Recognition, Registration and Enforcement of Court Judgments issued by EU Member States’ Courts
A judgment given in one EU country is to be recognised in any other EU country. Cyprus is a member of the EU and as such all EU enforcement procedures apply. “Judgment” means any judgment given by a court or tribunal of an EU country, whatever the judgment may be called, including a decree, order, decision or writ of execution It does not include arbitration decisions. In enforcing a foreign judgment, Cyprus courts cannot review the substance of that judgment.
Nevertheless, Cyprus courts may refuse the judgment’s recognition and enforcement where any of the following applies:
• such recognition is manifestly contrary to the public policy in the EU country in which recognition is sought;
• the defendant was not served with the document that instituted the proceedings in sufficient time and in such a way as to enable the defendant to arrange for his/her defence i.e where the judgment was given in default of appearance;
• it is irreconcilable with a judgment given in a dispute between the same parties in the EU country in which recognition is sought;
• it is irreconcilable with an earlier judgment given in another EU or non-EU country involving the same cause of action and the same parties.
A court in which recognition is sought of a judgment given in another EU country may stay the proceedings, if an appeal against the judgment has been filed and is pending. A judgment is to be enforced in another EU country when, on the application of any interested party, it has been declared enforceable.
The relevant applicable regulations in relation to the enforcement of EU judgments are the following:
• EC Regulation No 44/2001 on the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters. The process for seeking enforcement of a foreign judgment is commenced with the filing of a written by summons application accompanied by an affidavit stating all relevant facts in the competent court, in accordance with the applicable Civil Procedure Rules.
• EC Regulation No 805/2004 provides for automatic recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments for specified types of claims, without the intermediate processes required under EC No. 44/2001 (application to declare foreign judgment enforceable). The said Regulation applies to uncontested claims.
• EC Regulation 1215/2012. This Regulation applies in civil and commercial matters whatever the nature of the court or tribunal. A judgment given in a Member State shall be recognised in the other Member States without any special procedure being required. The party who wishes to invoke in a Member State a judgment given in another Member State shall produce:
(a) a copy of the judgment which satisfies the conditions necessary to establish its authenticity; and
(b) the certificate issued pursuant to Article 53 (Annex I).
An enforceable judgment shall carry with it by operation of law the power to proceed to any protective measures which exist under the law of the Member State addressed.
Recognition, Registration and Enforcement of Court Judgments issued by non EU Member States’ Courts
Foreign Court Judgments issued by non EU Member States’ Courts can be enforced in Cyprus by virtue of the provisions stated in The Decisions of Foreign Courts (Recognition, Registration and Enforcement) Act of 2000 (Law No. 121(1)/2000). For the purposes of this law judgment of a foreign court means any judgment given by a court or tribunal of a foreign country with whom the Republic of Cyprus has signed an agreement for the mutual recognition and enforcement of court or arbitration decisions and which is enforceable in the country in which it is issued.
Cyprus is bound by bilateral treaties relating to the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments with Russia, Greece, China, Bulgaria, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Serbia and Syria and it is a signatory to various multilateral conventions relating to the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments.
Recognition, Registration and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards
Foreign arbitral awards can be enforced in Cyprus by virtue of the provisions stated in the Cyprus International Commercial Arbitration Law of 1987 (No.101/1987) and theNew York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards of 1958, which Cyprus has ratified by Law No. 84/1979.
The process for enforcement is commenced by filing a written, by summons application, supported by an affidavit and the documents stating all the relevant facts translated in Greek, if necessary, according to the National Civil Procedure Rules.