Enforcement of Foreign Judgement or Arbitral Award in Jordan
Written By :Attorney Sami Alawad
Enforcement of foreign judgment procedures
You may be a non-Jordanian citizen and have a court judgment issued by court in your country, or you have an arbitral award against a Jordanian person, and thus you want an attorney to implement foreign judgment in Jordan. This of course requires that you shall find the attorney who specializes in foreign judgment enforcement, since this type of lawsuits requires long and specific experience with such cases. In general, there are a lot of attorneys in Jordan specialized in this type of cases.
The enforcement of a judgment in Jordan requires that the judgment acquire the final degree in the country that issued the Judgment , and some countries call the peremptory judgment as the final judgment and some of them call it the judgment that is not subject to appeal or the judgment that has been challenged. What is important is that the judgment has reached its final stage, as well as the judgment shall be issued by a competent court in the same country or by the arbitrators. Likewise, the judgment shall not imply a violation of the Jordanian public order. For example, if the judgment subject is a gambling debt, as gambling in Jordan is contrary to public order.
Therefore, this judgment cannot be enforced, also, in order for the judgment against the Jordanian person is to not be invalidated. The person who is required to enforce the judgment against shall be noticed legally the original lawsuit in a correct manner according to the laws of the foreign country and he shall have the opportunity to defend himself. Likewise, he shall be a resident of the jurisdiction of the court that issued the lawsuit at the moment the lawsuit was filed, and this indicates that he is not required to continue to reside within the court’s jurisdiction throughout the lawsuit’s stages, but rather at the time of registration and reporting.
In general, a Jordanian attorney shall review the lawsuit’s papers to ensure that the judgment is enforceable in Jordan.
In the Jordanian Law:
It is permissible to enforce any judgment issued by any foreign court in Jordan, according to (Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Law No. 8 of 1952).
Pursuant to this law, Foreign Judgments refer to:
“Every judgment given by a court outside the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan (including religious courts) in civil proceedings and ordering the payment of a sum of money or giving judgment in respect of movable property or for the settlement of an account, including awards in arbitral proceedings should such awards be deemed enforceable as a court decision under the laws of the country in which it was issued.”
Pursuant to this law, foreign judgments may be enforced in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan by filing a lawsuit before the Court of First Instance. Where this lawsuit is filed with a request to enforce a foreign judgment with a summons submitted to the Court of First Instance in which the Defendant resides within its jurisdiction or the court whose jurisdiction include the property of the Defendant who wishes to enforce the judgment if the Defendant does not reside in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
How to enforce the foreign judgment or arbitral award in Jordan?
There are two legal solution for that :
The First Solution: ABy registering new civil case and the foreign judgement is attached to it in order to refer to it in the case filed as evidence of the case . This solution does not need to be discussed, because it is considered the longest path, unless the foreign decision was marred by a defect or a cause of invalidity.
The Second Solution: By requesting from the court to authenticate the foreign judgment , this solution aims to give the foreign Judgment the same power of the Jordanian judgment , and since there are procedures that require the enforcement of judgement in each of these two methods, we shall discuss these procedures within three articles.
First: – Which court is competent to enforce the foreign judgement?
The judgment debtor shall have a domicile of the court of the first instance . Otherwise, the case shall be filed before the court of the place of his real estates , in order that the funds shall be seized.
What are the required documents for the case of foreign judgment enforcement?
- The original copy of the foreign judgment duly authenticated
- It shall also be accompanied with evidence that the judgment has been notified with the case in reasonable and sufficient ways.
- A certificate proving that the foreign judgment is final and is enforceable in the country of issuance in case that the judgement does not explain that.
- In addition to a certified translated copy of the judgment, in case that it is written in a language other than the Arabic language.
Requirements of Enforcement of Foreign Judgments
According to the Jordanian Law, Foreign Judgments and Arbitral Awards may be deemed enforceable only in case of the final judgment by its issuing State.
Foreign Judgment: in Jordan law, means “every judgment given by a court outside the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan (including religious courts) in civil proceedings and ordering the payment of a sum of money or giving judgment in respect of moveable property or for the settlement of an account, including awards in arbitral proceedings should such awards be deemed enforceable as a court ruling under the laws of the country in which it was issued.”
According to the Jordanian Law, debtor’s money is considered a general guarantee for their creditors, and the creditor is entitled to claim any amount of debtor’s money under the provisions of Article (365) of the Civil Law. The law institutes precautionary and enforcement measures and ensures that they are used by creditors to enforce this guarantee.
Conditions for giving Foreign Judgment the form of enforcement:
According to Article VII of the Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Law which are:
- The court that issued the foreign judgment shall have jurisdiction.
