CONVENTION ON THE RECOGNITION AND
ENFORCEMENT OF FOREIGN JUDGMENTS IN CIVIL AND COMMERCIAL MATTERS
(Hague, February 1, 1971)
The States signatory to the present Convention,
Desiring to establish common provisions on
mutual recognition and enforcement of judicial decisions rendered in their
Have resolved to conclude a Convention to
this effect and have agreed on the following provisions:
CHAPTER I SCOPE OF THE CONVENTION
This Convention shall apply to decisions rendered
in civil or commercial matters by the courts of Contracting States.
It shall not apply to decisions the main object
of which is to determine ?
(1) the status or capacity of persons or questions
of family law, including personal or financial rights and obligations between
parents and children or between spouses;
(2) the existence or constitution of legal
persons or the powers of their officers;
(3) maintenance obligations, so far as not
included in sub-paragraph (1) of this Article;
(4) questions of succession;
(5) questions of bankruptcy, compositions
or analogous proceedings, including decisions which may result therefrom
and which relate to the validity of the acts of the debtor;
(6) questions of social security;
(7) questions relating to damage or injury
in nuclear matters.
This Convention does not apply to decisions
for the payment of any customs duty, tax or penalty.
This Convention shall apply to all decisions
given by the courts of a Contracting State, irrespective of the name given
by that State to the proceedings which gave rise to the decision or of
the name given to the decision itself such as judgment, order or writ of
However, it shall apply neither to decisions
which order provisional or protective measures nor to decisions rendered
by administrative tribunals.
This Convention shall apply irrespective of
the nationality of the parties.
CHAPTER II CONDITIONS OF RECOGNITION
A decision rendered in one of the Contracting
States shall be entitled to recognition and enforcement in another Contracting
State under the terms of this Convention ?
(1) if the decision was given by a court considered
to have jurisdiction within the meaning of this Convention, and
(2) if it is no longer subject to ordinary
forms of review in the State of origin.
In addition, to be enforceable in the State
addressed, a decision must be enforceable in the State of origin.
Recognition or enforcement of a decision may
nevertheless be refused in any of the following cases ?
(1) if recognition or enforcement of the decision
is manifestly incompatible with the public policy of the State addressed
or if the decision resulted from proceedings incompatible with the requirements
of due process of law or if, in the circumstances, either party had no
adequate opportunity fairly to present his case;
(2) if the decision was obtained by fraud
in the procedural sense;
(3) if proceedings between the same parties,
based on the same facts and having the same purpose ?
a) are pending before a court of the
State addressed and those proceedings were the first to be instituted,
b) have resulted in a decision by a
court of the State addressed, or
c) have resulted in a decision by a
court of another State which would be entitled to recognition and enforcement
under the law of the State addressed.
Without prejudice to the provisions of Article
5, a decision rendered by default shall neither be recognized nor enforced
unless the defaulting party received notice of the institution of the proceedings
in accordance with the law of the State of origin in sufficient time to
enable him to defend the proceedings.
Recognition or enforcement may not be refused
for the sole reason that the court of the State of origin has applied a
law other than that which would have been applicable according to the rules
of private international law of the State addressed.
Nevertheless, recognition or enforcement may
be refused if, to reach its decision, the court of the State of origin
had to decide a question relating either to the status or the capacity
of a party or to his rights in other matters excluded from this Convention
by sub-paragraphs (1)-(4) of the second paragraph of Article 1, and has
reached a result different from that which would have followed from the
application to that question of the rules of private international law
of the State addressed.
Without prejudice to such review as is required
by the terms of the preceding Articles, there shall be no review of the
merits of the decision rendered by the court of origin.
In questions relating to the jurisdiction
of the court of the State of origin, the authority addressed shall be bound
by the findings of fact on which that court based its jurisdiction, unless
the decision was rendered by default.
