In October 2019, Vincent Richard defended a PhD thesis on default judgments in the European judicial area, written under the joint supervision of Gilles Cuniberti and Loïc Cadiet.
The abstract reads:
French judges regularly refuse to enforce foreign judgements rendered by default against a defendant who has not appeared. This finding is also true for other Member States, as many European regulations govern cross-border enforcement of decisions rendered in civil and commercial matters between Member States. The present study examines this problem in order to understand the obstacles to the circulation of default decisions and payment orders in Europe. When referring to the recognition of default judgments, it would be more accurate to refer to the recognition of decisions made as a result of default proceedings. It is indeed this (default) procedure, more than the judgment itself, which is examined by the exequatur judge to determine whether the foreign decision should be enforced. This study is therefore firstly devoted to default procedures and payment order procedures in French, English, Belgian and Luxembourgish laws. These procedures are analysed and compared in order to highlight their differences, be they conceptual or simply technical in nature. Once these discrepancies have been identified, this study turns to private international law in order to understand which elements of the default procedures are likely to hinder their circulation. The combination of these two perspectives makes it possible to envisage a gradual approximation of national default procedures in order to facilitate their potential circulation in the European area of freedom, security and justice.
The thesis, in French, is titled Le jugement par défaut dans l’espace judiciaire européen and can be accessed here.