• Chapter 10: Chapter 10: Reciprocal Recognition and Enforcement of Judgments of other Jurisdictions and Arbitral Awards

    • 167. Interpretation

      (1) In this Chapter, except where the context otherwise requires —
      (a) "appeal includes any proceedings seeking the discharge or setting aside of a judgment, an application for a new trial or a stay of execution;
      (b) "applicable treaty" means a treaty between the United Arab Emirates and a foreign country relating to the mutual recognition and enforcement of judgments;
      (c) "country of the recognised court" means the Emirate, Emirate Member or country in which the recognised court is located;
      (d) "family proceedings" means Personal Status litigations or lawsuits in accordance with Federal Law No. (28) of 2005;
      (e) "judgment" means a judgment, decision or order given or made by a recognised court in any civil proceedings;
      (f) "original court" in relation to any judgment means the recognised court which gave the judgment;
      (g) "recognised court" means the judicial authorities of the Emirate and Emirate Members of the United Arab Emirates, courts of countries which have entered into applicable treaties, and a recognised foreign court;
      (h) "recognised foreign court" means a court recognised by the Courts in accordance with the procedure set out in section 171;
      (i) "registration" means registration under sections 172 to 176, the expressions "register" and "registered" shall be construed accordingly.
      (2) For the purposes of this Chapter, the expression "action in personam" shall not include any family proceedings or any other proceedings in connection with any of the following matters —
      (a) matrimonial matters;
      (b) administration of the estates of deceased persons;
      (c) bankruptcy;
      (d) winding up of companies;
      (e) mental incapacity; or
      (f) guardianship of children.
      Amended on April 19, 2017

    • 168. Reciprocal recognition and enforcement of judgments rendered by judicial authorities of the Emirate

      (1) The Courts shall recognise and enforce judgments rendered by the judicial authorities of the Emirate in accordance with this Chapter.
      (2) The Courts may enter into agreements or memoranda of understanding providing for —
      (a) the reciprocal recognition and enforcement by the Emirate's judicial authorities of judgments rendered by the Courts; and
      (b) the procedure to be adopted for the purposes of such recognition and enforcement.

    • 169. Reciprocal recognition and enforcement of judgments rendered by judicial authorities of Emirates Members other than the Emirate

      (1) The Courts may enter into agreements or memoranda of understanding providing for —
      (a) the reciprocal recognition and enforcement by the judicial authorities of Emirate Members other than the Emirate of judgments rendered by the Courts; and
      (b) the procedure to be adopted for the purposes of such recognition and enforcement.
      (2) Where agreements or memoranda of understanding are entered into between the Courts and any Emirate Member, other than the Emirate, in accordance with subsection (1), the Courts shall recognise and enforce judgments rendered by any judicial authority of that Emirate Member in accordance with this Chapter.

    • 170. Applicable treaties with foreign countries

      Where the United Arab Emirates has entered into an applicable treaty with a foreign country for the mutual recognition and enforcement of judgments, the Courts shall —

      (a) comply with the terms of such treaty; and
      (b) recognise and enforce judgments rendered by that foreign country in accordance with this Chapter.

    • 171. Recognition of the courts of a foreign country not party to an applicable treaty

      (1) If, in the case of any foreign country which is not a party to an applicable treaty, the Chief Justice is satisfied that substantial reciprocity of treatment will be assured as regards the recognition and enforcement in that foreign country of the judgments of the Courts, the Chief Justice, after consulting the Chairman of the Board, may by order direct that the courts of that foreign country be recognised foreign courts.
      (2) The Courts shall recognise and enforce judgments for the payment of a sum of money rendered by a recognised foreign court in accordance with this Chapter, not being a sum payable in respect of taxes or other charges of a like nature or in respect of a fine or other penalty.
      Amended on April 19, 2017

    • 172. Requirements for registration of recognised courts' judgments

      (1) Subject to subsection (2), a judgment of a recognised court shall be registered by the Courts if it satisfies the following conditions —
      (a) it is either final and conclusive as between the judgment debtor and the judgment creditor or requires the former to make an interim payment to the latter; and
      (b) in the case of a judgment of a recognised foreign court, it is given after the coming into force of the order which made that court a recognised foreign court.
      (2) A judgment of a recognised court satisfying the requirements under subsection (1) shall not be registered if it is —
      (a) given by that court on appeal from a court which is not a recognised court;
      (b) a judgment or other instrument which is regarded for the purposes of its enforcement as a judgment (or interim judgment) of that court but which was given or made in another country;
      (c) given by that court in proceedings founded on a judgment of a court in another country and having as their object the enforcement of that judgment.
      (3) A judgment shall be deemed to be final and conclusive notwithstanding that an appeal may be pending against it, or that it may still be subject to appeal, in the courts of the country of the original court.
      (4) The requirements and procedures for the registration and enforcement of a judgment of a recognised court shall be the same for each recognised court unless provided otherwise in an applicable treaty, or an agreement or memorandum of understanding entered into between the Courts and a recognised court, or in court procedure rules.
      Amended on April 19, 2017

