Recognition and Enforcement of Judgments between EU States

The recognition and enforcement of judgments between EU member states is dealt with under the Brussels I regulation, specifically articles 30 to 56.

In fact article 33 states that  a judgment obtained in one EU member state will be recognised in other member states as a matter of course.

However this recognition will not be of much benefit to you if you are not able to enforce your Judgment in Ireland against the assets of an Irish debtor.

Order 42A of the Rules of the Superior Courts in Ireland sets out the procedure to have a foreign judgment enforced in Ireland and it involves an application to the Master of the High Court who is the designated authority.

To make such an application it will be necessary to swear a grounding affidavit which will exhibit the judgement which you wish to have enforced and proof that the judgment is enforceable in the state in which it was given.

This affidavit will also need to provide an address in Ireland for the service of documents on you as applicant.

If judgment was given in default of Appearance or Defence you will need to show proof of service of necessary documents on the defendant.

In addition you will need to produce an Annex V Certificate which is a certificate provided by court officials in the state in which judgment was granted and which sets out certain details concerning  the case and judgment.

Declaration of enforceability

Once the necessary documents above have been filed and exhibited the Master of the High Court will issue a Declaration of Enforceability which has the same effect as a Judgment of the High Court in Ireland.

A Notice of Enforcement is then served on the Defendant along with the order of the Master. The Master’s Order will contain a time period within which the debtor can appeal the decision, generally 1 month.

Defences to enforcement of EU judgments

Article 34 provides some defences to having a judgment from antother EU state enforced in Ireland or any other state for that matter. These include:

1. If recognition of the judgment would be contrary to public policy in the state in which application is made

2. If the debtor was not served with documents and the judgment is in default of appearance or defence

3. If it is irreconcilable with other judgments granted in the dispute between the parties

Generally the most common problem is 2 above where the originating summons was not served on the defendant.

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