What are the rules governing enforcement of foreign judgments in your jurisdiction?

Litigation (2nd edition)

Austria Small Flag Austria

Recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments is regulated in the Austrian Enforcement Code and in bilateral and multilateral treaties. The most relevant instrument for the enforcement of foreign judgments in commercial and civil matters is the Brussels Regulation (EU-Regulation 1215/2012), which governs the enforcement of judgments of other EU member states. The enforcement of judgments rendered in an EU member state is straightforward as it does not require a separate declaration of enforceability and is subject to the same conditions as Austrian judgements. Judgements rendered in Switzerland, Norway and Iceland will be recognised without requiring a declaration of enforceability in accordance with the revised Lugano Convention on Jurisdiction and Enforcement of Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters.

Outside the scope of the EU and EFTA, the enforcement of foreign judgments requires a formal declaration of enforceability (exequatur proceeding). Such a declaration is only granted if the judgment in question is enforceable according to the law of the foreign state and if reciprocity is guaranteed by a bilateral or multilateral treaty. If no reciprocity agreement has been concluded, Austrian courts will not grant enforcement of a foreign judgment.

Japan Small Flag Japan

Foreign judgements can be enforced when all the following requirements are met (CCP, Article 118):

(i) The jurisdiction of the foreign court is recognized under the Japanese laws or regulations or conventions or treaties;

(ii) The losing defendant has been properly served with the necessary summons or order to commence the litigation, except service by publication or any similar service, or appeared in court without being so served;

(iii) The contents of the judgment and the court proceedings are not contrary to public policy in Japan; and

(iv) There is reciprocity between Japan and the country of the foreign court in relation to the enforcement of foreign judgments.

Note that the Supreme Court has ruled in the past that the portion of the foreign judgment which ordered the payment of punitive damages under the laws of California cannot be enforced because claims for punitive damages are not allowed in Japan and permitting such enforcement is contrary to public policy in Japan.

Monaco Small Flag Monaco

Enforcement of foreign judgments may be awarded by Monegasque Courts if:

  • It was rendered by a court having jurisdiction
  • Rights of defence have been respected
  • The enforcement of the foreign decision is not obviously contrary to public policy
  • It is not contrary to a Court decision already rendered in Monaco
  • A court case is not already pending between the same parties in the same matter in front of a Monegasque Court.

The claimant must file a specific document provided by law to support the enforcement claim such as an original copy of the foreign decision and an original document proving service of the said decision.

China Small Flag China

A foreign judgement can be ratified and enforced by Chinese court based on the following procedure:

  1. Based on the international treaty/convention executed by China; or
  2. Based on the principle of reciprocity.

The ratification and enforcement of foreign judgments shall not be contrary to the fundamental principles of the laws of China or the sovereignty, security or public interest of China.

Romania Small Flag Romania

The general principle is that the unsuccessful party must reimburse the successful party’s costs, upon that party’s request. The amount of the costs is based on evidence of due payment submitted by the party as far as court fees, legal fees, expert fees, witness expenses, translation costs are concerned.

However, if the claim is admitted only in part, or if a counterclaim is also admitted, the costs of the parties are subject to set-off as determined by the court.

The court can decide to decrease legal fees if it considers them unreasonable, in relation to the value of the case and services rendered. The court cannot challenge the amount of the court fees and other procedural taxes, experts’ fees, witness disbursements and other costs that the successful party proves to have incurred.

Cyprus Small Flag Cyprus

The procedure for enforcing foreign judgments in Cyprus Judgments in Cyprus depends on where the judgment was given.

Judgments given in civil and commercial matters by the courts of EU member states or the courts of Norway, Switzerland and Iceland are enforceable in Cyprus pursuant to the provisions of the Recast Brussels I Regulation (Regulation EU) No. 1215/2012) and the Lugano Convention on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments.

Furthermore, the Republic of Cyprus is a party to a number of bilateral treaties for the mutual recognition and enforcement of judgments. The countries with which the Republic of Cyprus has concluded such treaties include Russia, Georgia, Ukraine, Belarus, Montenegro, Serbia, Egypt and Syria. Judgments originating from such countries may be recognised and enforced in Cyprus in accordance with the procedure and subject to the exceptions and qualifications stipulated in the relevant treaty.

Judgments given in Commonwealth countries in civil matters are enforceable in Cyprus pursuant to the provisions of the Mutual Recognition of Certain Judgments of the Courts of Commonwealth Countries Law, Cap. 10.

Final and conclusive judgments for a definite sum given by a court having jurisdiction in a country other than those mentioned above, may be enforced in Cyprus by bringing an action at common law on the basis of the foreign judgment.

Denmark Small Flag Denmark

If the foreign judgment is from a country outside the EU or the Lugano-countries, the judgment is only enforceable in Denmark if there is an agreement between Denmark and the country in question. In practice, judgments from courts outside the EU or Lugano-area are mostly not enforceable in Denmark.

