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Streamlining Justice: Registering Foreign Judgments in England

View profile for Rebecca Rogers
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In an era marked by global interactions, the process of registering foreign judgments in England serves as a pivotal mechanism for cross-border legal enforcement. Governed by the Administration of Justice Act 1920 and, in some instances, the Foreign Judgments (Reciprocal Enforcement) Act 1933, this process ensures that legal decisions made abroad find recognition and enforcement within the English legal system.

How to register a foreign judgement

The journey begins with verifying the eligibility of the foreign judgment, considering factors like finality and relevance to the legislation. If a reciprocal enforcement agreement is in place, the Foreign Judgments Act may be applied; otherwise, the common law procedure comes into play.

The importance of documentation

Obtaining a sealed and certified copy of the foreign judgment is essential in the registration process. This document, in English or with a certified translation, authenticates the judgment's validity in the eyes of the English court.
The application for registration, complete with requisite forms and fees, is then submitted to the High Court, often the King’s Bench Division. After serving notice to the judgment debtor, offering them an opportunity to challenge the registration, the court may issue an order for registration.

What happens afterwards?

Once registered, the foreign judgment holds the same weight as a local judgment, enabling the judgment creditor to initiate enforcement actions, such as seizing assets or garnishing wages. The process exemplifies the commitment to a seamless international legal system, where judgments transcend borders, ensuring a fair and consistent application of justice.

For further advice or assistance enforcing a foreign judgment, please contact Rebecca Rogers who will be able to assist.