The legislation of Ukraine provides for the possibility of recognition and enforcement of the foreign courts` decisions on its territory. Although such applications are not the most popular cases in Ukraine, yet they are not uncommon. Thus, in Ukraine usually are recognized the following foreign decisions: on the recovery of alimony, on the establishment of the fact of paternity acknowledgment, on the recovery of debts, etc.
Below we get a handle on prerequisites for successful recognition and enforcement in Ukraine and study the most common mistakes made by the applicants.
Prerequisites for granting an application for recognition and enforcement of the decision
The first step. Before applying to the court the applicants should establish whether Ukraine and the country where the court has rendered the relevant decision, have an international legal treaty, which regulates the recognition and enforcement of court decisions of these countries.
If the agreement on mutual legal assistance between the countries provides for the rules other than those defined in the relevant act of the Ukrainian legislation, the rules of the international agreement shall be applied. In the absence of such an agreement, the recognition and enforcement of a foreign court decision are carried out on the principle of reciprocity in accordance with the provisions of the Civil Procedure Code of Ukraine (hereinafter – the CPC of Ukraine).
The second step. It is necessary to define an appropriate court and submit a package of documents to such court. In general, the procedure is not complicated: an application for the recognition and enforcement of foreign decisions is submitted to the court together with the requested annexes.
At first glance, the list of required annexes provided in Articles 466 and 472 of the CPC of Ukraine is simple and clear. However, the incorrectness and inconsistency of the annexes is the most common reason for refusing to recognize and enforce a foreign decision.
Relevant case law
Usually, while resolving the issue of accepting the case for consideration the court leaves without consideration and returns the application for recognition and enforcement of the decision, if such application and the documents attached to it are not executed in accordance with the law or the application lacs annexes listed by the law. There are cases, however, in which the court finds the lack of the necessary annexes later, when considering the case.
Thus, the case law of the Supreme Court shows that the mere indication of proper notification of persons about the date, time and place of the trial in the text of the foreign court decision is not sufficient to recognize the fact that the person was aware of the trial in a foreign court. Ukrainian courts do not equate a foreign court decision, containing information on due notification of the parties, with a document confirming that the party, against whom the foreign court decision was rendered and who did not participate in the hearing, had been duly notified on the date, time and place of the case consideration.
Therefore, when preparing an application for recognition and enforcement of foreign court decision on the territory of Ukraine, it is important to provide evidence of the person’s notification on the trial, for example, notification of service of summons, etc.
However, there are exceptions. Thus, if the legislation of the foreign country does not require the parties` notification on the hearing in certain matters, than Ukrainian court should not request the evidence of the person’s notification on the hearing in the foreign court.
On the whole, when preparing procedural documents on the recognition and enforcement of the foreign courts` decisions, it is important to pay attention to all the nuances of such application. The properly executed application and annexes to it, specifically proper notification of the parties on the date, time and place of the hearing, is the key to successful recognition and enforcement of a foreign court decision in Ukraine.