Enforcement of a foreign judgment

This table sets out which enforcement treaties/conventions a jurisdiction is signatory to.

This table has been derived from the Country Q&As of the multi-jurisdictional guide to dispute resolution. For a full list of jurisdictional Q&As visit www.practicallaw.com/dispute-mjg.

Please note that law stated dates for each jurisdiction may differ. Click on each jurisdiction to see the full answers and to check the law stated date.


What enforcement treaties/conventions is your jurisdiction a signatory to?

Argentina (www.practicallaw.com/7-519-1010)

  • Inter-American Convention on Extraterritorial Validity of Foreign Judgments and Arbitral Awards.

  • Montevideo Treaty of International Procedural Law 1889.

  • Las Leñas Protocol.

  • Bilateral treaties with France, Italy, Brazil, China, Russia and Tunisia.

Brazil (www.practicallaw.com/9-502-2479)

Foreign awards are not automatically enforceable before local courts, and will only become enforceable after undergoing a procedure of confirmation (or homologation) of judgment.

British Virgin Islands (www.practicallaw.com/2-519-2427)

Under the Reciprocal Enforcement of Judgment Act 1922, money judgments from the High Court of England and Wales and the Court of Session in Scotland, as well as the following jurisdictions (among others) can be enforced:

  • Australian Capital Territory.

  • Bahamas.

  • Barbados.

  • Belize.

  • Bermuda.

  • Federal Republic of Nigeria.

  • Guyana.

  • Jamaica.

  • New South Wales.

  • Commonwealth of Australia.

Money judgments from other jurisdictions, including the US, are enforceable at common law.

Canada (www.practicallaw.com/7-502-0711)

  • All provinces except Québec have enacted reciprocal enforcement legislation in respect of UK judgments.

  • Judgments from other jurisdictions can be sued upon in local courts and are frequently enforced provided they satisfy the "real and substantial connection" test and other requirements.

Cayman Islands (www.practicallaw.com/1-502-0993)

Only The Foreign Judgments Reciprocal Enforcement (Australia and its External Territories) Order 1993, although judgments obtained in jurisdictions subject to the Foreign Judgments Reciprocal Enforcement Law (1996 Revision) (Enforcement Law) can be registered in the Cayman Islands within six years of being obtained.

China (www.practicallaw.com/8-502-1965)

  • Arrangement on Reciprocal Enforcement of Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters with Hong Kong (REJA).

  • Bilateral enforcement treaties with certain communist or former communist countries such as Bulgaria and Vietnam.

Cyprus (www.practicallaw.com/7-502-0202)

Cyprus is a member of the EU and all EU enforcement procedures are available.

The registration of judgments obtained in the UK is governed by the Foreign Judgments (Reciprocal Enforcement) Law 1935 and the rules made under the Law by an Order in Council.

Cyprus is also bound by bilateral treaties relating to the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments with Bulgaria, China, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Poland, Russia, Serbia and Syria, and it is a signatory to various multilateral conventions relating to the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments.

Egypt (www.practicallaw.com/3-502-2788)

  • UN Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards 1958 (New York Convention).

  • Convention of the Arab League on the Enforcement of Judgments and Arbitral Awards 1952.

  • Bilateral treaty with France.

Germany (www.practicallaw.com/1-502-0728)

  • Brussels Regulation.

  • Lugano Convention.

  • Bilateral treaties with Israel, Tunis and Turkey, among others.

Hong Kong (www.practicallaw.com/0-520-6543)

  • Under the Foreign Judgments (Reciprocal Enforcement) Ordinance: Australia, Belgium, Bermuda, Brunei, France, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Malaysia, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore and Sri Lanka.

  • Under common law: the UK and the US.

  • Under the Mainland Judgments (Reciprocal Enforcement) Ordinance: mainland China.

India (www.practicallaw.com/5-502-0726)

Indian courts have jurisdiction only with regard to countries that are notified under Section 44 A (Execution of decrees passed by Courts in reciprocating territory) of the Civil Procedure Code, 1908.

