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Recognition of foreign Judgments in Luxembourg

Recognition of Foreign Judgments in Luxembourg

Updated on Tuesday 06th February 2018

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There are series of procedures that has to be followed before enforcing a foreign judgment in Luxembourg such as the Council Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 of 22 December 2000 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters.

The convention of 27 September 1968 on jurisdiction and the enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters and the 1988 Lugano Convention (which is applicable for the applicants from England, European Union, Iceland, International, Norway, Switzerland, Wales). All three of the above contains similar provisions that have to be followed by the applicants.

Our lawyers in Luxembourg can offer information on the legislation through which foreign judgements are acknowledged in the Grand Duchy.

The legal system in Luxembourg

Before asking for a foreign judgement to be recognized in Luxembourg, an applicant must get acquainted with the country’s legal system in order to know where to file the request.

The Luxembourg court system is made up of two main branches: a civil and a criminal one. The following courts can rule in case a foreign judgment:

  • -       the lower courts;
  • -       the district courts;
  • -       the appeal court;
  • -       the supreme court.

It is also useful to know that Luxembourg hosts the seat of the European Union’s Court of Justice.

What judgements can be enforced in Luxembourg?

The following judgements can be recognized and enforced by a Luxembourg court:

  • -       default judgements;
  • -       interim decisions;
  • -       orders;
  • -       injunctions.

In order to have a judgment recognized in Luxembourg, the applicant must appoint a local attorney to file the petition.

Foreign laws in Luxembourg

As a general rule, the proceedings in a Luxembourg court will follow the national and the EU legislation, however the judge can accept hearing expert opinions on foreign laws. The documents related to the foreign judgements must be filed in one of the official languages of the country which are French, German and Luxembourgish.

At European level, a foreign judgment becomes recognizable in another state only if the court in the country where it was first issued declares the judgement enforceable. In Luxembourg, the only authority who can recognize a foreign judgement is the judge in a local tribunal.

It should be noted that the application for recognition and enforcement of a foreign judge can be filed online. There are specific rules for each country in the EU when it comes to foreign judgements which can be enforced in Luxembourg.

Our Luxembourg lawyers can advise on how to file a petition for the recognition of enforcement of a foreign judgment.

Procedure of enforcing a foreign judgment in Luxembourg

The execution of a judicial decision in a Member State on the territory of Luxembourg means to first declare the judgment enforceable in the territory of execution. To do this, a request for a declaration of enforceability to the competent authority in the executing Member State must be filled. The request must be then submitted to the competent authority.

These authorities may be the physically competent authority (the application must be submitted to the competent authority designated by each Member State); the territorially competent authority( jurisdiction shall be determined by the domicile of the party against whom enforcement is sought or of the place of execution) or the applicant may find the coordinates of the competent authority using the European Judicial Atlas in Civil and Commercial Matters posted by the European institutions (it is a tool for legal professionals to handle easily European instruments applicable in the matter and allowing the identification of the courts and other competent authorities which to use for various purposes).

In Luxembourg, the application is made by way of petition signed by a lawyer in court within whose jurisdiction enforcement is sought.

The person requesting the recognition of a foreign judgment must also submit a copy of the judgement together with a certificate provided by the court or competent authority of a Member State where a judgment was given.

The Luxembourgish court required to provide a declaration of enforceability may require a translation of documents. The translation must be certified by a person qualified to do so in one of the Member States.

The court conducts purely formal checks of the documents produced. The party against whom enforcement is sought shall not make any submissions at this stage of the proceedings. After the formalities check, the court shall issue its decision declaring enforceability.

This decision is delivered to the applicant on terms determined by the law of the Member State of the court seized. In Luxembourg, enforcement order is notified to the applicant's attorney by registered letter to the court registrar. The decision must then be served on the party against whom enforcement is sought, accompanied by the decision if it has not yet been served on that party.

Appeals related to foreign judgments

An appeal against the decision may be lodged within one month of service if the party against whom enforcement is sought is domiciled in the territory of the Member State in which the declaration of enforceability has been issued and within two months of its notification in person or at home if the party against whom enforcement is sought is domiciled in a Member State other than that in which the declaration of enforceability was issued.

Against the decision rejecting the application for enforcement, the applicant may appeal to the Superior Court of Justice sitting in appeal. This appeal must be filed within one month of the notification of the refusal. It is formed by a bailiff, containing summons to the party against whom enforcement is sought. The decision on the appeal may be an appeal in the manner and deadlines of civil law.

Against the decision authorizing enforcement, the party against whom enforcement is sought may appeal to the Superior Court of Justice sitting in appeal. This appeal must be filed within one month of notification of the decision, if the caller is domiciled in the country and within two months of the service is made in person or at home when residing abroad. It is introduced by a bailiff summons containing the party pursuing enforcement, meant to address. The decision by the Court may be appealed to the Supreme Court in the forms and deadlines of the civil law.

The recognition and enforceability of foreign judgments is a very complicated matter, which is why we invite you to contact our law firm in Luxembourg for more information on the legislation related to these matters.