Comparative Guides
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Results: 4 Answers
Enforcement of Foreign Judgments
5.
Court analysis and decision
5.1
Will the court review service of process in the initial proceedings?
 
Ireland
Pursuant to Article 45 of Brussels Recast, a judgment debtor can apply for recognition of a foreign judgment to be refused on the grounds that the foreign judgment was given in default of appearance by the judgment debtor, if the judgment debtor was not served with the document which instituted the foreign proceedings or with an equivalent document in sufficient time and in such a way as to enable it to arrange for a defence. The judgment debtor will not have this option where it failed to commence proceedings to challenge the foreign judgment when it was possible for it to do so.

Again, pursuant to the Lugano Convention, a foreign judgment will not be recognised where it was given in default of appearance, subject to the same limitations as apply to Brussels Recast.

The Hague Convention provides that an application for recognition and enforcement may be refused where the document which instituted the proceedings in the foreign court was not notified to the judgment debtor in sufficient time and in such a way as to enable it to arrange for its defence or where the notification is incompatible with fundamental principles of Ireland concerning service of documents.

Under common law, a requirement in order for the foreign judgment to be recognised is proof that the judgment debtor either was present in the foreign jurisdiction at the time of the proceedings pursuant to which the foreign judgment was made or had submitted to the jurisdiction of the foreign court.

For more information about this answer please contact: Peter Bredin from Dillon Eustace
5.2
Will the court review the jurisdiction of the foreign court in the initial proceedings?
 
Ireland
Both Brussels Recast and the Lugano Convention provide that, subject to certain limited circumstances, the jurisdiction of the foreign court should not be reviewed.

The Hague Convention provides that where the court of a contracting state to the convention is designated in an exclusive choice of court agreement, that court shall have jurisdiction to decide a dispute to which the agreement applies, unless the agreement is null and void, in which case the Irish court may refuse to recognise the foreign judgment.

Under common law, the Irish court will recognise and deem the foreign judgment enforceable only if the judgment was delivered by a foreign court which is deemed competent pursuant to Irish conflict of laws rules.

For more information about this answer please contact: Peter Bredin from Dillon Eustace
5.3
Will the court review the foreign judgment for compliance with applicable law and public policy?
 
Ireland
Pursuant to Article 45 of Brussels Recast, a judgment debtor can apply for recognition of a foreign judgment to be refused on the grounds that the foreign judgment is manifestly contrary to public policy in Ireland.

Both the Lugano Convention and the Hague Convention provide that a foreign judgment shall not be recognised if it is manifestly contrary to or incompatible with public policy.

As referred to in question 2.1, at common law, a foreign judgment which is contrary to public policy or natural justice in Ireland should not be recognised.

For more information about this answer please contact: Peter Bredin from Dillon Eustace
5.4
Will the court review the merits of the foreign judgment?
 
Ireland
Both Brussels Recast and the Lugano Convention specifically state that under no circumstances may a foreign judgment be reviewed as to its substance.

The Hague Convention provides that there shall be no review by the Irish court of the merits of the judgment given by the foreign court, and the Irish court shall be bound by the findings of fact on which the foreign court based its jurisdiction, unless the judgment was given by default.

Generally speaking, where the Irish court determines that the foreign judgment fulfils the criteria for recognition and enforcement under common law, the Irish court will not review the merits of the foreign judgment.

For more information about this answer please contact: Peter Bredin from Dillon Eustace
5.5
How will the court proceed if the foreign judgment conflicts with a previous judgment in relation to the same dispute between the same parties?
 
Ireland
Pursuant to Brussels Recast, the Irish court can, following an application by a judgment debtor, refuse to recognise a foreign judgment on the basis that the judgment is irreconcilable with a prior judgment involving the same cause of action and between the same parties, provided that the earlier judgment fulfils the conditions necessary for its recognition in Ireland.

Pursuant to the Lugano Convention and the Hague Convention, a foreign judgment is not to be recognised in Ireland if it is irreconcilable with a prior judgment involving the same cause of action and between the same parties, provided that the earlier judgment fulfils the conditions necessary for its recognition in Ireland.

As referred to in question 4.1, under common law a judgment debtor may raise a defence that the foreign judgment contradicts an earlier judgment based on the same facts involving the same parties, and the Irish court can refuse an application for recognition and enforcement on such a basis.

For more information about this answer please contact: Peter Bredin from Dillon Eustace
5.6
Are there any other grounds on which the court may refuse to recognise and enforce the foreign judgment?
 
Ireland
Both the Lugano Convention and the Hague Convention set out the grounds upon which an application for recognition and enforcement pursuant to either convention may be refused, some of which are referred to above.

Further to the grounds already set out above, it is important to note that the recognition and deeming enforceable of a foreign judgment pursuant to common law is a discretionary relief and, while this Q&A has highlighted some of the potential reasons for an Irish court to refuse an application for recognition and enforcement, the potential grounds for refusal pursuant to common law should not be seen as exhaustive. Generally speaking, each case must be reviewed to determine the merits of the application and potential grounds for refusal.

Furthermore, the Irish Court of Appeal recently found that, while there is no specific rule requiring the presence of assets belonging to a judgment debtor in Ireland in order for a recognition and enforcement application to be brought pursuant to common law, the judgment creditor must nonetheless generally show some prospect of securing a material benefit from the recognition and enforcement application, even if that benefit is indirect and prospective only. Therefore, where a judgment debtor has no assets in Ireland and there is no evidence to demonstrate that there is a reasonable prospect or possibility that the judgment debtor will ever have assets in Ireland, the Irish courts will generally refuse to deem the foreign judgment enforceable in Ireland pursuant to common law.

For more information about this answer please contact: Peter Bredin from Dillon Eustace
5.7
Is partial recognition and enforcement possible?
 
Ireland
Pursuant to the Lugano Convention and the Hague Convention, a judgment creditor may request a declaration of enforceability limited to parts of the foreign judgment only.

As mentioned, recognition and enforcement of a foreign judgment is a discretionary relief under common law and, as such, it is within the Irish courts’ discretion to limit the recognition and enforcement of a foreign judgment to parts only.

For more information about this answer please contact: Peter Bredin from Dillon Eustace
5.8
How will the court deal with cost issues (eg, interest, court costs, currency issues)?
 
Ireland
Pursuant to the Lugano Convention and the Hague Convention, the definition of ‘judgment’ includes a determination as to costs where the foreign judgment is for a monetary sum. Therefore, where the costs have been quantified, the Irish court deeming a foreign judgment enforceable may include the costs aspect of that judgment. Where interest on that monetary sum is recoverable under the judgment at a particular rate or rates, and from a particular date or time, the Irish court’s order may include the interest aspect of the foreign judgment. Generally speaking, the Irish court will not convert a monetary sum in a foreign currency into euros (the currency applicable in Ireland) at the time of deeming the judgment enforceable. However, the judgment will – again, generally speaking – be converted into euros at the time of enforcement at the applicable currency rate at that point in time.

In relation to common law, the Irish courts will deal with the issue of interest, court costs and currency issues in a similar way to how they are dealt with under the Lugano Convention and the Hague Convention.

The Irish courts generally apply the ‘loser pays’ principle. As regards the costs of making an application pursuant to the Lugano Convention, the Hague Convention or common law, the Irish courts will, generally speaking, award the judgment creditor much of its costs should it succeed in the application.

For more information about this answer please contact: Peter Bredin from Dillon Eustace