The following are reciprocating territories. For non-reciprocating countries, see Question 29, Dispute Resolution Multi-jurisdictional Guide.

•         UK.

•         Aden.

•         Fiji.

•         Republic of Singapore.

•         Federation of Malaya.

•         Trinidad and Tobago.

•         New Zealand, the Cook Islands (including Niue) and the Trust Territories of Western Samoa.

•         Hong Kong.

•         Papua and New Guinea.

•         Bangladesh.

•         United Arab Emirates.

Indonesia (www.practicallaw.com/5-520-7446)

Foreign judgments (including those from the US and UK) are not enforceable in Indonesia.

Ireland (www.practicallaw.com/7-502-1536)

  • Council Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 of 22 December 2000 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters (Brussels I).

  • Lugano Convention on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters 2007 (New Lugano Convention).

Japan (www.practicallaw.com/9-502-0319)

A foreign judgment is recognised if it is final and satisfies all of the following requirements:

  • The foreign court had jurisdiction over the case based on Japanese law or a treaty to which Japan is a party.

  • The process was duly served on the unsuccessful party, or the unsuccessful party voluntarily answered the complaint.

  • The foreign judgment and the foreign court proceedings are not incompatible with public policy in Japan.

  • The foreign country recognises a similar judgment rendered in Japan (reciprocity).

Malta (www.practicallaw.com/8-520-6638)

  • Judgments from any country can be enforced in local courts provided the established procedure is followed.

  • For EU states, the Brussels I Regulation is applied.

  • For the UK, specific statutory provisions apply.

Mexico (www.practicallaw.com/0-502-1511)

  • New York Convention.

  • Panama Convention.

Romania (www.practicallaw.com/6-502-0226)

  • Regulation (EC) 44/2001 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters (Brussels Regulation).

  • Lugano Convention on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters 2007 (Lugano Convention).

Singapore (www.practicallaw.com/9-575-0765)

New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards. Court judgments are covered by the Reciprocal Enforcement of Commonwealth Judgments Act.

South Africa (www.practicallaw.com/0-502-0205)

  • New York Convention.

  • Namibia has been specifically recognised by the Enforcement of Foreign Civil Judgement Act 32 of 1988 as a country whose judgments can be enforced by registering the judgment with a South African court.

Switzerland (www.practicallaw.com/1-502-1695)

2007 Lugano Convention.

Turkey (www.practicallaw.com/3-505-9003)

UN Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards 1958 (New York Convention). Turkey is also a signatory to a number of reciprocal agreements signed with various countries.

United States (www.practicallaw.com/6-502-1160)

"There is no bilateral treaty or multilateral convention in force between the United States and any other country on reciprocal recognition and enforcement of judgments" (United States Secretary of State).

United Arab Emirates (www.practicallaw.com/4-501-9686)

  • The Riyadh Arab Agreement for Judicial Cooperation.

  • Bilateral treaties with India and France, among others.

UK (England & Wales) (www.practicallaw.com/7-502-0631)

  • Brussels Regulation.

  • 2007 Lugano Convention.

  • European Enforcement Order.

Administration of Justice Act 1920 covers the enforcement of judgments from, among others:

  • Singapore.

  • Seychelles.

  • Kenya.

  • Cayman Islands.

  • British Virgin Islands.

  • New Zealand.

    Foreign Judgments (Reciprocal Enforcement) Act 1933 covers the enforcement of money judgments from, among others:

  • India.

  • Australia (excluding Norfolk).

  • Israel.

  • Canada (excluding Quebec).

UK (Northern Ireland) (www.practicallaw.com/7-579-4505)

The UK is signatory to the following treaties/conventions:

  • Brussels Regulation.

  • New Lugano Convention.

  • European Enforcement Order Regulation.

    The enforcement of judgments from England and Wales and Scotland is covered by the Civil Jurisdiction and Judgments Act 1982.

    The enforcement of judgments from countries including the British Virgin Islands and Singapore is covered by the Administration of Justice Act 1920.

    The enforcement of judgments from countries including Australia and Canada is covered by the Foreign Judgments (Reciprocal Enforcement) Act 1933.

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