in Luxembourg, please contact our law firm in Luxembourg.
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