    • 173. Application for, and effect of, registration of judgment of a recognised court

      (1) A judgment creditor in respect of a judgment which is registerable pursuant to section 172(1) may apply to the Court of First Instance at any time within six years after the date of the judgment, or where there have been proceedings by way of appeal against the judgment, after the date of the last judgment given in those proceeding, to register the judgment in the Courts.
      (2) Subject to subsection (3), on any application made under subsection (1), the Court of First Instance —
      (a) shall, subject to proof of the prescribed matters, register the judgment; and
      (b) in determining such an application, will not re-examine the merits of the judgment.
      (3) A judgment shall not be registered if at the date of the application —
      (a) it has been wholly satisfied; or
      (b) it could not be enforced by execution in the country of the original court.
      (4) Subject to the provisions of this Chapter with respect to the setting aside of registration and subject also to subsection (5) —
      (a) a registered judgment shall, for the purposes of enforcement, be of the same force and effect; and
      (b) proceedings may be taken on a registered judgment; and
      (c) any sum for which a judgment is registered shall carry interest; and
      (d) the Court of First Instance shall have the same control over the enforcement of a registered judgment,
      as if the judgment had been a judgment originally given in the Court of First Instance and entered on the date of registration.
      (5) Where any party has made an application to have the registration of a judgment set aside, the judgment shall not be enforced until after the application has been finally determined.
      (6) If at the date of the application for registration the judgment of the original court has been partly satisfied, the judgment shall only be registered in respect of the balance payable at that date.
      (7) If, on an application for registration of a judgment, it appears to the Court of First Instance that the judgment is in respect of different matters and that some, but not all, of the provisions of the judgment are such that if those provisions had been contained in separate judgments those judgments could properly have been registered, the judgment may be registered in respect of those provisions only.
      (8) In addition to any sum of money payable under the judgment of the original court, including any interest which by the law of the country of the original court becomes due under the judgment up to the time of registration, the judgment shall be registered for the reasonable costs of and incidental to registration, including the costs of obtaining a certified copy of the judgment from the original court.
      Amended on April 19, 2017

    • 174. Court procedure rules

      (1) Court procedure rules made under this Chapter may prescribe matters, including —
      (a) the procedure for applying for registration of a judgment;
      (b) prescribing the matters to be proved on an application for the registration of a judgment and for regulating the means of proving those matters;
      (c) the giving of security for costs by persons applying for the registration of judgments;
      (d) providing for the service on the judgment debtor of notice of the registration of a judgment;
      (e) the fixing, or extending, of the period within which an application may be made to have the registration of the judgment set aside;
      (f) prescribing the method by which any question arising under this Chapter as to whether a judgment can be enforced in the country of the original court, or what interest is payable under a judgment under the law of the original court, is to be determined;
      (g) prescribing any matter which under this Chapter is to be prescribed.
      (2) Court procedure rules made for the purposes of this Chapter shall be expressed to have, and shall have, effect subject to any provisions contained in orders made under this Chapter as are declared by such orders to be necessary for giving effect to agreements made between the Board and foreign countries in relation to matters with respect to which there is power to make court procedure rules for the purposes of this Chapter.