Foreign judgments from countries which are member states of EU or from the Lugano-area are, with reference to the Brussels I Regulation and the Lugano Convention, generally recognised and enforceable in Denmark.

Foreign arbitral awards are according to the Danish Arbitration Act binding and enforceable in Denmark, regardless of the country in which it was made.

Egypt Small Flag Egypt

Foreign judgments and arbitral awards are not automatically enforceable in Egypt. A number of procedures and actions must be implemented in order for foreign judgments and arbitral awards to be enforceable in Egypt.

Regarding enforcement of foreign judgments, they are not granted automatic recognition in Egypt, unless a bilateral/multilateral recognition treaty exist and in effect between Egypt and the country from which the judgement has been rendered. Egyptian Civil and Commercial Procedures Law Now. 13 for the year 1968 governs the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgements in Egypt, alongside any bilateral treaty ratified by Egypt, pursuant to Article 297 of such law, in order for a foreign judgment to be enforceable in Egypt, an exequatur (i.e. order of enforcement and execution) has to be granted by the competent court.

Generally, the chances of successfully enforcing foreign judgments in Egypt are significantly diminished in the absence of bilateral and/or multilateral treaties regulating the enforcement of court judgments.

With regard to arbitral awards, Egypt is a signatory of the 1958 New York convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards. Thus, the New York convention should grant the foreign arbitral award a domestic recognition in Egypt, however, the award would still need to satisfy certain requisites in order to be enforceable according to Egyptian Arbitration Law No. 27 for the year 1994.

Russia Small Flag Russia

The recognition and enforcement of foreign judgements is carried out under the relevant international treaty between the Russian Federation and the state where the judgement was made. In the absence of such treaty, the recognition and enforcement is performed on the grounds of reciprocity, i.e. if the courts of the respective foreign state recognize and enforce decisions of the Russian сourts. Even if the reciprocity cannot be established and verified, there are cases when foreign judgements have been recognised and enforced on the basis of the principle of international comity.

The court may refuse to recognise and enforce a foreign judgment only on limited grounds which relate primarily to procedural issues (for example, such as lack of due notification of the respondent, violation of the exclusive competence of Russian courts). In exceptional cases, the recognition and enforcement can be denied if a foreign judgment contradicts the Russian public policy.

According to the recent amendments, judgments that do not require enforcement (declaratory judgments) are recognised without any special proceedings if its recognition is provided by international treaty and Russian federal legislation. However, interested parties can file objections against recognition of such judgments with Russian courts within one month after they learn of the foreign judgment.

Mexico Small Flag Mexico

The rules that govern the enforcement of foreign judgements in our jurisdiction, are provided for in the Commerce Code and the Federal Code of Civil Proceedings. To enforce a foreign judgement the following requirements must be fulfilled:

  1. The judgement must have been resolved in compliance with the procedural rules established under the local law;
  2. The judgement must not arise from in rem actions;
  3. The Court that issued the judgement must have had subject-matter jurisdiction in compliance with foreign regulations supported by the Mexican local regulations. The foreign Court will not have subject-matter jurisdiction when the documents that gave place to the foreign judgement established a clause of exclusive jurisdiction to Mexican Courts;
  4. The defendant must have been personally summoned and its right to be heard in Court must have been ensured;
  5. The judgement must be final, not subject to further appeal;
  6. That a Mexican Court is not simultaneously resolving the same case;
  7. That the foreign judgement is not contrary to public order;
  8. The foreign judgement is dully apostilled.

Local Courts will only review the foreign judgement with regards to its authenticity (not regarding its substantial issues), and will determine if such foreign judgement can be enforced in Mexico.

Additionally, enforcement of foreign judgements in Mexico is also ruled by the treaties that our government has signed with other countries. Among others, the following treaties have been signed by the Mexican Government:

  1. The Inter-American Convention on Extraterritorial Validity of Foreign Judgments and Arbitral Awards;
  2. The Convention on Competence in the International Sphere for the Extraterritorial Validity of Foreign Judgments.

Germany Small Flag Germany

Under domestic law, foreign judgments are recognised and enforced on the basis of sec. 328 ZPO. The general rule is that foreign judgments are enforced unless at least one of the following exceptions applies:

  • The foreign court lacked jurisdiction (from the point of view of German law).
  • The defendant who has not entered an appearance in the foreign proceedings and who takes recourse to this fact, has not duly been served the document by which the proceedings were initiated, or not in such time to allow him to defend himself.
  • The foreign judgment is not compatible with a judgment delivered by a German court, or with an earlier judgment handed down abroad that is to be recognised, or if the proceedings on which such judgment is based are incompatible with proceedings that have become pending earlier in Germany.
  • The recognition and enforcement of the judgment would violate the (procedural or substantive) German ordre public, i.e. the essential principles of German law, in particular the fundamental rights set out in the German constitution (Grundgesetz).
  • Reciprocity is not warranted.