The court of the State of origin shall be
considered to have jurisdiction for the purposes of this Convention:
(1) if the defendant had, at the time when
the proceedings were instituted, his habitual residence in the State of
origin, or, if the defendant is not a natural person, its seat, its place
of incorporation or its principal place of business in that State;
(2) if the defendant had, in the State of
origin, at the time when the proceedings were instituted, a commercial,
industrial or other business establishment, or a branch office, and was
cited there in proceedings arising from business transacted by such establishment
or branch office;
(3) if the action had as its object the determination
of an issue relating to immovable property situated in the State of origin;
(4) in the case of injuries to the person
or damage to tangible property, if the facts which occasioned the damage
occurred in the territory of the State of origin, and if the author of
the injury or damage was present in that territory at the time when those
(5) if, by a written agreement or by an oral
agreement confirmed in writing within a reasonable time, the parties agreed
to submit to the jurisdiction of the court of origin disputes which have
arisen or which may arise in respect of a specific legal relationship,
unless the law of the State addressed would not permit such an agreement
because of the subject-matter of the dispute;
(6) if the defendant has argued the merits
without challenging the jurisdiction of the court or making reservations
thereon; nevertheless such jurisdiction shall not be recognized if the
defendant has argued the merits in order to resist the seizure of property
or to obtain its release, or if the recognition of this jurisdiction would
be contrary to the law of the State addressed because of the subject-matter
of the dispute;
(7) if the person against whom recognition
or enforcement is sought was the plaintiff in the proceedings in the court
of origin and was unsuccessful in those proceedings, unless the recognition
of this jurisdiction would be contrary to the law of the State addressed
because of the subject-matter of the dispute.
The court of the State of origin shall be
considered to have jurisdiction for the purposes of this Convention to
try a counterclaim:
(1) if that court would have had jurisdiction
to try the action as a principal claim under sub-paragraphs (1)-(6) of
Article 10, or
(2) if that court had jurisdiction under Article
10 to try the principal claim and if the counterclaim arose out of the
contract or out of the facts on which the principal claim was based.
The jurisdiction of the court of the State
of origin need not be recognized by the authority addressed in the following
(1) if the law of the State addressed confers
upon its courts exclusive jurisdiction, either by reason of the subject-matter
of the action or by virtue of an agreement between the parties as to the
determination of the claim which gave rise to the foreign decision;
(2) if the law of the State addressed recognizes
a different exclusive jurisdiction by reason of the subject-matter of the
action, or if the authority addressed considers itself bound to recognize
such an exclusive jurisdiction by reason of an agreement between the parties;
(3) if the authority addressed considers itself
bound to recognize an agreement by which exclusive jurisdiction is conferred
CHAPTER III RECOGNITION AND ENFORCEMENT
The party seeking recognition or applying
for enforcement shall furnish:
(1) a complete and authenticated copy of the
(2) if the decision was rendered by default,
the originals or certified true copies of the documents required to establish
that the summons was duly served on the defaulting party;
(3) all documents required to establish that
the decision fulfills the conditions of sub-paragraph (2) of the first
paragraph of Article 4, and, where appropriate, of the second paragraph
of Article 4;
(4) unless the authority addressed otherwise
requires, translations of the documents referred to above, certified as
correct either by a diplomatic or consular agent or by a sworn translator
or by any other person so authorized in either State.
If the terms of the decision do not permit
the authority addressed to verify whether the conditions of this Convention
have been complied with, that authority may require the production of any
other necessary documents.
No legalisation or other like formality may
The procedure for the recognition or enforcement
of foreign judgments is governed by the law of the State addressed so far
as this Convention does not provide otherwise.
If the decision contains provisions which
can be dissociated, any one or more of these may be separately recognized
Recognition or enforcement of an award of
judicial costs or expenses may be accorded by virtue of this Convention
only if this Convention is applicable to the decision on the merits.
This Convention shall apply to decisions relating
to judicial costs or expenses even if such decisions do not proceed from
a court, provided that they derive from a decision which may be recognized
or enforced under this Convention and that the decision relating to costs
or expenses could have been subject to judicial review.
A judgment for costs or expenses given in
connection with the granting or refusal of recognition or enforcement of
a decision may be enforced under this Convention only if the applicant
in the proceedings for recognition or enforcement relied on this Convention.
No security, bond or deposit, however termed
under the law of the State addressed, shall be required by reason of the
nationality or domicile of the applicant to guarantee the payment of judicial
costs or expenses if the applicant, being a natural person, has his habitual
residence in or, not being a natural person, has a place of business in
a State which has concluded with the State addressed a Supplementary Agreement
in accordance with Article 21.
A party granted legal aid in the State of
origin shall be extended such aid in accordance with the law of the State
addressed in any proceedings for the recognition or for the enforcement
of a foreign decision.
Settlements made in court in the course of
a pending proceeding which may be enforced in the State of origin shall
be enforceable in the State addressed under the same conditions as decisions
falling within this Convention, so far as those conditions apply to settlements.
