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Enforcement of Judgments in EU Member States in Ireland

5 Mar

 

The enforcement of judgments between EU Member states is regulated by certain Regulations including the Brussels I Regulation which was implemented into Irish Law by Statutory Instrument 52 of 2002,European Communities (Civil and Commercial Judgments)Regulations 2002 which came into force on the 1st March 2002.The Brussels Convention applies between EU Member states and Denmark. The Lugano Convention applies between EU member states and members of EFTA, Switzerland, Iceland and Norway. Both conventions were implemented into Irish Law by The Jurisdiction of the Courts and Enforcement of Judgments Act 1993. The Regulations do not apply to judgments emanating from outside the non convention states such as the United States.

 

Enforcement of Judgment originating from an EU Member State in Ireland. Council Regulation EC No. 44/2001

The procedure to enforce a judgment emanating from another EU state in Ireland is laid down in Articles 32 to 56 of the Regulation

The application is made to the Master of the High Court in Ireland by way of ex parte Notice of Motion and Grounding Affidavit. The Grounding Affidavit is sworn by an Irish Solicitor acting on behalf of the party who wishes to enforce the judgment.

Article 53 sets out the documents which must be exhibited in the Grounding Affidavit as follows;

 

A copy of the judgment sufficient to establish its authenticity, it must be an original or a certified copy or otherwise authenticated copy of the document

A certificate must be attached setting out

  • The member state of origin
  • The Court or competent Authority issuing the certificate
  • The court which delivered the judgment or approved the settlement
  • Details of the judgment or court settlement including the date it was given
  • The reference number
  • The parties to the judgment or court settlement
  • The names of the plaintiff, the  names of the defendants the names of any other parties
  • The date of service of the document instituting  the proceedings where the judgment was given in default of appearance
  • The text of the judgment of Court settlement
  • The names of the parties to whom legal aid has been granted

The certificate is provided by court officials in the Country where the judgment was obtained.

 

The Master of the High will declare the judgment enforceable when the terms of Article 53 have been complied with. The Order granted means that the judgment obtained in the relevant state will have the same force and effect as if it was a judgment of the High Court in Ireland.

A party seeking an order for enforcement may apply for provisional or protective orders in accordance with Article 31.

Under article 43 of the Regulation a defendant may appeal against the Order of the Master of the High Court within one month of service of the Notice of Enforcement. If the defendant is domiciled in another member state the defendant has a period of 2 months to appeal. Domicile is determined by where an individual ordinarily resides and for a company it is where the company where it ordinarily carries on its business. Under Article 47(3) of the Regulation a party is prohibited from taking enforcement measures while an appeal is pending. Only protective measures may be taken. The Regulation also provides that a declaration of enforceability will only be revoked on the grounds set out in Articles 34 and 35 of the Regulation.

Enforcement of a judgment arising from an uncontested claim originating from an EU member state under Council Regulation EC No.805/2004.

The purpose of this regulation was to speed up and simplify the access to enforcement procedures in a member state other than the one where judgment was obtained. It applies in Civil and Commercial matter. It does not apply in Revenue, customs, administrative matters or liability of the State. It applies to all member states with the exception of Denmark. Under this regulation if a judgment has been certified as a European Enforcement Order in a member state of origin it will for enforcement purposes be treated as if it had been delivered in the state where enforcement is sought.. There is no possibility therefore of the debtor opposing its recognition and enforcement. This application is optional for creditors in uncontested claims. No appeal can be made from the issuing of a European Enforcement Order Certificate.

Certain minimum standards of procedure must be reached for judgment to be certified as a European Enforcement Order. The regulation lays down minimum standards with regard to service of documents to ensure that the rights of the defence are respected. Only the service methods set out in the regulation are allowed if the judgment is to be certified as a European Enforcement Order.

The creditor must provide the High Court with:

  • A copy of the Judgment
  • A Copy of the European Enforcement Order Certificate.