    • 175. Cases in which registered judgments must, or may, be set aside

      (1) On an application made by any party against whom a registered judgment may be enforced, the registration of the judgment —
      (a) shall be set aside if the Court of First Instance is satisfied that —
      (i) the judgment is not a judgment to which this Chapter applies or was registered in contravention of this Chapter; or
      (ii) the original court had no jurisdiction in the circumstances of the case; or
      (iii) where it was given in default, if the judgment debtor was not duly served with the documents which instituted the proceedings or with an equivalent document, in accordance with the law of the country of the original court, in sufficient time to enable him to arrange for his defence; or
      (iv) the judgment was obtained by fraud; or
      (v) the rights under the judgment are not vested in the person by whom the application for registration was made; or
      (vi) the enforcement of the judgment would be contrary to public policy in the Emirate or the Abu Dhabi Global Market;
      (b) may be set aside if the Court of First Instance is satisfied that the matter in dispute in the proceedings in the original court had previously, to the date of the judgment in the original court, been the subject of a final and conclusive judgment by a court having jurisdiction in the matter.
      (2) For the purposes of this section the courts of the country of the original court shall be deemed to have had jurisdiction —
      (a) in the case of a judgment given in an action in personam
      (i) if the judgment debtor, being a defendant in the original court, submitted to the jurisdiction of that court by voluntarily appearing in the proceedings; or
      (ii) if the judgment debtor was a claimant or counter-claimant in the proceedings in the original court; or
      (iii) if the judgment debtor, being a defendant in the original court, had before the commencement of the proceedings agreed, in respect of the subject matter of the proceedings, to submit to the jurisdiction of that court or of the courts of the country of that court; or
      (iv) if the judgment debtor, being a defendant in the original court, was at the time when the proceedings were instituted, resident in, or being a body corporate was registered under the laws of, the country of that court; or
      (v) if the judgment debtor, being a defendant in the original court, had an office or a place of business in the country of that court and the proceedings in that court were in respect of a transaction effected through or at that office or place;
      (b) in the case of a judgment given in an action the subject matter of which was immovable property, or in an action in rem the subject matter of which was moveable property, if the property in question was at the time of the proceedings in the original court situated in the country of that court;
      (c) in the case of judgment given in an action other than any such action as is mentioned in paragraph (a) or (b), if the jurisdiction of the original court is recognised by any Applicable Abu Dhabi Law or any ADGM enactment.

    • 176. Powers of Court of First Instance on application to set aside registration

      (1) If, on an application to set aside the registration of a judgment, the applicant satisfies the Court of First Instance either that an appeal is pending, or that he is entitled and intends to appeal, against the judgment, the Court, if it thinks fit, may, on such terms as it may think just, either set aside the registration or stay the application to set aside registration until after the expiration of such period as appears to the Court to be reasonably sufficient to enable the applicant to take the necessary steps to have the appeal disposed of by competent court or tribunal.
      (2) Where the registration of a judgment is set aside under subsection (1), or solely for the reason that the judgment was not, as at the date of the application for registration, enforceable by execution in the country of the original court, the setting aside of the registration shall not prejudice a further application to register the judgment when the appeal has been disposed of or if and when the judgment becomes enforceable in that country, as the case may be.
      (3) Where the registration of a judgment is set aside solely for the reason that the judgment, notwithstanding that it had, as at the date of the application for registration, been partly satisfied, was registered for the whole of any sum payable under the judgment, the Court of First Instance shall, on the application of the judgment creditor, order judgment to be registered for the balance remaining payable at that date.

    • 177. Judgments of recognised courts which can be registered not to be enforceable otherwise

      No proceedings for the recovery of any sum of money payable under, or for any other relief which is the subject of, a judgment of a recognised court, being a judgment to which this Chapter applies, shall be entertained by any Court other than proceedings by way of registration of the judgment.

      Amended on April 19, 2017

    • 178. General effect of certain judgments

      (1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), a judgment to which this Chapter applies shall be recognised in any Court as conclusive between the parties thereto in all proceedings founded on the same cause of action and may be relied on by way of defence or counter-claim in any such proceedings.
      (2) This section shall not apply in the case of any judgment —
      (a) where the judgment has been registered and the registration has been set aside on some ground other than —
      (i) in the case of a recognised foreign court, that a sum of money was not payable under the judgment; or
      (ii) that the judgment had been wholly or partly satisfied; or
      (iii) that, at the date of the application, the judgment could not be enforced by execution in the country of the original court; or
      (b) where the judgment has not been registered, it is shown (whether it could have been registered or not) that if it had been registered, the registration would have been set aside on an application for that purpose on some ground other than one of the grounds set out in paragraph (a).
      (3) Nothing in this section shall be taken to prevent any Court recognising any judgment as conclusive of any matter of law or fact decided therein if that judgment would have been so recognised before the passing of these Regulations.
      Amended on April 19, 2017

    • 179. Provision for issue of copies of, and certificates in connection with, judgments of the Courts

      (1) Court procedure rules may make provision for enabling any judgment creditor wishing to secure the enforcement of a Court judgment in a foreign country to which this Chapter applies, to obtain, subject to any conditions specified in those court procedure rules —
      (a) a copy of the judgment; and
      (b) a certificate giving particulars relating to the judgment and the proceedings in which it was given.
      (2) Subsection (1) applies to any judgment given by a Court or tribunal in the Abu Dhabi Global Market under which a sum of money is payable or in respect of a fine or other penalty.

    • 180. Arbitral awards

      The provisions of this Chapter shall apply as they apply to a judgment, in relation to an award in proceedings on an arbitration which has, in pursuance of the law in force in the place where it was made, become enforceable in the same manner as a judgment given by a court in that place.