CHAPTER IV CONCURRENT ACTIONS
If two States have concluded a Supplementary
Agreement pursuant to Article 21, the judicial authorities of either State
may dismiss an action brought before them or may stay such an action when
other proceedings between the same parties, based on the same facts and
having the same purpose, are pending in a court of another State and these
proceedings may result in a decision which the authorities of the State
in which the first mentioned action was brought would be bound to recognize
under the terms of this Convention.
The authorities of these States may nevertheless
order provisional or protective measures regardless of proceedings elsewhere.
CHAPTER V SUPPLEMENTARY AGREEMENTS
Decisions rendered in a Contracting State
shall not be recognized or enforced in another Contracting State in accordance
with the provisions of the preceding Articles unless the two States, being
Parties to this Convention, have concluded a Supplementary Agreement to
This Convention shall not apply to decisions
rendered before the entry into force of the Supplementary Agreement provided
for in Article 21 unless that Agreement otherwise provides.
The Supplementary Agreement shall continue
to be applicable to decisions in respect of which recognition or enforcement
proceedings have been instituted before any denunciation of that Agreement
In the Supplementary Agreements referred to
in Article 21 the Contracting States may agree ?
(1) to clarify the meaning of the expression
"civil and commercial matters", to determine the courts whose decisions
shall be recognized and enforced under this Convention, to define the expression
"social security" and to define the expression "habitual residence";
(2) to clarify the meaning of the term "law"
in States with more than one legal system;
(3) to include within the scope of this Convention
questions relating to damage or injury in nuclear matters;
(4) to apply this Convention to decisions
ordering provisional or protective measures;
(5) not to apply this Convention to decisions
rendered in the course of criminal proceedings;
(6) to specify the cases under which a decision
is no longer subject to ordinary forms of review;
(7) to recognize and enforce decisions upon
which enforcement could be obtained in the State of origin even if such
decisions are still subject to ordinary forms of review and in such a case
to define the conditions under which a stay of proceedings for recognition
or enforcement is possible;
(8) not to apply Article 6 if the decision
rendered by default was notified to the defaulting party and the latter
had the opportunity to lodge a timely appeal against such a decision;
(8 bis) that the Authority addressed
shall not be bound by the findings of fact on which the court of the State
of origin based its jurisdiction;
(9) to consider the courts of the State in
which the defendant has his "domicile" as having jurisdiction under Article
(10) that the court of origin shall be considered
as having jurisdiction under the terms of this Convention in cases where
its jurisdiction is admitted by another Convention in force between the
State of origin and the State addressed if that other Convention contains
no special rules relating to the recognition or enforcement of foreign
(11) that the court of origin shall be considered
as having jurisdiction under the terms of this Convention either when its
jurisdiction is admitted by the law of the State addressed relating to
the recognition or enforcement of foreign judgments, or on grounds additional
to those in Article 10;
(12) to define, for the purposes of the application
of Article 12, the bases of jurisdiction which are exclusive by reason
of the subject-matter of the action;
(13) to exclude, in cases where jurisdiction
is based on an agreement between the parties, the application of sub-paragraph
(1) of Article 12 as well as to exclude that of sub-paragraph (3) of Article
(14) to regulate the procedure for obtaining
recognition or enforcement;
(15) to regulate the enforcement of judgments
other than those which order the payment of a sum of money;
(16) that the enforcement of a foreign judgment
may be refused when a specified period has elapsed from its date;
(17) to fix the rate of interest payable from
the date of the judgment in the State of origin;
(18) to adapt to the requirements of their
legal systems the list of documents required by Article 13, but with the
sole object of enabling the authority addressed to verify whether the conditions
of this Convention have been fulfilled;
(19) to subject the documents referred to
in Article 13 to legalisation or to a similar formality;
(20) to depart from the provisions of Article
17 and to depart from the provisions of Article 18;
(21) to make the provisions of the first paragraph
of Article 20 obligatory;
(22) to include within the scope of this Convention
"actes authentiques", including documents upon which immediate enforcement
can be obtained, and to specify those documents.
CHAPTER VI FINAL CLAUSES
This Convention shall not affect other Conventions
relating to the recognition and enforcement of judgments to which the Contracting
States are already Parties so long as those States have not concluded a
Supplementary Agreement under the terms of Article 21.
