Comparative Guides
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Results: 4 Answers
Enforcement of Foreign Judgments
2.
Requirements for enforceability
2.1
What types of judgments may be recognised and enforced in your jurisdiction? Are any types of judgments specifically precluded from enforcement?
 
France
All remedies ordered by a foreign court are enforceable (except for interim injunctions), according to both French private international law and European conventions, and international agreements or conventions. However, French courts do not recognise decisions on punitive damages that are disproportionate to the harm sustained and the contractual breach (see Court of Cassation, First Civil Chamber, 1 December 2010, Appeal 09-13.303; more recently, see Court of Cassation, Criminal Chamber, 15 October 2014, Appeal 13-83.884 and Court of Cassation, First Civil Chamber, 24 May 2018, Appeal 16-26.012). Therefore, if the French courts find that the punitive damages awarded are disproportionate, they will refuse to order the enforcement of such a decision.

For more information about this answer please contact: Anke Sprengel from Endrös-Baum Associés
2.2
Must a foreign judgment be final and binding before it can be enforced?
 
France
In principle, a foreign judgment will be enforceable against the defendant after the exhaustion of all available remedies, after which the decision will be final and binding.

However, French doctrine allows for the possibility of provisional enforcement by lodging a security before the exhaustion of remedies.

For more information about this answer please contact: Anke Sprengel from Endrös-Baum Associés
2.3
Is a foreign judgment enforceable if it is subject to appeal in the foreign jurisdiction?
 
France
An appeal suspends the execution of a district court decision in France as well as a declaration of enforceability (see Article L111-3 of the French Code of Civil Enforcement Procedures).

For more information about this answer please contact: Anke Sprengel from Endrös-Baum Associés
2.4
What is the limitation period for making an application for recognition and enforcement?
 
France
As far as enforcement of a foreign decision is concerned, Articles L111-3 and L111-4 of the French Code of Civil Enforcement Procedures stipulate a limitation period of 10 years, starting with the declaration of enforceability of the foreign decision (the term ‘enforcement’ is used here only with regard to enforcement in a technical sense; this does not comprise the recognition and declaration of enforceability (see below)). However, no remedy suspending execution of the declaration of enforceability exists.

A declaration of enforceability depends on the applicable rules – that is, the European regulations and conventions outlined in question 1.2, international agreements and bilateral conventions, and French rules on private international law.

However, Articles L111-3 and L111-4 of the French Code of Civil Enforcement Procedures also provide that the 10-year limitation period does not apply if the actions for debt recovery that are taken into account in the decision set a longer time limit. In this case, the French court enforcing the decision will have to take the longer prescriptions of the foreign jurisdiction into account.

Contrary to enforcement, there are no rules on the prescription of recognition of a foreign judgment. Therefore, recognition of foreign decisions can take place at any time and the abovementioned limitation period of 10 years will start to run only at such time.

For more information about this answer please contact: Anke Sprengel from Endrös-Baum Associés