The circumstances in which an Australian judgment will be enforceable in an overseas jurisdiction will vary depending on the laws of the local country. Where Australia has a reciprocal arrangement with the local country, then enforcement of the Australian judgment will be more straightforward.
Generally, for an Australian judgment to be enforced overseas it must:
- be for a fixed sum of money (it is usually not possible to enforce Australian judgments for specific performance or an injunction in another jurisdiction);
- not conflict with the domestic laws and domestic public policy of the local country (for example, Australian awards of exemplary damages may not be enforced in foreign jurisdictions);
- be final and conclusive (in some foreign jurisdictions, a judgment may be 'final and conclusive' even if there is a pending appeal); and
- concern a matter which the Australian Court held the jurisdiction to hear.
Generally, a verified copy of the original Australian judgment, together with a translation of the judgment into the official language of the foreign country, should be provided to the applicable judicial body, together with:
- an affidavit setting out the particulars of the debt that is the subject of the Australian judgment and identifying the location of the overseas debtor; and
- written submissions confirming that the Australian judgment meets the substantive requirements of the local jurisdiction.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.