With respect to foreign judgments rendered by courts of EU Member States, the Brussels Ia Regulation applies in civil and commercial matters as defined in Art. 1. In principle, judgments given in an EU Member State shall be recognised in the other Member States without any special procedure being required (Art. 36 Brussels Ia Regulation). Recognition and enforcement of EU judgments can be refused only on the narrow grounds set forth in Art. 45 of the Brussels Ia Regulation.

Hong Kong Small Flag Hong Kong

Under the Foreign Judgments (Reciprocal Enforcement) Ordinance (Cap. 319), the judgments of certain countries (including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bermuda, Brunei, France, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Malaysia, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore and Sri Lanka) are capable of direct enforcement by registration. Once registered, the foreign judgment may be enforced in the same way as a judgment obtained in a court in Hong Kong.

The Mainland Judgments (Reciprocal Enforcement) Ordinance (Cap. 597), which provides a mechanism by which certain judgments made in Mainland China may be enforced in Hong Kong and Hong Kong judgments in Mainland China, came into operation on 1 August 2008. However, the scope of this legislation is quite limited. In respect of Mainland judgments, it only applies to judgments ordering money payments from certain PRC courts (Intermediate People’s Courts and higher or a recognised Basic People’s Court ) that must arise from a ‘commercial agreement’ and must also be final and conclusive. The requirement for the agreement to be a commercial agreement prevents, for example, judgments arising from tortious acts, intellectual property infringements and product liability disputes from being registered. Furthermore, the underlying contract must give the relevant Mainland court exclusive jurisdiction to resolve disputes that may arise. As it is relatively rare for non-PRC corporations to provide in their contracts for exclusive jurisdiction of the PRC courts, the underlying arrangement between Hong Kong and Mainland China may be more important in facilitating the enforcement of Hong Kong judgments against assets in the Mainland rather than vice versa.

A new arrangement between the Mainland and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region for the mutual recognition and enforcement of judgments (the “Arrangement”) was signed in January 2019, to provide for mutual recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters. The types of judgments enforceable under the Arrangement include judgments for both monetary and non-monetary relief. For instance, injunctive relief granted in a tortious claim for infringement of trade secrets will be covered by the Arrangement. It is not yet known when the Arrangement will come into effect as local legislation is needed to enable implementation. When it comes into effect, the Arrangement will largely supersede the current arrangement for the reciprocal recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters.

Judgments from most other jurisdictions, including the UK and the US, must be enforced at common law, by way of an action brought in Hong Kong to enforce a foreign judgment debt (without the need to re-litigate the underlying cause of action).

Guernsey Small Flag Guernsey

The Judgments (Reciprocal Enforcement) (Guernsey) Law 1957 deals with enforcement of foreign judgments in Guernsey. If this law is not applicable then enforcement will be carried out on the basis of common law principles and the enforcing party will need to sue on the judgment in Guernsey.

Guernsey is not a party to or subject to the following:

  • the HCCH Convention of the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters 1971;
  • Regulation (EC) 4/2001 on Jurisdiction and the Recognition and Enforcement of Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters; and
  • the Lugano Convention on Jurisdiction and the Recognition and Enforcement of Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters 2007.

India Small Flag India

Under the Code, foreign judgments have been categorized as arising out of: (i) reciprocating territories; and (ii) non-reciprocating territories. Section 44A of the Code defines a ‘reciprocating territory’ as any country or territory outside India which the Central Government of India may, by notification in the Official Gazette, declare to be a reciprocating territory. It is noteworthy that a decree passed by any superior courts of a ‘reciprocating territory’ may be executed as if it had been passed by a court in India.

On the contrary, for the enforcement/execution of a foreign judgment passed by a non-reciprocating territory, the first step is to file a fresh civil suit in a domestic Indian court of competent jurisdiction. For this purpose, the foreign judgment will only have evidentiary value before the courts in India.

Further, in India, all foreign judgments are considered conclusive as to any matter between the same parties subject to certain exceptions, as illustrated in Section 13 of the Code. Some of the exceptions in this regard are listed hereinbelow:

(a) Where the foreign judgment was not pronounced by a court of competent jurisdiction;

(b) Where the foreign judgment must have been given on the merits of the case;

(c) Where the proceedings in which the foreign judgment was obtained, were opposed to natural justice; and

(d) Where the foreign judgment was obtained by fraud.

Isle of Man Small Flag Isle of Man

A claimant may sue, at common law, in the Isle of Man upon a final non-tax money judgment obtained in a foreign jurisdiction subject to well established principles of private international law.

Under the Judgments (Reciprocal Enforcement) (Isle of Man) Act 1968 a Manx court will enforce final money judgments given in superior courts of other countries to which the Act has been extended by order of the Council of Ministers. Such countries include the UK, Jersey, Guernsey, Surinam, Israel, Italy and the Netherlands.

