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Results: 4 Answers
Enforcement of Foreign Judgments
1.
Legal and judicial framework
1.1
Which legislative and regulatory provisions govern the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments in your jurisdiction?
 
UK
In England and Wales, a range of rules govern the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments. Which rules apply will depend on where and when the foreign judgment was obtained.

The recognition and enforcement of judgments obtained in EU Member States is governed by EU rules. The most recent iteration of these rules is the Recast Brussels Regulation (Regulation (EU) 1215/2012), which applies to judgments given in proceedings commenced on or after 10 January 2015. The predecessor to the Recast Brussels Regulation (Regulation (EU) 44/2001) continues to apply to judgments given in proceedings commenced before 10 January 2015. The 1968 Brussels Convention also continues to apply in relation to judgments given in Gibraltar and some dependent territories of EU member states. For judgments obtained in Iceland, Norway and Switzerland (which are not part of the European Union, but are part of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA)), the relevant rules are found in the 2007 Lugano Convention. These rules are broadly the same as those under the 2001 Brussels Regulation. For convenience, this Q&A refers to these rules collectively as the ¡¥EU/EFTA rules¡¦.

In addition to the EU/EFTA rules, the UK has bilateral arrangements with various countries and British overseas territories. These rules are given effect in England and Wales by two statutes.

The Administration of Justice Act 1920 applies to judgments obtained in the superior courts of various commonwealth countries and British overseas territories. These include Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Botswana, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Falkland Islands, Fiji, the Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Kenya, Kiribati, Lesotho, Malawi, Malaysia, Mauritius, Montserrat, New Zealand, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, St Kitts and Nevis, St Helena, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, Tuvalu, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The judgment creditor can, if it wishes, bring an action on the judgment under the common law rules instead, but it will not generally obtain its costs of those proceedings unless it has applied unsuccessfully for registration under the 1920 act.

The Foreign Judgments (Reciprocal Enforcement) Act 1933 applies to judgments obtained in Australia, Canada, Guernsey, Jersey, Isle of Man, India, Israel and Pakistan. The 1933 act is extended to each territory by way of a statutory instrument which states the specific courts and territories to which the act applies. It is advisable to check the statutory instrument for the relevant country, as there are some nuances ƒ{ for example, the 1933 act extends to judgments of the Federal Court of Canada and most of the provinces, but not Quebec and Nunavut.

If the judgment does not fall within any of the specific rules outlined above, then the recognition and enforcement of the judgment are governed by the English common law rules. This includes judgments obtained in countries such as Argentina, Brazil, China, Indonesia, Japan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey and the United States.

The rules outlined above apply to the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters. There are separate rules for other types of judgments, such as matrimonial or parental issues or the international carriage of goods; but a detailed consideration of these rules is beyond the scope of this Q&A.

There are specific rules for the enforcement of judgments obtained in one part of the United Kingdom in another part of the United Kingdom. These rules are found in the Civil Jurisdiction and Judgments Act 1982, but are not discussed in detail in this Q&A.

There are specific rules for EU judgments in uncontested claims pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 805/2004 (European enforcement orders). Consideration of these rules is beyond the scope of this Q&A.

The instruments and statutes referred to above set out the substantive rules for the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments which apply in England and Wales. Where this Q&A explains the procedure for the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments, it refers to rules in England and Wales which are (save in respect of enforcement under the common law rules) largely set out in the Civil Procedure Rules, Part 74. The rules may be different in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The rules on the recognition and enforcement of judgments obtained in EU member states will change when the United Kingdom leaves the European Union. This is discussed briefly in question 8.1.

For more information about this answer please contact: Anna Pertoldi from Herbert Smith Freehills
1.2
Which bilateral and multilateral instruments on the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments have effect in your jurisdiction?
 
UK
The European Union and European Free Trade Area rules have effect in the United Kingdom as explained in question 1.1. These include The Recast Brussels Regulation (Regulation (EU) 1215/2012), the predecessor Brussels Regulation (Regulation (EU) 44/2001), the 1968 Brussels Convention, and the 2007 Lugano Convention.

The United Kingdom is also party to bilateral agreements with various countries and British overseas territories. These are given effect in the United Kingdom by domestic legislation as explained in question 1.1.

The United Kingdom is also a party to the 2005 Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements. At present, this is of limited scope and applies only to judgments obtained in:

  • Mexico, where the Mexican courts were designated in an exclusive choice of court agreement concluded on or after 1 October 2015;
  • Singapore, where the Singaporean courts were designated in an exclusive choice of court agreement concluded on or after 1 October 2016; and
  • Montenegro, where the Montenegrin courts were designated in an exclusive choice of court agreement concluded on or after 1 September 2018.
For more information about this answer please contact: Anna Pertoldi from Herbert Smith Freehills
1.3
Which courts have jurisdiction to hear applications for the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments?
 
UK
Applications for the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments are dealt with by the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court.

For more information about this answer please contact: Anna Pertoldi from Herbert Smith Freehills