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Last update: 04-11-2009
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Enforcement of judgements - International law

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“I wish to have a judgement enforced in a State which is not a member of the European Union.”

Various international organisations are engaged in work going on in parallel on the topic of enforcement of judgments. There are also bilateral conventions between the Member States and non-member countries.

Multilateral agreements

The aim of the Convention of 16 September 1988 on jurisdiction and the enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters (the “Lugano Convention” involving the Member States and Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Poland) is to extend to relations between the Member States and the EFTA States plus Poland the rules in the Brussels Convention of 27 September 1968, which apply between the Member States. There is a draft for a new convention to extend the Brussels I Regulation - Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 - which replaced the Brussels Convention to relations between the Member States and the Lugano States.

Other international conventions prepared in this context have not come into force. Such is the case of the Hague Convention concluded on 1 February 1971 on Jurisdiction and Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters, which has not been ratified by a sufficient number of States. In 2005 a new Convention on the Choice of Court Agreements was adopted by the Hague Conference on Private International Law. This convention is not in force yet.

The enforcement of a judgment is regarded as an integral part of the fundamental human right to a fair trial in a reasonable time, in accordance with Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights. In this context the Council of Europe adopted a Resolution in 2001 on the General approach and means of achieving effective enforcement of judicial decisions. A recommendation is also in preparation, to determine common European rules and principles concerning enforcement procedures and bailiffs.

Bilateral conventions

Certain Member States have concluded bilateral conventions with non-member countries on the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments. Go to the country pages by clicking on the Member States' flags.

Reference documents

  • Convention on Choice of Court Agreements of 30.06.2005 (Hague Conference on Private International Law)
  • Resolution No 3 on the General approach and means of achieving effective enforcement of judicial decisions (Council of Europe, 24th Conference of European Ministers of Justice (Moscow, October 2001)
  • Council Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 of 22 December 2000 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters
  • Convention 88/592/EEC on jurisdiction and the enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters - Lugano, 16 September 1988
  • Brussels Convention 1968 on jurisdiction and the enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters (consolidated version)
  • Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (Council of Europe)

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Last update: 04-11-2009

 
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