- The Judgment Debtor shall have a domicile or a business in the jurisdiction of the foreign court , appear before the court and be represented in the lawsuit.
- The Judgment Debtor shall be noticed the summon from the court that issued the judgment.
- The foreign judgment has not been obtained by means of fraud.
- The judgment shall acquire the final degree.
- The judgment to be enforced. shall not be of a lawsuit that is not entertained by Jordanian courts as it violates the public order or decency.
Burden of Proof:
If the Burden of Proof that the judgment to be enforced, has not acquired the final degree, if the lawsuit is not entertained by Jordanian courts as it violates the public order or decency, or if the Judgment Debtor was not noticed the judgment nor did they appeared before the court by choice, the Burden of Proof shall be on Judgment Debtor. If nothing in the lawsuit file indicates that the judgment has acquired the final degree and the form of enforcement, then the provisions stipulated in Article 7/1 / c of the Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Law, are not applied in the judgment to be given the enforcement form, therefore, the lawsuit shall be in accordance with the provisions of the Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Law. For example, if all of the seals on the front and the back of the Judgment, have nothing to indicate that the Judgment Debtor was not duly noticed the judgment issued against him, to be considered final and enforceable.
Procedures of Enforcement of Foreign Judgments or Arbitral Award:
The lawsuit shall be filed at the request to enforce a foreign judgment with a summons submitted to the Court of First Instance in which the Judgment Debtor has a domicile within its jurisdiction or the court of the place of his real estates, on which the Judgment Creditor wishes to enforce the judgment, in case that the Judgment Debtor has no domicile in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. If the Judgment Debtor does not have a domicile nor a residence in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the appointment of the competent court did not proceed, then the jurisdiction shall be assigned to the court where is the Judgment Creditor’s domicile or work place. If the Judgment Creditor does not have a domicile nor a work place in Jordan, then the jurisdiction shall be assigned to the Amman Court of First Instance in accordance with Article IV of the Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Law and Article (47) of the Civil Procedure Law. Therefore, the Amman Court of First Instance has the competence and jurisdiction to consider the request to enforce the judgment issued by the court of the United Arab Emirates against and in the presence of the Judgment Debtor in accordance with Article II, of the Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Law, which defines foreign judgment as every judgment given by a court outside the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan (including religious courts) in civil proceedings and ordering the payment of a sum of money”.
The role of the Jordanian Court is only to verify the fulfillment of legal provisions:
According to the Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Law and to give the foreign judgment the form of enforcement, the role of the Court of First Instance is to ensure the fulfillment of the provisions required by Article VII of the Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Law. If the judgment to be given an enforcement form, was issued in the presence of the Judgment Debtor, it is promulgated that the Foreign Judgment acquired the final degree, and it is deemed to be enforceable, then the burden of proving the lack of enforceability of the judgment, as it is not final, falls on the Judgment Debtor in accordance with the provision of Article (7/e) of the Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Law.
Article III states the following:
The Foreign Judgments may be enforced in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan by filing a lawsuit for its enforcement before a Court of First Instance.
Article IIV states the following:
The court may reject the request presented to it for the Enforcement of Foreign Judgment in case of the followings:
- If the court, that issued the Foreign judgment, lacked jurisdiction.
- If the Judgment Debtor had not carried his/her business within the jurisdiction of the court that issued the judgment, or he has no democide within its jurisdiction and did not appear by choice before the court nor submit to its jurisdiction.
- If the Judgment Debtor was not noticed the summon from the court that issued the judgment, did not appear before the court although he was domiciling or carrying his/her business within its jurisdiction; or
- If the foreign judgment has been obtained by means fraud.
- If the judgment debtor established to the satisfaction of the Jordanian courts that the foreign judgment has not yet become final; or
- If the foreign judgment was issued in a cause of action that shall not be entertained by Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan courts as it violates the public order or decency.
- The court may also reject the summons submitted to it under a request to enforce a judgment issued by a foreign State whose law does not coerce the enforcement of judgments issued by the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan courts.
Are there fees to enforce foreign judgment in Jordan?
The Judicial fees are determined according to the court fees system. To find out the amount of fees required to enforce a judgment , visit the Fee Calculator link at the Jordanian Ministry of Justice website and then choose register cases, then choose the enforcement of foreign judgment and arbitrators’ judgments, then enter the value of the amount awarded.
What is the consequence of giving the foreign judgment the executive capacity ?
If the Jordanian court find that all the legal conditions are met in the foreign judgment , it will give it the executive capacity which means it becomes enforceable in Jordan and thus it shall have the force of res judicata. Which may impose seizure of all his money and real estate and if he don’t have enough money the court will issue a decision to imprison him for 90 days for every year until he pays the full amount.
How much it takes time after sending all the documents to get my money back?
