Enforcement Of Foreign Judgments 2017, 2nd Edition

Date15 May 2017


1 Country Finder

Please set out the various regimes applicable to recognising and enforcing judgments in your jurisdiction and the names of the countries to which such special regimes apply. Applicable Law/ Statutory Regime Relevant Jurisdiction(s) Corresponding Section Below Common Law Judgments from all countries to which EU Regulation 1215/2012 and the Lugano Convention do not apply (i.e. all countries other than EU countries, Norway, Switzerland and Iceland) Section 2 EU Regulation 1215/2012 (for relevant proceedings commenced on or after 10 January 2015) EU countries Section 3 EC Regulation 44/2001 (for relevant proceedings commenced before 10 January 2015) EU countries Section 3 Lugano Convention EU countries, Norway, Switzerland and Iceland Section 3 New York Convention on Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards 1958 Arbitration awards rendered in countries which are signatories to the Convention Section 3 EC Regulation 805/2004 EU countries where the claims are uncontested Section 3 2 General Regime

2.1 Absent any applicable special regime, what is the legal framework under which a foreign judgment would be recognised and enforced in your jurisdiction?

The general Common Law regime of the legal framework under which a foreign judgment, being civil or commercial (but not insolvency) judgments from all countries to which EU Regulation 1215/2012, EC Regulation 44/2001 or the Lugano Convention do not apply, would be recognised and enforced in Ireland is set out below. Recognition and enforcement of a foreign judgment is pursued by way of commencing fresh proceedings by way of an originating High Court summons. Any fresh proceedings commenced are required to be issued by the Central Office of the High Court and served on the defendant/judgment debtor. For non-EU and non- Lugano Convention judgments, leave of the High Court must first be obtained to issue and serve the proceedings out of the jurisdiction. Order 11, Rule 1(q) of the Rules of the Superior Courts identifies that such leave may be granted in cases brought to enforce any foreign judgment.

As addressed below, since recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments is permissible only in respect of money judgments, a party seeking recognition and enforcement of a foreign money judgment may proceed by way of summary summons (which in domestic procedure is, inter alia, reserved for claims for a debt or liquidated sums).

2.2 What requirements (in form and substance) must a foreign judgment satisfy in order to be recognised and enforceable in your jurisdiction?

The relevant prerequisites to be met under Irish common law in order for a court to recognise and enforce a foreign judgment are:

the foreign judgment must be for a definite sum and therefore only money judgments may be enforced. Moreover, Irish courts will not enforce foreign revenue, penal or other public laws, whether directly or through the recognition of a foreign judgment; the foreign judgment must be final and conclusive, which means that it must be final and unalterable by the court that pronounced it. Even if an appeal is pending, the judgment may still be considered final and conclusive unless the appeal has the effect of staying the judgment; and the judgment against the defendant must be given by a court of competent jurisdiction. This means that the foreign court must have had 'jurisdiction' under Irish conflict of law rules to deliver the final and conclusive judgment in respect of which recognition and enforcement is sought. Submission to the jurisdiction of the foreign court by the defendant will usually arise by virtue of a prior agreement to that effect or by participation in the foreign proceedings, or through presence in the jurisdiction at the time of the proceedings. Assertion of jurisdiction by a foreign court on the bases of nationality or allegiance of the defendant, the domicile of the defendant, reciprocity, the cause of action accruing in the foreign country or the possession of property by the defendant in the foreign country may not of themselves be sufficient bases for the Irish courts to accept that the foreign courts had jurisdiction. For recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments, a verified/ certified/sealed copy of the foreign judgment is required. If the foreign judgment is not in an official language of the State (i.e. English or Irish), it will need to be translated into either Irish or (more usually) English. If the foreign judgment has been obtained in default, proof of service of the judgment on the defendant/ judgment debtor will also be required. 2.3 Is there a difference between recognition and enforcement of judgments? If so, what are the legal effects of recognition and enforcement respectively?

Recognition is the process of giving the same effect or status to the judgment in the country where enforcement is sought as it has in the state where the judgment was given. Under Irish law, enforcement is typically understood as being made the subject of a process of execution. As a precursor to that, however, the judgment will need to be recognised, such that recognition of a judgment is, save in very limited circumstances, a precondition to enforcement.

Since only foreign money judgments may be recognised and enforced in Ireland, it would be extremely unusual for recognition to be sought on its own as enforcement (execution) is typically the objective in pursuing the proceedings.

2.4 Briefly explain the procedure for recognising and enforcing a foreign judgment in your jurisdiction.

Where an application for leave to issue and serve the proceedings out of the jurisdiction is required to be made to the High Court, this will usually be done on an ex parte basis, grounded upon an affidavit. That affidavit will generally recite the history of the matter and will exhibit the documents referred to above at question 2.2. It will also usually aver to the fact that the judgment involved is a money judgment, is final and conclusive and was delivered by a court of competent jurisdiction and is enforceable in that jurisdiction.

Once the (summary) summons has issued and been served, the next step for the plaintiff is to issue a motion seeking an order for recognition/enforcement. That motion is also grounded on affidavit and it would also usually exhibit the documents referred to above and make the same averments as would be made when seeking leave to issue and serve the proceedings out of the jurisdiction. If the defendant/judgment debtor has not entered an appearance to the fresh Irish proceedings, the plaintiff will need to put evidence of service of the originating summons and the motion before the court by way of affidavit.

2.5 On what grounds can recognition/enforcement of a judgment be challenged? When can such a challenge be made?

Recognition/enforcement of a foreign judgment can be challenged on a number of grounds. The High Court has a discretion to refuse recognition and enforcement of a foreign judgment on the following bases:

fraud in procuring the foreign judgment (irrespective of whether fraud has been raised as a defence in the foreign proceedings or not); lack of jurisdiction (whether of the foreign court or the Irish court); it is contrary to Irish public policy; it is contrary to principles of natural justice (such as the right to be given due notice of the proceedings, an opportunity to be heard by an impartial tribunal, etc.); and where the judgment is inconsistent with an earlier judgment based on the same cause of action between the same parties (whether analysed on a res judicata or estoppel basis - see the responses at questions 2.7 and 2.8 below). As a...

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