Italy Small Flag Italy

Reg. (EU) 1215/2012 governs enforcement of judgements in civil proceedings instituted on or after 10 January 2015 before the courts of the EU Member States, while recognition of judgements instituted before that day are still subject to Reg. (EU) 44/2001. The main principle is that any enforceable “judgment given in a Member State shall be recognised in the other Member States without any special procedure being required” (article 36.1).

Specific rules are set forth by the 1968 Brussels Convention, applying to the territories of the EU Member States which fall within the territorial scope of that Convention and which are excluded from Reg. 1215/2015 pursuant to Article 355 of the TFEU, and by the 2007 Lugano Convention governing the recognition in Italy of decisions rendered in Iceland, Norway and Switzerland.

In the absence of a multilateral or bilateral treaty (which Italy has entered into with Argentina, Brazil, China, Egypt, Kuwait, Lebanon, Moldova, Morocco, Russia, Tunisia and Turkey), recognition and enforcement of other foreign decisions is governed by Law 218/1998. Pursuant to article 64 the foreign judgement can be recognized to the extent that it complies with certain requirements (competence of the issuing court; fair trial; judgment must be final and not conflicting with other final decisions issued by an Italian court or with Italian public policy principles; absence of other previously lodged proceedings in Italy on the same course of action).

Philippines Small Flag Philippines

Foreign judgments can be enforced by filing an action for enforcement in a regional trial court. In such action, the party seeking to enforce the foreign judgment must prove: (a) the existence, authenticity, and finality of the foreign judgment; and (b) that the judgment was rendered by a court of competent jurisdiction.

The foreign judgment may be repelled if the adverse party proves that the judgment was rendered without jurisdiction, without proper notice, or through collusion, fraud, mistake, or violation of the rights of the adverse party.

Portugal Small Flag Portugal

According to Commission Regulation (EU) No 1215/2012, foreign judgements passed in other Member States must be treated, for enforcement purposes, as if they were given in the Member State of enforcement. That is without any specific procedure.

Outside the scope of this Regulation, the internal rules regarding this matter determine that, in order to enforce a foreign decision within the Portuguese jurisdiction, such decision must be formally reviewed and confirmed by a Portuguese court (the court of appeal in the area of residency of the party against whom that decision was issued being the competent court).

Slovakia Small Flag Slovakia

Execution of a foreign judgment follows only after the judgment recognition, i.e. after it has been adjudicated on as having legal force in the Slovak Republic. In the event of decisions of the EU courts, capability of foreign judgments of being executed is regulated by the EU laws - in particular Regulation (EU) No 1215/2012 in civil and commercial matters and Council Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003 in family matters.

In the event of recognition and enforcement of a foreign judgment issued by a third country, the AoIPPL applies where the Slovak Republic is not bound by another agreement (e.g. international treaty).

Slovak courts recognize foreign judgments only if (i) exclusive jurisdiction of Slovak authorities does not interfere with the foreign judgment recognition, (ii) the foreign judgment is capable of being executed in the country of issue, (iii) the foreign judgment is a judgment on the merits and (iv) the foreign judgment recognition does not contradict the Slovak law.

Sweden Small Flag Sweden

Under the Recast Brussels I Regulation, a judgment rendered in any other EU member state, which is enforceable in such state, shall be recognised and enforced in all other member states. A party seeking enforcement according to the Recast Brussels I Regulation must merely submit the judgment to the national authority handling enforcement in the form set out in the Recast Brussels I Regulation. If enforcement is sought in Sweden, the application for enforcement shall be submitted to the Enforcement Authority. The Recast Brussels I apply to judgments from EU-member states where the legal procedures started in the country of origin before or after 10 January 2015. Prior judgments are subject to its successor, Brussels I, requiring e.g. an application for declaration of enforcement (‘exequatur’).

With respect to foreign judgments and court decisions from non-EU member states, the Recast Brussels I Regulation is not applicable. As for countries within the EFTA, the Lugano Convention is applicable and contains, in principle, the same provisions as the Recast Brussels I Regulation. The EFTA member states are Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, but Liechtenstein has not ratified the Lugano Convention, and the Convention is thus not applicable to judgments rendered in Liechtenstein. One important difference to the Recast Brussels I Regulation, however, is that the Lugano Convention has not been amended in order to reflect the new rules abolishing the exequatur procedure. Hence, an exequatur procedure is still required under the Lugano Convention.

With respect to the close historical relationship and cooperation between the Nordic countries (i.e., Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland and Finland), the Nordic countries have for a long time recognised judgments rendered in the other Nordic countries and allowed for their direct enforcement. In Sweden, the provisions in this respect are mainly contained in the Act on the Recognition and Enforcement of Judgments in Civil Cases Rendered in the Nordic States. This act is not restricted to judgments, but also applies to certain Danish and Norwegian promissory notes, decisions by the Finnish execution authority and Danish settlements. Enforcement may hence be sought directly, via the Swedish Enforcement Agency.

