Enforcement of Australian judgments overseas
The circumstances in which an Australian judgment will be enforceable in an overseas jurisdiction will vary depending on the laws of the local country. Where Australia has a reciprocal arrangement with the local country, then enforcement of the Australian judgment will be more straightforward.
Generally, for an Australian judgment to be enforced overseas it must:
(a) be for a fixed sum of money (it is usually not possible to enforce Australian judgments for specific performance or an injunction in another jurisdiction);
(b) not conflict with the domestic laws and domestic public policy of the local country (for example, Australian awards of exemplary damages may not be enforced in foreign jurisdictions);
(c) be final and conclusive (in some foreign jurisdictions, a judgment may be ‘final and conclusive’ even if there is a pending appeal); and
(d) concern a matter which the Australian Court held the jurisdiction to hear.
Generally, a verified copy of the original Australian judgment, together with a translation of the judgment into the official language of the foreign country, should be provided to the applicable judicial body, together with:
(a) an affidavit setting out the particulars of the debt that is the subject of the Australian judgment and identifying the location of the overseas debtor; and
(b) written submissions confirming that the Australian judgment meets the substantive requirements of the local jurisdiction.
This publication covers legal and technical issues in a general way. It is not designed to express opinions on specific cases. It is intended for information purposes only and should not be regarded as legal advice. Further advice should be obtained before taking action on any issue dealt with in this publication.