Enforcing foreign judgments using the common law
Produced in partnership with Laurence Emmett
Enforcing foreign judgments using the common law

The following Dispute Resolution guidance note Produced in partnership with Laurence Emmett provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Enforcing foreign judgments using the common law
  • When is the common law used?
  • Requirement to bring enforcement proceedings
  • Conditions to be met for enforcement of a foreign court judgment
  • Condition—foreign judgment was final and conclusive
  • Foreign court's jurisdiction over individual defendants
  • Foreign court's jurisdiction over corporate defendants
  • Finality principle
  • Defences to enforcement—general
  • Defence—breach of natural justice
  • more

This Practice Note considers the enforcement of foreign judgments applying common law. It explains the requirement for new enforcement proceedings in England and Wales—the foreign judgment is the cause of action. Certain conditions need to be met. These are that: the judgment was final and conclusive, there are no defences to recognition, and the foreign court had jurisdiction over the defendant in the foreign proceedings. Common defences to a claim to enforce a foreign judgment are, that the judgment was obtained by fraud, the judgment was contrary to public policy or the proceedings were conducted contrary to natural justice. These can be raised even though the foreign judgment is prima facie enforceable in the English courts. This Practice Note also considers the issue of whether security for costs is available and whether the court should grant a stay pending further court hearings in the foreign court. Examples of foreign court judgments which would need to be enforced by the application of the common law include judgments from China, Hong Kong, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, the United States (US) and much of the Middle East.

It maybe that the judgment is enforceable in the English courts under a different regime other than the common law. For guidance, see: Which regime applies to enforce a foreign judgment?—checklist.

When is the common