As for judgments rendered in non-EU or EFTA member states, there is no comprehensive regulation under Swedish international procedural law to be referred to in relation to issues of recognition and enforcement. Foreign judgments are only recognised in Sweden to the extent there is explicit legislation to that effect. There are a number of different statutes containing provisions dealing with enforcement issues of foreign rulings on different areas of the law. These statutes are based on international conventions and are thus only effective in relation to judgments rendered in countries that have ratified such convention. In this context it could be added that Sweden is a party to the New York convention and international arbitral awards are hence also enforceable in Sweden.

United Kingdom Small Flag United Kingdom

The rules for enforcement of foreign judgments vary depending on from where the judgment originates. Broadly, there are three different enforcement regimes in English law. First, judgments originating from other EU member states are normally easily enforceable pursuant to the procedure set out in EU legislation, including the Brussels Recast Regulation. This involves making an application to the High Court for registration of the judgment. The grounds on which registration can be challenged are limited (for example, if enforcement would be manifestly contrary to public policy or where the judgment was given in default of appearance). It is not yet entirely clear how Brexit will affect the application of the European enforcement regime in the UK. Second, judgments originating from Commonwealth countries (including Singapore, Nigeria and New Zealand) are often enforced pursuant to reciprocal enforcement agreements between the UK and those countries. Third, judgments originating from other countries (including notably the US) must be enforced pursuant to common law rules. This requires claimants to issue a claim in debt and then apply for a summary judgment to have it enforced. A judgment will be enforceable only if the English court deems that the foreign court had jurisdiction over the dispute. Additionally, there are various further grounds on which enforcement can be challenged (for example, if judgment was obtained by fraud or where enforcement would be contrary to public policy).

Bahrain Small Flag Bahrain

Pursuant to Article 252 of the CCPL, foreign judgments are enforced in Bahrain after filing a case before the High Civil Court requesting the court to acknowledge and recognize the foreign judgment. Article 252 of the CCPL provides that:

Court judgements and orders passed in any foreign country may be ordered to be enforced on the same conditions as are laid down in the law of that country for enforcing court judgements and orders issued in Bahrain.

Application for issue of an enforcement order shall be filed with the High Court in accordance with the terms and conditions for filing court action after payment of the prescribed fees.

No enforcement order may be passed except after ascertaining the following:

  1. that the Bahrain law courts are not competent to hear the case in respect of which the court judgement or order was passed and that the foreign courts which passed it are competent in accordance with the international rules of jurisdiction set down in the laws thereof.
  2. that the litigants to the case in respect of which the judgement was issued were duly summoned and properly represented.
  3. that the court judgement or order has become final in accordance with the law of the court that passed it.
  4. that the court judgement is in no way inconsistent with any judgement or order previously passed by the Bahrain courts and does not provide for anything which constitutes a breach of public order or ethics

In the absence of a treaty regulating the judicial relationship between the two jurisdictions, or in the absence of reciprocity between Bahrain and the jurisdiction in which the foreign judgment is issued, a fresh claim shall be filed before the competent court, whereby the foreign judgment may be used as a piece of evidence.

Dominican Republic Small Flag Dominican Republic

The law concerning private international matters (Law 544-14) provides a simple, ex parte proceeding for recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments, similar to the provisions set forth by the Law on commercial arbitration for foreign arbitration awards, which, in turn, is based on the 1985 UNCITRAL Model Law on Commercial Arbitration. The competent jurisdiction is the Civil and Commercial Chamber of the Court of First Instance of the National District (the parties’ domiciles are not relevant for purposes of determining jurisdiction) and the applicant shall attach an authenticated version of the foreign judgment jointly with a legal translation into Spanish, if it is indeed drafted in a foreign language. The court will not examine the merits and shall only review that due process was respected and that the foreign decision is duly enforceable based on external premises, such as

  1. the fact that it was not further reversed in the original jurisdiction, and
  2. that its recognition will not contravene national nor international public policy limitations.

Indonesia Small Flag Indonesia

Please be advised that Indonesian law does not recognize, nor will it enforce a foreign court’s judgment in its jurisdiction. The only way to execute a foreign judgment in Indonesia is to use the foreign decision as a legal basis/evidence of a new claim filed before an Indonesian court.

Malaysia Small Flag Malaysia

In Malaysia, there are two (2) avenues by which person may enforce a foreign judgment.

(a) Registration under the Reciprocal Enforcement of Judgment Act, 1958 (“REJA”)

The applicable law is provided for under the REJA. Enforcement of foreign judgment is done by registering the foreign judgment in the High Court. [See Order 67 of the ROC for the procedural steps] Once the foreign judgment is registered in the High Court, it can be enforced in the same way as a local judgment.

