We use cookies to collect and analyse information on site performance and usage to improve and customise your experience, where applicable. View our Cookies Policy. Click Accept and continue to use our website or Manage to review and update your preferences.

Britain to enforce judgments without review of merit
London's Old Bailey Pic: Shutterstock

09 Jul 2024 / britain Print

Britain to accept judgments without review of merit

Britain’s ratification of the Convention of 2 July 2019 on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Civil or Commercial Matters on 27 June is the topic of an Arthur Cox briefing note.

The move will facilitate more streamlined enforcement of British judgments in Ireland from 1 July 2025, when it comes into force.

Judicial co-operation

The convention aims to facilitate judicial co-operation in the enforcement and recognition of judgments among its contracting states, without any review of the merits of the underlying judgments.

The 2019 convention applies to the recognition and enforcement of judgments relating to civil or commercial matters, but excludes various matters such as:

  • Revenue,
  • Customs or administrative matters,
  • Defamation,
  • Intellectual property,
  • Privacy,
  • Carriage of passengers and goods,
  • Marine pollution,
  • Insolvency,
  • Certain anti-trust (competition) matters, and
  • Arbitration and related proceedings.

The Arthur Cox lawyers state that the 2019 convention came into effect as between the EU (excluding Denmark) and Ukraine on 1 September 2023.

On the same date, Uruguay also became a contracting party, where it will enter into force on 1 October 2024.

Costa Rica, Israel, Russia, United States, Montenegro and North Macedonia have signed, but not yet ratified, the 2019 convention.


Following its signing in January 2024, Britain has implemented various necessary amendments to its civil-procedure rules and legislation and, on 27 June, the country formally ratified the 2019 convention.

Britain’s ratification will help to fill the gap left post-Brexit in terms of arrangements concerning mutual recognition and enforcement of judgments.

The current position is that, absent any regime for the automatic recognition and enforcement of British judgments in Ireland, common-law principles determine whether a such a judgment can be enforced here.

The associated court process is more complex and lengthier than applications for recognition and enforcement of judgments from EU or Lugano Convention member states and, in turn, more costly.

Next steps

However, it will be some time before the ratification can be relied upon to recognise and enforce British judgments.

The 2019 convention also only applies to judgments if, at the time the proceedings were issued, the convention had effect between the state in which the judgment originated and the state to whom the request to recognise and enforce the judgment is made.

On ratifying the 2019 convention, a state can choose to opt out of its application between it and any other contracting state.

In addition, each contracting state also has 12 months to decide whether the convention will apply between it and any joining state (that is, Britain) – time will tell if any contracting states avail of this opt-out process, the Arthur Cox lawyers state.

Gazette Desk
Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland