Recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments : are the rules appropriate?

Huang, Paula (2013) Recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments : are the rules appropriate? Professional Doctorate thesis, Queensland University of Technology.

Abstract

The recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments is an aspect of private international law, and concerns situations where a successful party to litigation seeks to rely on a judgment obtained in one court, in a court in another jurisdiction. The most common example where the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments may arise is where a party who has obtained a favourable judgment in one state or country may seek to recognise and enforce the judgment in another state or country. This occurs because there is no sufficient asset in the state or country where the judgment was rendered to satisfy that judgment.

As technological advancements in communications over vast geographical distances have improved exponentially in recent years, there has been an increase in cross-border transactions, as well as litigation arising from these transactions. As a result, the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments is of increasing importance, since a party who has obtained a judgment in cross-border litigation may wish to recognise and enforce the judgment in another state or country, where the defendant’s assets may be located without having to re-litigate substantive issues that have already been resolved in another court.

The purpose of the study is to examine whether the current state of laws for the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments in Australia, the United States and the European Community are in line with modern-commercial needs. The study is conducted by weighing two competing objectives between the notion of finality of litigation, which encourages courts to recognise and enforce judgments foreign to them, on the one hand, and the adequacy of protection to safeguard the recognition and enforcement proceedings, so that there would be no injustice or unfairness if a foreign judgment is recognised and enforced, on the other.

The findings of the study are as follows. In both Australia and the United States, there is a different approach concerning the recognition and enforcement of judgments rendered by courts interstate or in a foreign country. In order to maintain a single and integrated nation, there are constitutional and legislative requirements authorising courts to give conclusive effects to interstate judgments. In contrast, if the recognition and enforcement actions involve judgments rendered by a foreign country’s court, an Australian or a United States court will not recognise and enforce the foreign judgment unless the judgment has satisfied a number of requirements and does not fall under any of the exceptions to justify its non-recognition and non-enforcement. In the European Community, the Brussels I Regulation which governs the recognition and enforcement of judgments among European Union Member States has created a scheme, whereby there is only a minimal requirement that needs to be satisfied for the purposes of recognition and enforcement. Moreover, a judgment that is rendered by a Member State and based on any of the jurisdictional bases set forth in the Brussels I Regulation is entitled to be recognised and enforced in another Member State without further review of its underlying jurisdictional basis. However, there are concerns as to the adequacy of protection available under the Brussels I Regulation to safeguard the judgment-enforcing Member States, as well as those against whom recognition or enforcement is sought.

This dissertation concludes by making two recommendations aimed at improving the means by which foreign judgments are recognised and enforced in the selected jurisdictions. The first is for the law in both Australia and the United States to undergo reform, including: adopting the real and substantial connection test as the new jurisdictional basis for the purposes of recognition and enforcement; liberalising the existing defences to safeguard the application of the real and substantial connection test; extending the application of the Foreign Judgments Act 1991 (Cth) in Australia to include at least its important trading partners; and implementing a federal statutory scheme in the United States to govern the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments. The second recommendation is to introduce a convention on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments. The convention will be a convention double, which provides uniform standards for the rules of jurisdiction a court in a contracting state must exercise when rendering a judgment and a set of provisions for the recognition and enforcement of resulting judgments.

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ID Code: 61917
Item Type: QUT Thesis (Professional Doctorate)
Supervisor: Duncan, Bill & McEniery, Benjamin
Keywords: private international law, foreign judgments, interstate judgments, recognition, enforcement, Australia, United States, European community, Brussels I Regulation
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Schools > School of Law
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 19 Aug 2013 05:48
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2015 02:40

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