There are several requirements to be met before a foreign judgment can be registered, as provided under Sections 3 to 5 of the REJA:-

  1. The foreign judgments must be from the superior courts of reciprocating countries as spelled out under the First Schedule of REJA (United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, India and Brunei);
  2. The foreign judgment must be a final and conclusive judgment by a court having jurisdiction in the matter;
  3. The foreign judgment must be for a fixed sum of money;
  4. The foreign judgment must be registered within 6 years from the date of judgment;
  5. The foreign judgment must not have been wholly satisfied at the point of application for registration;
  6. The foreign judgment must be enforceable by execution in the country of the original court at the point of application for registration;
  7. The foreign judgment was not obtained by fraud;
  8. The foreign judgment was not contrary to public policy in Malaysia;
  9. The rights under the judgment are vested in the person seeking to enforce the judgment;
  10. The judgment debtor receives notice of proceedings to defend the action and appears in the proceedings.

(b) Recognition and Enforcement of the Foreign Judgments under the Common Law

This mode of enforcement is usually adopted when the foreign judgments are from countries not recognized under the REJA.

Under this mode, the foreign judgment must be for a final and definite sum and from a foreign court having jurisdiction to try the case. The judgment creditor will commence legal proceedings against the judgment debtor in Malaysia by treating the foreign judgment as a debt. Thereafter, the judgment creditor (Plaintiff) may enforce the local judgment in accordance to the law of Malaysia.

In such instance, the Plaintiff will normally apply for summary judgment since the action is based on a final foreign judgment.

Chile Small Flag Chile

Chilean law permits the enforcement of resolutions and rulings pronounced by foreign courts. This must be requested before the Supreme Court, through a process called "exequatur", which is highly regulated in the Chilean Code of Civil Procedure.

In order to allow the enforcement of the foreign judgment, the first thing to be determined is whether there are treaties between Chile and the country from which the judgment proceeds and regulating the matter. If there are no treatises, the Supreme Court will look into whether there is reciprocity between the requesting country and Chile. Finally, if reciprocity can not be established, the Court will look into the judgment and will deny enforcement if the said award has been rendered in violation of the Chilean jurisdiction, or if it violates Chilean Public Policy, or if it has been issued by default (being the Chilean party denied the right to appear and defend himself before the foreign court).

Malta Small Flag Malta

For judgments delivered by the Courts of an EU Member State, that fall within the material and temporal scope of either EC Regulation 44/2001 or EC Regulation 1215/2012 will fall to be recognised and enforced in Malta in accordance with the rules of those Regulations.

For monetary judgments delivered by the supreme courts of the United Kingdom, judgement-creditors will also be able to make use of the regime for judgment registration laid down in the British Judgments (Reciprocal Enforcement) Act, Chapter 52 of the Laws of Malta.

In other cases, judgments delivered by a competent court constituting a res judicata may be recognised and enforced in Malta in the same manner as judgments delivered in Malta, in accordance with the provisions of the Code of Organisation and Civil Procedure, upon an application containing a demand that the enforcement of such judgment be ordered. There are, however, exceptions where the judgment will not be enforced:

a. if the judgment sought to be enforced may be set aside on any of the following grounds:

  1. where the judgment was obtained by fraud on the part of any of the parties to the prejudice of the other party;
  2. where the sworn application was not served on the party cast;
  3. where any of the parties to the suit was under legal disability to sue or be sued, provided no plea there anent had been raised and determined;
  4. where the judgment was delivered by a court having no jurisdiction;
  5. where the judgment contains a wrong application of the law;
  6. where judgment was given on any matter not included in the demand;
  7. where judgment was given in excess of the demand;
  8. where the judgment is conflicting with a previous judgment given in a suit on the same subject-matter and between the same parties, and constituting a res judicata, provided no plea of res judicata had been raised and determined;
  9. where the judgment contains contradictory dispositions;
  10. where the judgment was based on evidence which, in a subsequent judgment, was declared to be false or which was so declared in a previous judgment but the party cast was not aware of such fact;
  11. where, after the judgment, some conclusive document was obtained, of which the party producing it had no knowledge, or which, with the means provided by law, he could not have produced, before the judgment;
  12. where the judgment was the effect of an error resulting from the proceedings or documents of the cause.

The judgment ordering the enforcement of another judgment delivered by a court outside Malta, upon being registered in the Public Registry Office, shall create as from the day of registration a hypothec in regard to the debt judicially acknowledged by the judgment the enforcement of which is ordered.

Switzerland Small Flag Switzerland

The recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments and foreign arbitral awards is predominantly governed by the PILA as well as by the applicable bilateral and multilateral treaties to which Switzerland is a party; the most important of these are the Lugano Convention (with regard to judgments in civil and commercial matters rendered by a signatory state of the Lugano Convention) and the New York Convention (with regard to foreign arbitral awards).

Pursuant to the PILA, a foreign judgment is recognised in Switzerland if (i) the court or public authority who rendered the decision had jurisdiction, (ii) if no further legal remedies are available against the decision or the decision is final, and (iii) if there are no grounds for non-recognition (especially the incompatibility of the decision with Swiss substantive or procedural public policy [ordre public]).

