Enforcement Of Foreign Judgments In Jersey

This briefing explains how foreign judgments may be enforced in Jersey. Jersey has its own legal system and is a separate jurisdiction from that of England and Wales. Judgments obtained outside Jersey which provide for the payment of a sum of money may be enforced in Jersey by statutory registration or by action at common law. Recent developments in the common law indicate that non-money judgments can now be enforced in certain circumstances. Other types of foreign judgments may only be afforded recognition, which is dealt with later in this briefing.


The registration of foreign judgments is governed by the Judgments (Reciprocal Enforcement) (Jersey) Law 1960 (as amended) (the "1960 Law")1. The 1960 Law provides for the registration and enforcement in Jersey of judgments given in the superior courts of countries which accord reciprocal treatment to judgments given in Jersey2. Presently, the reciprocating countries and their superior courts are as follows:

England and Wales: UK Supreme Court; House of Lords; Court of Appeal; High Court of Justice. Scotland: UK Supreme Court; Court of Session; Sheriff Court. Northern Ireland: UK Supreme Court; Supreme Court of Judicature. Isle of Man: Her Majesty's High Court of Justice (including the Staff of Government Division). Guernsey: Royal Court; Court of Appeal. Judgments that can be registered

Not all judgments given by such superior courts can be registered. The registration procedure set out in Part 2 of the 1960 Law applies only to judgments or orders given or made in civil proceedings, or in criminal proceedings for the payment of a sum of money in respect of compensation or damages to an injured party. An English County Court judgment given in proceedings later transferred to the High Court for enforcement may now be registered in Jersey3.

In addition, the judgment must:

be final and conclusive as between the parties; and provide for the payment of a sum of money, but not in respect of taxes or similar charges, or a fine or other penalty4. A judgment can be "final and conclusive" even though an appeal in the foreign court is pending or possible, although any such appeal will be relevant to an application to set aside registration.

If a foreign judgment falls within Part 2 of the 1960 Law, the judgment creditor must use the registration procedure. No other proceedings for the recovery of the sum payable, for example by action at common law, are permitted in Jersey.

Procedure for registration

The judgment creditor must apply to the Royal Court within six years of either the date of the judgment itself or, where the judgment has been appealed, the date of the last judgment in the appeal proceedings.5 The application, supported by affidavit evidence and exhibiting a certified copy of the foreign judgment, is made ex parte to the Judicial Greffier, an officer of the Royal Court who is similar to a Master in the English High Court.

A foreign judgment will not be registered if, at the date of the application, it has been wholly satisfied, or could not be enforced by execution in the foreign country itself. However, the Royal Court has the power to register the outstanding balance due under a partially satisfied foreign judgment, and to register a foreign judgment insofar as it provides for the payment of a money sum whilst ignoring any non-registrable elements (such as an order for specific performance). Any sum payable in a foreign currency will be converted to pounds sterling at the prevailing rate. The registered judgment will include any interest due under the law of the foreign country up to the time of registration, plus the reasonable costs of the registration...

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