A Judgment obtained from a Foreign Court is not capable of immediate enforcement in this jurisdiction. Where there is an existing convention in place with the UK, procedures are available for automatic recognition within prescribed criteria. Alternatively it will be necessary to commence fresh proceedings in this jurisdiction relying on the Judgment from the Foreign Court.
The terms for recognition and enforcement of Judgments obtained from other EU countries is contained within the Brussels Regulation No. 44/2001. The UK Courts have prescribed procedures to recognise a Judgment from another EU Court without the need for fresh proceedings. Similar procedures apply under the Lugano Convention concerning Switzerland and Norway amongst others.
Pursuant to these acts, Judgments from prescribed countries (principally in the Commonwealth) are entitled to be recognised by the English Court, subject to complying with the terms for registration.
Where there is no existing convention with this jurisdiction (the US is a particular example) it is necessary to commence proceedings before the English Court based on the Judgment from the Foreign Court as a debt due and payable.
There are a number of criteria to be met in order for the Judgment to be upheld:
Once proceedings have been issued application can be made for summary judgment, without full trial, so long as the criteria are met. A Judgment from the UK Court can be anticipated within 3-6 months, whereafter steps can be taken to enforce the Judgment using the various procedures available through the English Court.