Conditions for Executing of Foreign Country Judgments and Orders in the United Arab Emirates The recognition by the State of a judgment rendered by a foreign country renders it a transboundary judgment with validity not limited in the country in which the judgment has been rendered. Recognition of foreign judgments is a requisite for companies and persons whose business and investments require protection under a foreign judgment, that protection should not be limited to the borders of the State where its courts have rendered this judgment. WhatsApp: +971555570005
Conditions for Executing of Foreign Country Judgments and Orders in the United Arab Emirates
The recognition by the State of a judgment rendered by a foreign country renders it a transboundary judgment with validity not limited in the country in which the judgment has been rendered. Recognition of foreign judgments is a requisite for companies and persons whose business and investments require protection under a foreign judgment, that protection should not be limited to the borders of the State where its courts have rendered this judgment. This is in response to the needs of an accelerated world in which free trade has developed among countries, means of transport and communication have developed and movement of funds has become much easier.
In the United Arab Emirates, the legislator has authorized execution of judgments and orders sentenced in a foreign country in the UAE. This is expressed explicitly in the first paragraph of Article 235 of the Civil Code which states that:
Judgments and orders passed in a foreign country may be ordered to be executed in the United Arab Emirates under the same conditions prescribed by the law of that country for the execution of judgments and orders passed in the State.
However, there are conditions required by the legislator to implement judgments sentenced in a foreign company. The second paragraph of Article 235 has revealed these conditions as follows:
First- State courts have no jurisdiction over the dispute on which the judgment or the order was passed and that the issuing foreign courts have such jurisdiction in accordance with the International Judicial Jurisdiction Rules decided in its applicable law.
This condition prevents the judge from executing the judgment related to a dispute within jurisdiction of the State courts, which is the first part of the condition. The second part is that the issuing foreign courts should be competent according to rules of the international jurisdiction established in their law.
Second- Judgment or order was passed by the competent court according to the law of the country in which it was passed.
The second condition required by the legislator from the judge to authorize the execution of a judgment or order issued in a foreign country is the jurisdiction of the foreign court in accordance with the law of the country in which it was passed. If the court that rendered the judgment is competent under rules of the international jurisdiction but it is not competent in accordance with the domestic law of the foreign country, the courts of the State would be precluded from implementing the foreign provision.
Third- Adversaries in the lawsuit on which the foreign judgment was passed were summoned and duly represented.
This condition comes as a result of the keenness of the UAE legislator to ensure the integrity of the procedures followed in the course of the case in which the foreign judgment was issued, including representation of the opponents correctly and the defendant obtaining his right to defend the disputed case. If the litigants, in the case in which the foreign judgment was issued, were not summoned, the claim is incorrect according to the law of the UAE, and the judge may not, in this case, order with implementation of the judgment or order passed by the foreign country.
Fourth- Judgment or order has obtained force of the matter adjudged in accordance with law of the issuing court.
What is meant here is that the foreign judgment to be executed should be final in accordance with the law of the court that issued it. Otherwise, it cannot be implemented in the UAE. The ruling is required to be final, non-annulable and irrevocable.
Fifth- It does not conflict or contradict with a judgment or order previously passed by another court in the State and does not include any violation of moral code or public order.
This condition guarantees preservation of the power, privacy and sovereignty of the UAE’s judgments and orders in territory of the State. If a foreign judgment violates any provision or order issued by a court of the State, it cannot be executed because it contradicts with the public order therein, and the same if the provision includes anything contrary to the public morals in the UAE such as gambling provisions.
Thus, we have listed five conditions required by the legislator in a foreign judgment to allow the judge to enforce it in the UAE, so that if one of these conditions fails the rest cannot be implemented in the country. However, the most important point to be noted is that in the case of a treaty concluded between the UAE and another country, the provisions of the treaty shall be effective and enforceable even if they violate the conditions mentioned herein. This is expressly stated in the provision of Article 238 of the Civil Code, which states:
Rules provided for in the preceding Articles do not prejudice rules and regulations provided for in conventions signed between the UAE and other countries in this respect.
This is reaffirmed by the rule issued in 2015 Rights, included in the Court of Cassation’s judgment – Dubai dated 28/01/2015 in the Appeal number 33/2014 Civil Appeal, which says:
The provisions of the treaties between the UAE and other foreign countries or the ratified international conventions shall be applicable for execution of the foreign courts’ judgments, even if the conditions mentioned in Chapter Four are not met.
This means that the legislator has set conditions for the foreign judgment or order to be implemented in the UAE, in the absence of an agreement or treaty between the UAE and the country where the foreign judgment was sentenced. In case such an agreement exists, the terms of the agreement shall be implemented, even if they are contrary to these conditions
Attorney / Mohamed Al Marzooqi
Mohamed Al Marzooqi advocates & Consultancy
Lawyer in Abu Dhabi, Dubai – UAE