CMS Expert Guide to Recognition and Enforcement of Judgements

Right knows no boundaries, and justice no frontiers; the brotherhood of man is not a domestic institution.
(American judge, 1872 – 1961)

International clients who have successfully obtained a judicial decision in their favour – be it a court judgment or an arbitral award – and then want to enforce the decision in a foreign jurisdiction, often ask us the same question: How can the judgment or award be recognised and enforced in, say, Germany – or in any other country?

The question of where and how to enforce a judicial decision in a foreign jurisdiction is crucial in cross-border disputes. Whereas in an ideal world “right should know no boundaries and justice no frontiers”, the practical reality is often quite different.

Unlike the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, with regard to court judgments, there is no international convention governing that a judgement given in one jurisdiction is automatically recognised and enforceable also in other states. Instead, recognition and enforcement of court judgments is governed by a patchwork of regulations, including multilateral conventions, EU provisions, bilateral treaties and domestic laws.

This CMS Expert Guide aims to bring this blurry picture into focus. It provides an overview of the conditions for the enforcement both of court judgments and arbitral awards in the following jurisdictions: Chile, England and Wales, France, Germany, Italy, Peru, Romania, Singapore, Spain and Switzerland. It identifies the relevant legislation and regulations, and outlines the key procedures and timeframes involved.

If you would like further information on these issues, please contact us. CMS has an extensive international network of experienced specialists ready to discuss your questions on cross-border litigation and enforcement proceedings, and we would be delighted to hear from you.