Answer ... Yes. Both pursuant to Austrian statutory law and under the Brussels Ia Regulation, a declaration of enforceability of a foreign judgment may be refused if the defendant was not served with the document instituting the proceedings in time to arrange for a proper defence. Such an objection may be remedied where the defendant participated in subsequent proceedings. Also, pursuant to Austrian case law, where the document was served in a foreign language on an Austrian addressee, it could be declined if no German translation was provided. However, if the defendant could understand the document, this objection will be disregarded.
Answer ... The Austrian courts will determine whether, pursuant to the Austrian rules on jurisdiction, the foreign court had jurisdiction over the legal matter. An objection for lack of jurisdiction may be established where the default judgment was rendered by a court that lacked jurisdiction over the matter and to which the defendant never submitted.
However, under the Brussels regime, the jurisdiction of the court of origin shall not be reviewed by the enforcing court. Furthermore, the Brussels Ia Regulation states that the test of public policy may not be applied to the rules relating to jurisdiction.
Answer ... Generally, Austrian courts will examine foreign judgments for compliance with Austrian public policy. However, the declaration of enforceability may be refused only on the grounds of a violation of fundamental principles of Austria jurisdiction, such as the Constitution or criminal law.
Answer ... Under no circumstances may a foreign judgment be reviewed as to its merits.
Answer ... Austrian courts may refuse to issue a declaration of enforceability if the foreign judgment contradicts other final judgments involving the same parties. Under the Brussels regime, a court may refuse recognition and enforcement if:
- the judgment is irreconcilable with a judgment between the same parties in the addressed member state; or
- the judgment is irreconcilable with an earlier judgment between the same parties in a different member state or third state, involving the same cause of action, provided that the earlier judgment fulfils the conditions necessary for recognition in the addressed member state.
Answer ... In addition to the general requirements for enforceability and the review process mentioned above, the declaration of enforceability may also be refused if:
- the right to be heard has been violated;
- the judgment is inadmissible under Austrian law;
- the judgment violates Austrian public policy; or
- the judgment is irreconcilable with previous judgments between the same parties on the same cause of action.
Answer ... Yes – for example, where parts of the judgment would violate Austrian public policy, but other parts meet the requirements for enforceability. However, separation is possible only if the admissible part is clear and distinct from the inadmissible part.
Answer ... When deciding on enforceability, the courts will take into account attorneys’ fees, court costs and interest claims. Further, the damages award will not be converted into local currency. However, when the realisation acts are being undertaken, the award must be converted into local currency.
Interest rates that violate Austrian public policy will be deemed unenforceable.