Under the PILA, a petition for the recognition or enforcement of a foreign decision must be submitted to the enforcing court accompanied by a complete and authenticated copy of the decision and a confirmation that no further ordinary legal remedies are available against the decision. In case of a default judgment, official documentation evidencing that the defendant has been duly summoned and has been given the opportunity to enter a defence must be joined to the petition. The party opposing the recognition and enforcement is entitled to a hearing.
Under the Lugano Convention, the conditions for the recognition and the enforcement of judgments as well as the applicable procedure are simplified. In particular, the enforcing court is not permitted to verify whether the foreign court who rendered the decision had jurisdiction to do so. A party seeking recognition or enforcement of a judgment must provide the court with the original or an authenticated copy of the judgment and with a certificate issued (using the standard form provided in the annex of the Lugano Convention) by the court or competent authority of the state where the judgment was rendered. No further evidence as to the due process standards of the proceedings in which the decision was rendered must be joined to the petition. Upon completion of these formalities by the applicant party, the enforcing court must declare the judgment enforceable ex parte without first hearing the party against whom the enforcement is sought. The latter has the possibility to appeal the decision affirming the recognition or enforcement and will only be heard at this (later) stage.

Greece Small Flag Greece

The main rules governing the enforcement of foreign judgments are included in the GCCP (Articles 905 and 780 therein). In principle, foreign judgements are declared enforceable by the Greek courts if they are enforceable according to the law of the court which has issued the decision and they do not oppose to bonos mores or to the public order.

However, where EU regulations or international conventions and bilateral treaties are applicable, the provisions of the GCCP are applied only to the extend that the relevant matter is not regulated therein. The sedes materiae on the enforcement of intra-EU judgments in Greece is the Brussels Recast Regulation (EU 1215/2012) “on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters”.

Norway Small Flag Norway

The Lugano convention applies in Norway. According to the Convention, a judgment given in a state party to the European Union or the European Economic Area (EEA) shall be recognized in other EU- and EEA-states without any special procedure being required. With regards to other foreign judgments, the judgment will only be final and enforceable in Norway if the parties have agreed on the jurisdiction for a specific action or for actions that arise out of a particular circumstance.

Luxembourg Small Flag Luxembourg

Since the coming into force of Regulation Brussels I Bis, it is no longer necessary to turn to a Luxembourg judge in order to enforce a judgment rendered by a court of another EU Member State. A claimant may now directly turn to the relevant authorities of the place of enforcement.

Therefore, a judgment of another Member State may now directly be entrusted with a Luxembourg bailiff in order to enforce it or to carry on a preventive seizure of assets.

Nevertheless, a prior formality will have to be completed. The judgment must be formally served to its recipient prior to carrying out any enforcement measure.

In the absence of an applicable international treaty (for some countries outside the European Union), the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments must be sought from the competent court by means of a writ of summons and written proceedings.

United States Small Flag United States

There are no international treaties or federal laws requiring U.S. federal courts to enforce foreign judgments. As such, enforcement of monetary judgments in U.S. federal and state courts is controlled by the underlying state law. Many states have adopted the Uniform Foreign Money-Judgments Recognition Act (the “UFMJRA”). Under the UFMJRA, courts will generally recognize foreign judgments for a sum of money. Other states recognize foreign judgments as a matter of common law and/or under the principle of comity.

U.S. courts will also generally recognize foreign declaratory judgments and injunctions. However, there are situations in which U.S. courts will not enforce foreign judgments, including when the judgment was rendered under a system that does not provide impartial tribunals or procedures compatible with due process, or when the foreign court did not have personal jurisdiction over the defendant.

Iran Small Flag Iran

Foreign judgements can be enforced after they are recognised by Iranian courts in accordance with the Law on Enforcement of Civil Judgments 1977 (LECJ).

Under LECJ recognition and enforcement of foreign courts judgment is subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions, the most important of which in relation to commercial litigations are:

  • reciprocity in the country in which the judgment is handed down;
  • the judgment being final and enforceable in the country in which it has been handed down, and a writ of enforcement has been issued from the relevant foreign authorities;
  • content of the judgment not being contrary to the Iranian public order or good morals; and
  • absence of a judgment in Iran contrary to the judgment enforcement of which has been sought.

The Netherlands Small Flag The Netherlands

In civil and commercial matters, the recognition and enforcement of judgments from EU Member States (except for Denmark) is laid down by Brussels I Recast and some other EU regulations. Brussels I Recast provides for enforcement without any special procedure being required.

If there is a convention pursuant to which the foreign decision qualifies for enforcement in the Netherlands, permission of the court must be obtained first. Upon request for an exequatur the court does not investigate the case itself, but verifies whether all formalities – including, but not limited to, the review criteria of the applicable convention regulations – have been observed. The exequatur proceedings may be overruled by special convention or statutory regulations.

If there is no convention pursuant to which the foreign decision qualifies for enforcement in the Netherlands, a foreign judgment cannot be enforced in the Netherlands, even if the decision is susceptible of being recognised in the Netherlands. New proceedings have to be initiated before a Dutch court in order to obtain powers to enforce in the Netherlands. In practice, the case will not be reviewed on the merits again. If the foreign decision meets four recognition requirements established in Dutch case law, the Dutch courts will generally follow the foreign decision.

