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Recognising and enforcing foreign judgments

Enforcing a foreign judgment in Australia

Whether a foreign judgment can be enforced in Australia depends on where the judgment was issued and the type of judgment that was issued.

Currently, the enforcement of foreign judgments in Australia is governed by both statutory regimes and common law principles.

With respect to statutory regimes, the Foreign Judgments Act 1991 and the Foreign Judgments Regulations 1992 provide for the procedure and scope of the judgments that can be enforceable under the statutory regime.

Additionally, Australia is party to the bilateral treaty for the Reciprocal Recognition and Enforcement of Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters 1994 with the United Kingdom. However, Australia is not party to the Hague Convention on Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters 1971.

In instances when there is no international or statutory agreement, the foreign judgment must be enforced under common law principles.

Given the complexity of most matters, we recommend seeking legal advice from a local Australian lawyer.

Enforcing an Australian judgment overseas

Enforcing an Australian judgment overseas can be a complex process and we recommend seeking legal advice from a lawyer practicing in the jurisdiction where enforcement of the judgment is being sought.