It is depend on the defendant financial situation if he have money or any properties to pay the amount of the judgment or not , but normally it takes from 2-6 months to complete all procedures.
is the procedures deffer from enforcing the foreign judgment from the arbitral award ?
In Jordan it is the same procedures.
In Jordan, foreign Judgment against Jordanian natural or juristic persons, might be enforced in accordance to Execution Foreign Awards Law “no (8) for the year 1952”; where its second article defines the foreign award as: “Every judgment issued from a court outside Jordan pertained to civil procedures (including the religious courts) requires paying amounts, including the arbitrator tribunal decisions if the judgment was final”.
The required documents
Should the plaintiff request enforcement of foreign award before Jordanian courts, the following documents have to be simultaneously submitted:
• Certified copy of the award.
• Certified translation copy if the award is not in Arabic.
• Official letter stating that the award is final and executable.
• Power of attorney .
Rejection of enforcement
The Jordanian Courts have the right to reject the enforcement in any of the following cases:
1- If the court issuing the award does not have a jurisdiction.
If the plaintiff filed a case in a country that none of the parties carry its nationality, and/or their liabilities or commitments did not arise in its territory, and/or their contractual obligations were not referred to the country jurisdiction. For example, if an Italian national filed a case against a Jordanian before the Australian Courts claiming tort due to a car accident that occurred in Scotland; in this case and according to Jordanian laws the Australian courts do not have jurisdiction, therefore, the Jordanian court have the right to reject enforcing the award.
2- If the defendant did not practice his business within the Jurisdiction of the court that issued the award, or if the defendant did not have residency within the court jurisdiction, or if he did not admit to the court jurisdiction.
3- If the defendant was not served or notified by the court that issued the award, and for that was not able to defend himself.
The importance of these three reasons is to ensure that the defendant’s rights are secured and all fairness procedures have been adopted. It is important to note that admitting to the court’s jurisdiction, leads to losing the basis to claim the opposite before the Jordanian courts during the enforcement procedures.
4- If the award was acquired by fraudulent methods.
Infringement of judicial award is considered one of these cases.
5- If the defendant is able to convince/prove to the Jordanian Courts that the award is not final. In this case, the defendant should submit an evidence (an official statement) stating that the award is not final yet.
6- If the case matter was contradicting Jordanian public order or morals.
Public order and morals defer from time to time, and from one country to another, as what is acceptable in a country might not be in another. For example, it is not allowed to enforce a foreign award relating to gambling debt in Jordan, nor is it allowed to enforce registration of a land according to foreign award because the Jordanian laws prohibit selling a land outside the land departments.
7- If the award was issued according to a country’s law that does not allow enforcing Jordanian Court awards (reciprocity).
The burden of proving that the country issuing the award does not allow enforcement of Jordanian court decisions lays on the defendant shoulders; the later he has to submit a precedent proving that the award’s enforcement was refused due to being issued by Jordanian courts and not for any other solid reason. What helps the plaintiff to refute the defendant allegations is the existence of judicial precedent or an agreement between both countries allowing the enforcement of each other award. The general principle considering reciprocity prevails until the opposite allegations are proved. It is also important to mention that Jordan has signed New York Treaty of 1958 which allows enforcement of international arbitration awards for all the countries who signed this Treaty, which means that reciprocity principle is applied among all participating countries, taking into consideration that the treaties are superior to the local laws. Finally we have to point out that Jordanian courts do not have the right to amend a foreign award; it either enforces it as is or rejects it.
Enforcement of foreign judgement consultation
Dear Mr. ——–
Thank you for contact me , at the beginning the certified Judgment was not attached in your e mail so please resend it again .
Regarding your consultation, Firstly I confirm my willing to start cooperation with you and I am ready to enforce the Judgment in Jordan,
The cost will be as follows:
- ( i) ————– £ Court Fees to be paid to the court , this amount of fees shall return to you at the end of the case, the defendant shall pay it .
– ( ii) —————- £ attorney fees divided as follows:
a – The amount of ———————- £ to be paid before the preparation of any documents relating to the case.
b- The amount of ——————- £ to be paid when you send the documents , with the same time you have to send court fees as mentioned above.
c- The amount of ——————- £ worth in the event if I win the case and collect the full amount of your claim .
Note: The amount of attorney fees in the Jordan law does not charged to the loose party of the case , its only paid by the client to his advocate ,
So that the net total which will return to you will be as follow:
Claim amount + court fees – Attorney fees
- ( i) – certified copy of the judgment certified from the embassy or consulate of Jordan.
- (ii) – Power of attorney I will send the form in the event if you agreed in the above conditions , and I will explain how to make it.
If you have any question don’t hesitate to call me
click the link bellow