Answer ... As the application under the Lugano Convention or the Hague Convention is made on an ex parte basis, the judgment debtor is unlikely to be present at the hearing of the application. In any event, once the necessary formalities have been met and proofs are in order, the master of the High Court should declare the judgment enforceable on the first date the application is heard.
Under the common law, a judgment debtor must be put on notice of the application for recognition and enforcement of the foreign judgment, so the judgment debtor may be present and contest the application. As the enforcement of a foreign judgment under common law is akin to the claim for a contract debt, the general principles applicable to the defence of a claim for such a debt apply. In terms of specific defences which may be raised by a judgment debtor to an application to recognise and enforce a foreign judgment, these may include the following:
- challenging the application on the basis that the judgment does not meet the criteria required under common law in order for the judgment to be recognised and deemed enforceable, as referred to in question 2.1;
- a claim that there has been some form of fraud in the obtaining of the judgment; and/or
- a claim that the judgment contradicts an earlier judgment based on the same facts involving the same parties.
Answer ... As an application pursuant to the Lugano Convention or the Hague Convention is made on an ex parte basis, the judgment debtor is unlikely to be present to challenge the application and will not file a challenge in advance of the application. However, should the master of the High Court deem the foreign judgment enforceable pursuant to the Lugano Convention or the Hague Convention, the judgment debtor can appeal that decision as discussed further in question 6.1.
Under common law, the application seeking recognition and enforcement of a foreign judgment is made on notice to the judgment debtor and the relevant court papers must be served on the judgment debtor. Where the judgment debtor is domiciled in Ireland, an appearance should be entered within eight days of service of the summons if the debtor wishes to appear at the application to challenge it. Where the judgment debtor is domiciled outside of Ireland, the timeframe for entering an appearance will depend on the jurisdiction in which the judgment debtor is domiciled. However, despite the prescription of timeframes within which an appearance should be entered, the Irish courts will generally allow a judgment debtor to enter an appearance up to the date on which the application is due to be heard. As regards the challenge to the application, a judgment debtor will need to file a replying affidavit should the judgment debtor wish to put any facts into evidence, and the application is likely to be adjourned on the first date it is listed should the judgment debtor seek time to file a replying affidavit. Although there is no set prescribed timeframe within which the replying affidavit should be filed and the judgment debtor is likely to be accommodated in filing a replying affidavit, the Irish courts may prescribe a timeframe within which the affidavit should be filed if it is not forthcoming and may proceed with the application if the affidavit is not filed within the prescribed timeframe.
Answer ... Similar to a judgment creditor, a judgment debtor can seek injunctive relief while an application for recognition and enforcement is pending. The points made in question 3.7 will also be relevant in this context.