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“Promoting Foreign Judgments: Lessons in Legal Convergence from South Africa and Nigeria” (Kluwer Law International B.V. 2019)

Pontian N. Okoli has provided the following extensive summary of the findings of his book, which is a revised version of his PhD thesis, completed at the University of Dundee.

In 2019, the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Civil or Commercial matters came into being. It is a clear reflection of determined efforts to produce a global legal framework that can support the free movement of foreign judgments. One index of success concerning the 2019 Convention would be whether it promotes the free movement of foreign judgments in different parts of the world including Africa. Time will tell. For now, it is necessary to reduce the impediments to the free movement of foreign judgments on at least two levels: first, between African and non-African jurisdictions; and second, between African jurisdictions. The legal frameworks that concern both levels are essentially the same in most African jurisdictions. There is no African legal framework that is equivalent to the Brussels legal regime on the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments in the European Union.  Thus, litigants need to consider relevant legal frameworks in each country. Foreign judgment creditors must be conversant with appropriate laws to ensure recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments. Nigeria and South Africa are two major examples of African jurisdictions where such awareness is required. 

Private International Law in Commonwealth Africa

Published this week is Private International Law in Commonwealth Africa (Cambridge University Press, 2013) by Prof. Richard Oppong of Thompson Rivers University. 

From the book’s website:

The book won the 2013 American Society of International Law prize in Private International Law.  The prize ‘recognizes exceptional work in private international law’.  The Secretary General of the Hague Conference on Private International Law, Dr. Christophe Bernasconi, observes in his foreword to the book that: ‘The publication of Private International Law in Commonwealth Africa marks a significant milestone in the history and development of private international law in Africa.  Its encyclopaedic analysis of fifteen national legal systems – which account for over 40 per cent of the continent’s population yet over 70 per cent of its economic output – will go a long way to filling a gap in knowledge in respect of this important region of the world’.