As the world becomes ever more connected, with global trade flows at an unprecedented rate, and assets held by individuals and corporations in jurisdictions all over the world, the issue of how to enforce court Judgements obtained in foreign courts in England is an ever more pertinent question.
The starting point in dealing with this question is to consider where in the world the Judgement was obtained. The rules differ according to whether the Judgement was obtained in the non-English law jurisdictions of the UK, ie Scotland and Northern Ireland, or whether it was a Judgement from a European Union (“EU”) Member State, a Judgement from a Member State of the European Free Trade Association (“EFTA”), Commonwealth Countries, and then the worlds remaining countries.
The importance of Recognition
No judgment will be enforced unless it is recognised. This is important to prevent a party to the litigation from, for example, attempting to reopen and re-litigate the substance of the matter in England.
The same principles generally determine whether a judgment will be recognised or enforced. However, no special procedure is normally required in order to get a judgment recognised, as opposed to enforced.
Which regime governs enforcement?
There are four regimes for the enforcement of foreign judgments in England and Wales, depending on where the judgment originates from:
What is this Article about?
This Article sets out the basis of of enforcing Judgements obtained in either Scotland or Northern Ireland, in the English Courts.
Further Articles will deal with the treatment of Judgements obtained in other jurisdictions.
Judgments from Scotland or Northern Ireland: the UK regime
The procedure for enforcing judgments from Scotland or Northern Ireland is set out in sections 18, 19 and Schedules 6 and 7 of the Civil Jurisdiction and Judgements Act 1982 together with certain parts of the Civil Procedure Rules 1998.
The procedure applies to judgments in all civil proceedings, except those relating to insolvency, status, capacity or a few other matters such as judgments for provisional measures (such as freezing orders, interim injunctive relief, orders to preserve documents and other evidence), but covers interim payment orders.
The steps that a judgment creditor must take to enforce a foreign judgment under the UK regime are:
In order to discuss the enforcement of Judgements obtained in Scotland or Northern Ireland, in the English Courts, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 07460 005 769.
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