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Results: 4 Answers
Enforcement of Foreign Judgments
3.
Recognition and enforcement process
3.1
Is recognition of a foreign judgment a separate process from enforcement and does it have separate legal effects?
 
France
According to French private international law, foreign judgments are recognised and enforced by way of an exequatur procedure. Therefore, the judgment must first be recognised (ie, it must obtain full legal effect not only in the issuing state, but also in France). Once the judgment has achieved enforceable status through the declaration of enforceability, enforcement proceedings can begin. Enforcement is a separate process from recognition of a foreign judgment.

For more information about this answer please contact: Anke Sprengel from Endrös-Baum Associés
3.2
What is the formal process for recognition and enforcement?
 
France
According to the European objective of creating a common area of freedom, security and justice, the treaties of recognition are based on the principle of mutual confidence in jurisdiction and decisions. Because of this principle, a foreign judgment in civil and commercial matters is generally recognised ipso jure in other member states without any special procedure being required (Article 33(1) of the old Brussels I Regulation and Article 36 of the new Brussels I Regulation) (for the possibilities available to challenge the recognition of a foreign judgment under the Brussels I Regulation, see question 4.1).

As a result of recognition by law, the beneficiary can apply directly to the chief clerk of the district court for a declaration of enforceability (Article 38 of the old Brussels I Regulation and Article 509-2(1) of the Code of Civil Procedure). This formality remains a requirement for the enforcement of a foreign judgment (this is also the case under the old Brussels I Regulation). However, this requirement was abolished by Regulation (EU) 1215/2012. Under the new Brussels I Regulation, a judgment given in one member state is enforceable in all other member states. There is no longer any need to apply for a declaration of enforceability.

For more information about this answer please contact: Anke Sprengel from Endrös-Baum Associés
3.3
What documents are required in support of an application for recognition and enforcement?
 
France
There is no longer any need to apply for a declaration of enforceability regarding a judgment given in a member state that falls within the scope of Regulation (EU) 1215/2012. The party seeking enforcement need only produce:

  • an original copy of the judgment and of the certificate of the judgment; and
  • if necessary, a duly certified translation into the language of the member state of enforcement.

In other cases, it depends on the subject matter of the foreign judgment (eg, family law, civil law or commercial law).

For more information about this answer please contact: Anke Sprengel from Endrös-Baum Associés
3.4
What fees are payable for recognition and enforcement?
 
France
No fees are payable for recognition and enforcement before the French civil courts. French justice is essentially cost free.

For more information about this answer please contact: Anke Sprengel from Endrös-Baum Associés
3.5
Is the applicant required to provide security for costs?
 
France
The provision of security for costs is generally not needed.

For more information about this answer please contact: Anke Sprengel from Endrös-Baum Associés
3.6
How long does it usually take to obtain a declaration of enforceability?
 
France
A judgment given in a member state that falls within the scope of Regulation (EU) 1215/2012 is immediately enforceable in another EU member state, without any need for a declaration of enforceability (see Article 39 of the new Brussels I Regulation).

In other cases, this usually takes about six months.

For more information about this answer please contact: Anke Sprengel from Endrös-Baum Associés
3.7
Can the applicant seek injunctive relief while the process is ongoing?
 
France
Under French law, the judgment debtor cannot obtain injunctive relief to prevent foreign judgment enforcement proceedings in France. The judgment creditor can be prevented from enforcing a foreign judgment only if bankruptcy proceedings have been initiated against the judgment debtor or if immunity from execution has been granted to the judgment debtor (eg, if it is a public legal entity or a state).

Otherwise, a foreign judgment can be enforced in France by way of an exequatur procedure before the relevant district court. In the event that the conditions of the exequatur are fulfilled, the court will grant exequatur. A foreign judgment in civil and commercial matters falling within the scope of the old Brussels I Regulation is, in general, recognised ipso jure in other member states without any special procedure being required. The judgment creditor need only apply for a declaration of enforceability (see Article 38(1) of the old Brussels I Regulation).

A judgment given in a member state that falls within the scope of Regulation (EU) 1215/2012 is immediately enforceable in another EU member state, without any need for a declaration of enforceability (see Article 39 of the new Brussels I Regulation).

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