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 global guide to dispute resolution. For a full list of jurisdictional Q&As visit www.practicallaw.com/dispute-guide.

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.

Jurisdiction

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

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

Signatory to the Mercosur trade block's Protocol on Co-operation and Jurisdictional Assistance in Civil, Commercial, Labour and Administrative matters with Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, which establishes the requirements for the mutual recognition and enforcement of judgments.

Australia

Australia has a statutory scheme in the Foreign Judgments Act 1991 (Cth) for the recognition and enforcement of judgments entered into in foreign countries with which Australia has reciprocal arrangements. The Foreign Judgments Regulations 1992 (Cth) list the countries to which the scheme applies.

Bermuda ( www.practicallaw.com/3-275-7952)

Judgments (Reciprocal Enforcement) Act 1958.

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

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

Foreign judgments 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)

UN Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards 1958.

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

Regulation (EU) 1215/2012 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters.

Regulation (EC) 805/2004 creating a European Enforcement Order for uncontested claims (European Enforcement Order Regulation).

Regulation (EC) 1346/2000 on insolvency proceedings.

Hague Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters of 1971.

Denmark ( www.practicallaw.com/0-594-0727)

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

  • EFTA Convention on Jurisdiction and Enforcement of Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters 1988 (Lugano Convention).

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

  • Nordic Convention on the Recognition of Civil Judgments 1933.

  • HCCH Convention on the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil and Commercial Matters 1970 (Hague Evidence Convention).

Ecuador ( www.practicallaw.com/4-619-8516)

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

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.

France ( www.practicallaw.com/9-502-0121)

  • Regulation (EU) 1215/2012 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters (Recast Brussels Regulation).

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

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

  • Regulation (EU) 1215/2012 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters.

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

  • Bilateral treaties exist with a number of countries, including Austria, Belgium, Greece, Israel, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, Spain, Tunisia and the United Kingdom. However, in relation to member states of the EU, the scope of application of bilateral treaties, if any, is very narrow and they are of minor practical relevance in commercial disputes.

Ghana ( www.practicallaw.com/0-619-2168)

Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards.

Gibraltar ( www.practicallaw.com/1-620-0691)

Regulation (EU) 1215/2012 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters (Recast Brussels Regulation)

Guernsey ( www.practicallaw.com/1-242-7967)

Guernsey has reciprocal arrangements with England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Isle of Man, Jersey, Italy, Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles, Surinam and Israel.

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)

Judgments from reciprocating countries (such as the UK) are enforceable in India.

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

Not applicable.

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

  • Regulation (EU) 1215/2012 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters.

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

Italy ( www.practicallaw.com/3-502-1581)

Regulation (EU) 1215/2012 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters.

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).

Malaysia ( www.practicallaw.com/5-620-1108)

Judgments from countries listed in the first schedule of the Reciprocal Enforcement of Judgments Act 1958 can be enforced in Malaysia, namely those from the UK, Singapore, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Brunei and India.

Judgments rendered in other countries can be enforced if conditions under the common law are met.

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)

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

  • Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements.

Philippines

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

Russian Federation

  • Multilateral (Commonwealth of Independent States): Convention on Legal Assistance and Legal Relations in Civil, Family and Criminal Cases 1993.

  • Bilateral: Argentina, China, Greece, India, Spain, Vietnam and other countries.

  • The reciprocity and comity principles can also serve as a basis for the enforcement of foreign judgments, when no treaties/conventions apply.

Scotland ( www.practicallaw.com/8-593-3006)

  • UK Civil Jurisdiction and Judgments Act 1982.

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

  • EFTA Convention on Jurisdiction and Enforcement of Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters 1988 (Lugano Convention).

  • Regulation (EC) 805/2004 creating a European Enforcement Order for uncontested claims (European Enforcement Order Regulation).

  • Administration of Justice 1920 Act.

  • Foreign Judgments (Reciprocal Enforcement) Act 1933.

Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone is not a signatory to any enforcement treaty. Enforcement of foreign judgments is governed by the Foreign Judgments (Reciprocal Enforcement) Act Cap 21 of the Laws of Sierra Leone 1960

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

Foreign judgments can be enforced in Singapore under the Reciprocal Enforcement of Commonwealth Judgments Act (Cap. 264) (RECJA), the Reciprocal Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act (Cap. 265) (REFJA) or under common law (if neither the RECJA nor REFJA apply).

The RECJA applies to foreign judgments obtained from the following countries:

  • UK and Northern Ireland.

  • Australia.

  • Sri Lanka.

  • New Zealand.

  • Malaysia.

  • Windward Islands.

  • Pakistan.

  • Brunei Darussalam.

  • Papua New Guinea.

  • India (except the State of Jammu and Kashmir).

The REFJA applies to foreign judgments obtained in Hong Kong only.

The civil procedure conventions that Singapore is party to are, as follows:

  • HCCH Convention on the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil and Commercial Matters 1970 (Hague Evidence Convention).

  • Convention between the United Kingdom and Austria regarding legal proceedings in civil and commercial matters (Gazette No. T2 / 1999).

  • Convention between the United Kingdom and Italy regarding legal proceedings in civil and commercial matters (Gazette No. T3 / 1999).

  • Convention between the United Kingdom and Germany regarding legal proceedings in civil and commercial matters (Gazette No. T4 / 1999).

  • Treaty on Judicial Assistance in civil and commercial matters between the Republic of Singapore and the People's Republic of China (Gazette No. T2 / 2001).

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.

South Korea

South Korea is not a party to a specific enforcement treaty regarding court judgments. In order to enforce a foreign judgment in Korea the applying party should establish that the standards by which foreign judgments are recognised and enforced in the foreign country are not significantly different from the standards in South Korea or are not excessively onerous in comparison.

South Korea is a party to the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards.

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

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

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

  • UN Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards 1958.

  • Bilateral treaties with Albania, Algeria, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, China, Croatia, Egypt, Georgia, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Oman, Poland, Republic of Turkish Northern Cyprus, Romania, Slovakia, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan for the reciprocal recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments.

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

The US is not a party to a convention or treaty providing for the enforcement of a foreign judgment, although federal and state courts routinely enforce such judgments.

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)

  • Regulation (EU) 1215/2012 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters.

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

  • Brussels Convention on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters 1968.

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

  • Regulation (EC) 805/2004 creating a European Enforcement Order for uncontested claims.

  • Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements

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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