Ecuador Small Flag Ecuador

Foreign judgments or awards are enforceable instruments. They must be filed with the first-tier judge of the domicile of the person who must comply with the judgment. If the person in question has no domicile, the judgment must then be filed with the judge of the location where the property is located.

The following requirements must be met for the nationalization of judgments issued abroad:

a) That they meet the external formalities necessary to be considered authentic in the State of origin;
b) That the judgment was issued with the force of res iudicata, in accordance with the laws of the country where it was issued, and that any necessary documentation attached to it be duly legalized;
c) That, if appropriate, it be translated into Spanish;
d) That it be established that the defendant was legally notified and that the due defense of the parties was ensured;
e) That the application for nationalization state the place where process may be served upon the person who must comply with the foreign judgment.

The nationalization process.

a) Filing of the application by the person interested in executing the judgment.
b) Verification by the judge of the requirements set forth in the previous paragraph.
c) Issuance of a subpoena to the person who must comply with the judgment, giving him five days to object to nationalization.
d) The Court will decide whether nationalization is appropriate within a term of thirty days reckoned as of the date of the subpoena.

If the objection to nationalization is grounded and justified, and if the cause warrants it, a hearing will be set within a maximum term of twenty days from the filing of the objection to nationalization at which the parties will be heard; discovery will take place and the objection will be ruled on. The court’s decision is not subject to appeal; it may only be enhanced and clarified. Once the judgment has been nationalized, it is executed in the same manner as domestic judgments.

UAE Small Flag UAE

Pursuant to the Civil Procedures Law, judgments and orders issued in a foreign country may be enforced in the UAE on the same conditions as prescribed in the laws of that country for the enforcement of similar judgments and orders issued in the UAE.

Enforcement procedures are similar to normal litigation procedures where the application is filed with the Court of First Instance which has jurisdiction over the said enforcement.

Before enforcement of a foreign judgment is ordered, there are a few matters which have to be verified including the fact that the UAE Courts do not have jurisdiction over the dispute in which the foreign judgment has been issued, and that the foreign courts which issued it have jurisdiction therein under the international rules of or legal jurisdiction prescribed in its laws.

Further, it must be verified that the opposing parties in the case in which the foreign judgment has been issued have been duly summoned to appear, and have been duly represented.

In addition, the foreign judgment must have acquired the force of a fait accompli under the law of the court which issued it, and must not conflict with a judgment or order previously issued by a court in the UAE and contains nothing in breach of public morals or order in the UAE.

The above also applies to arbitration awards issued in a foreign country.

Finally, the above applies to the extent where it does not affect or contradict the terms of treaties executed between the UAE and other countries.

Armenia Small Flag Armenia

As a rule, out-of-state court judgments will be enforced if the foreign court is assured the court judgment from the issuing state is valid. First of all, only final decisions and a decision on interim remedy on the basis of an international convention or diplomatic reciprocity (and according to the law the reciprocity is presumed before proven contrary) can be enforced, although some decisions (such as a decision about the legal status of a person) can be valid without having those legal grounds. The latter are the decisions that do not require enforcement, and which were examined by the court without convening a hearing.

The decision is to be submitted to the court in 3 years period from the time it came into force. An application for the recognition and enforcement of a foreign judicial act shall be submitted to the court of the residence of the defendant. If the defendant is not an RA resident or his place of residence is unknown, the application shall be submitted to the court of the place of the property belonging to the debtor. Where a foreign judicial act does not impose enforcement against a single debtor or does not require enforcement in general, an application for the recognition and enforcement of such an act shall be submitted to the court of residence (place of residence) of the person representing it. The court can also take some measures to ensure the enforcement of the judgment by a motion of the party.

The Court shall reject the application for the recognition and enforcement of a foreign judicial act, if:

  1. the judicial act has not entered into legal force in accordance with the laws of the State in which it has been passed,
  2. the party has been deprived of the opportunity to participate in the proceedings;
  3. there is a judgment issued by the court of the Republic of Armenia in respect of the same subject and on the same ground, and a judgment passed by the court of another State and recognised by the court of the Republic of Armenia,
  4. the proceedings initiated before the same court, in the case of the same subject and on the same ground,
  5. the case on which the court ruling of a foreign state has been issued shall belong to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of the Republic of Armenia,
  6. the case on which a foreign judicial act has been passed does not belong to the international jurisdiction of the court of that State,
  7. the recognition and enforcement of the judicial act contradict the public order of the Republic of Armenia,
  8. the judicial act is not subject to execution according to the legislation of the State where it is made.
  9. Next, the warrant of execution shall be issued by the court, and on that basis, an enforcement procedure is initiated. The procedure is governed by the general rules of judgment enforcement prescribed by the Law on Judicial Acts Enforcement.

Updated: July 3, 2019