Tag Archive for: Dubai Supreme Court

Dubai Supreme Court Admits Reciprocity with the UK and Enforces an English Judgment


I have been reporting on this blog some recent cases from the Dubai Supreme Court (DSC) regarding the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments (see here, here and here). Reading these posts may have given the legitimate impression that the enforcement of foreign judgments in the UAE, and especially in Dubai, is particularly challenging. This post aims to mitigate that perception by shedding light on a very recent case in which the Dubai courts, with the approval of the DSC, ruled in favor of the enforcement of an English judgment. As the comments below indicate, this is probably the very first case in which the DSC has positively ruled  in favor of the enforcement of an English judgment by declaring that the judgment in question met all the requirements set out in UAE law, and in particular, the reciprocity requirement.

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The Dubai Supreme Court on the Enforcement of Canadian (Ontario) Enforcement Judgment

Can an enforcement judgment issued by a foreign court be recognized and enforced in another jurisdiction? This is a fundamental question concerning the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments. The answer appears to be relatively straightforward: “No”. Foreign enforcement judgments are not eligible to be recognized and enforced as they are not decisions on the merits (see in relation with the HCCH 2019 Convention, F Garcimartín and G Saumier, Explanatory Report (HCCH 2020) para. 95, p. 73;  W Hau “Judgments, Recognition, Enforcement” in M Weller et al. (eds.), The HCCH 2019 Judgments Convention: Cornerstones, Prospects, Outlooks (Hart 2023) 25). This is usually referred to as the “prohibition of double exequatur” or, following the French adage: “exequatur sur exequatur ne vaut”. This question was recently presented to the Dubai Supreme Court (DSC), and its decision in the Appeal No. 1556 of 16 January 2024 offers some useful insights into the status foreign enforcement (exequatur) decisions in the UAE.

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