Enforcing Foreign Judgments in Qatar
"Law is the embodiment of the moral sentiment of the people." - William Blackstone.
During recent years, the expansion of international commercial transactions has increased the disputes involving foreign elements. Some conflicts are settled amicably, and some arguments are settled in courts. In both cases, the Judgment rendered needs to be executed. If the judgment debtor has assets in the jurisdiction of the country rendered Judgment, the verdict therein can be executed. If the judgment debtor has assets in the jurisdiction other than the country caused conclusion, execution, and recognition of the decision in foreign jurisdiction arises.
Enforcement of foreign judgments by the state of Qatari courts is governed by Article 379 of the Commercial and civil procedure code Law No. 13 of 1990. Chapter One to Chapter Three explains the Executing of foreign judgments, orders, and official bonds. Article 379 of this law expresses that the decisions and orders issued in a foreign country may be ordered to be executed in Qatar with the similar conditions established in that country for conducting Qatari judgments and orders there. The request for the execution is mentioned by requesting the litigant to appear before the execution judge at the High Court, in the usual conditions for recording a case.
Article 69 of the Procedural Code states that judgments should be rendered and enforced in the name of the highest authority in the country. Any decision violating this public order will be null and void.
When agreeing with one of the parties is in Qatar or the contract is partly or performed in Qatar. The Qatari courts will uphold the parties' choice of foreign law and jurisdiction or dismiss them considering the Qatari statutes and courts. The parties may decide on the laws of another jurisdiction to govern the terms of their agreement. A competent Qatari Court will agree to the parties' choice if the provisions of the chosen foreign law do not contradict public policy or morality in Qatar.
Applying a foreign law by a Qatari court can experience challenges. A party contenting in favor of using foreign law should produce a properly authenticated translation of the relevant laws of the foreign jurisdiction, or else the local court will apply Qatari law. Producing a certified translation on time, especially when the foreign governing law is un-codified. If a party neglects to give the authenticated translation, the Qatari court will apply Qatari law regardless of the parties' agreement.
Applying a foreign law by a Qatari court can experience difficulties. A party contending for the utilization of unfamiliar law should deliver a correctly verified interpretation of the pertinent laws of the unfamiliar purview any other way the nearby court will apply Qatari law.
Article 380 expresses that the enforcement of foreign judgments or orders shall not be issued unless the following is verified.
- The courts of the state of Qatar are not the sole competent to determine the dispute in which the Judgment or order was issued. The foreign courts that issued the ruling or the order are qualified in accordance with the rules of international jurisdiction established in its law.
- The parties involved in the case in which the Judgment was rendered have been summoned and duly represented.
- According to the court's law that pronounced it, the Judgment or order has the force of res judicata.
- The Judgment or order does not conflict with a decision or order that a court in Qatar previously issued. It does not include anything that violates public order and public morals.
From the above, it is clear that the Judgment pronounced by a court will be in accordance with the law of the country where it was pronounced and duly certified.
In addition to the presence of the litigants in the case where the foreign Judgment was issued, and that they were properly addressed, and to guarantee that the Judgment had the power of the res judicata in terms of the litigants in the case refraining from returning to a conversation in this matter that was settled on, even with new legal or factual evidence, the foreign Judgment should not conflict with any decision or order recently issued by any court within the nation and also it should not conflict with the public order and the public morals in the country. The provisions of Articles 379 and 380 apply to the arbitrators issued in a foreign country.
The issued Judgment must be in accordance with the laws of the State of Qatar. Official enforceable bonds issued in a foreign nation may be requested to be executed under the similar conditions specified in the country's law for the execution of official enforceable bonds issued in Qatar. An appeal submitted to the execution judge shall mention the execution order. Execution will be ordered only after verifying that the conditions required for the formality and enforceability of the bond are met as per the law of the country in which it was made and that it is liberated from whatever that is infringing upon the public order or morals in Qatar.
The Article No. 25 states the following:
- In the context of the application of this chapter, Judgment means every decision – whatever its name – that is issued based on judicial or state procedures by courts or any other competent authority of anyone.
- Subject to the provisions of Article 30 of this Agreement, each of the contracting parties shall recognize the judgments issued by the courts. The contracting party in civil cases, judgments relating to civil rights issued by penal courts, and personal status cases, which have the force of a res judicata. It shall implement it in its territory in accordance with the procedures related to the implementation of the provisions specified in this chapter. The courts of the contracting party to which recognition or enforcement is requested should have jurisdiction under the provisions of this chapter. The legal system of the contracting party to which recognition or enforcement is requested does not alone retain the authority to issue a judgment to a trial or the courts of another party.
- This Article does not apply to:
- Judgments are issued against the government of the contracting party to which recognition or enforcement is requested, or against one of its employees, for acts, he performed during the job or only because of it.
- Judgments that its recognition or implementation is incompatible with the international treaties and conventions in force in the contracting party requested to be executed.
- Provisional and precautionary procedures and judgments issued in bankruptcy cases, taxes and fees.
The enforcement of a foreign judgment by the Qatari courts is governed under Article 379 of the commercial and civil procedure code. The Qatari court requires evidence that the foreign law is in line with Qatar's public morals and order.
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