This paper analyses the role and function of the right to a fair trial in Brussels I. Particular emphasis will be placed on how the European Court of Justice balances the right to a fair trial against the free movement of judgments. This question will be answered in terms of whether the ECJ perceives the right to a fair trial to constitute an autonomous source of obligations or whether it interprets (and if so, how it does so) PIL mechanisms in the light of the requirements of a fair trial. In particular, the paper will analyse to what extent the courts in the Member State addressed may review compliance with the right to a fair hearing of the court originally seized. Finally, the proposal of the European Commission to abolish the exequatur will be examined from a fundamental rights perspective.