Unless it is otherwise agreed, the provisions
of a Supplementary Agreement concluded under Article 21 shall prevail over
the terms of any prior Conventions in force between the Parties relating
to the recognition and enforcement of judgments to the extent that their
terms are mutually inconsistent.
Whether or not they have concluded a Supplementary
Agreement under Article 21, the Contracting States shall not conclude between
themselves other Conventions relating to the recognition and enforcement
of judgments within the scope of this Convention unless they consider it
necessary, in particular, because of economic ties or of particular aspects
of their legal systems.
Notwithstanding the provisions of Articles
24 and 25, this Convention and the Supplementary Agreements made under
Article 21 shall not prevail over Conventions to which the Contracting
States are or may become Parties in special fields and which contain provisions
for the recognition and enforcement of judgments.
This Convention shall be open for signature
by the States represented at the Tenth Session of the Hague Conference
on Private International Law and Cyprus, Iceland and Malta.
It shall be ratified and the instruments of
ratification shall be deposited with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of
This Convention shall enter into force on
the sixtieth day after the deposit of the second instrument of ratification.
This Convention shall enter into force for
each State which ratifies it subsequently on the sixtieth day after the
deposit of its instrument of ratification.
Any State not falling within the provisions
of the first paragraph of Article 27 may accede to this Convention after
it has entered into force in accordance with the first paragraph of Article
28. The instrument of accession shall be deposited with the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.
This Convention shall enter into force for
such a State in the absence of any objection from a State which has ratified
this Convention before such deposit, notified to the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs of the Netherlands within a period of six months after the date
on which the said Ministry has notified it of such accession.
In the absence of any such objection, this
Convention shall enter into force for the acceding State on the first day
of the month following the expiration of the last of the periods referred
to in the preceding paragraph.
Any State may, at the time of signature, ratification
or accession, declare that this Convention shall extend to all the territories
for the international relations of which it is responsible, or to one or
more of them. Such a declaration shall take effect on the date of entry
into force of this Convention for the State concerned.
At any time thereafter, such extensions shall
be notified to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.
This Convention shall enter into force for
the territories mentioned in such an extension on the sixtieth day after
the notification referred to in the preceding paragraph.
The Parties to a Supplementary Agreement concluded
under Article 21 shall determine its territorial application.
This Convention shall have a duration of five
years from the date on which it enters into force under the first paragraph
of Article 28, even in its application to States which have subsequently
ratified or acceded to it.
In the absence of any denunciation, this Convention
shall be renewed tacitly every five years.
Any denunciation shall be notified to the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands at least six months before
the end of the five year period.
Such denunciation may be limited to any one
of the territories to which this Convention applies.
Such denunciation shall affect only the notifying
State. This Convention shall remain in force for the other Contracting
Each Supplementary Agreement concluded under
Article 21 shall take effect from the date specified in such Agreement;
a certified copy and, if necessary, a translation into French or English
shall be communicated to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.
Any Contracting State may, without denouncing
this Convention, denounce a Supplementary Agreement either under any provision
for denunciation in such Agreement or, if such Agreement contains no such
provision, by giving six months' notice to the other State. Any State denouncing
a Supplementary Agreement shall so inform the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
of the Netherlands.
Notwithstanding the denunciation of this Convention,
it shall nevertheless continue to have effect between the denouncing State
and any other State with which the former has concluded a Supplementary
Agreement under Article 21, unless such Agreement provides otherwise.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands
shall give notice to the States referred to in Article 27, and to the States
which have acceded in accordance with Article 29, of the following ?
a) the signatures and ratifications
referred to in Article 27;
b) the date on which the present Convention
enters into force in accordance with the first paragraph of Article 28;
c) the accessions referred to in Article
29 and the dates on which they take effect;
d) the extensions referred to in Article
30 and the dates on which they take effect;
e) a translation or a copy of the text
in English or French of Supplementary Agreements concluded under Article
f) the denunciations referred to in
the third paragraph of Article 31 and the second paragraph of Article 32.
In witness whereof the undersigned, being
duly authorised thereto, have signed this Convention.
Done at The Hague, on the first day of February,
1971, in the English and French languages, both texts being equally authentic,
in a single copy which shall be deposited in the archives of the Government
of the Netherlands, and of which a certified copy shall be sent, through
the diplomatic channel, to each of the States represented at the Tenth
Session of the Hague Conference on Private International Law, and to Cyprus,
Iceland and Malta.