Finally, a reciprocal enforcement of judgments treaty is in place. The 22nd Diplomatic Session of the Hague Conference on Private International Law adopted the Convention on July 2nd, 2019. The Session signed the Convention in the Peace Palace of The Hague, Netherlands. The Convention is the 40th global instrument signed by HCCH. The Convention is not in force as of now.
According to www.hcch.net, the Convention “will be essential to reducing transactional and litigation costs in cross-border dealings [and] facilitates rule-based multilateral trade and investment. […] A true gamechanger in international dispute resolution.” It is also referred to as an “important gap” in private international law.
This means that judgments will be much easier to collect on in foreign jurisdictions. Winners that are able to obtain favorable judgments can receive their justice against foreigners in signatory countries. This is a huge win for injured parties that need to collect on judgments for money awards. Unfortunately, plaintiffs frequently decline to try cases because of the location of the defendant; this hopefully will ease that burden.
However, the Convention will not recognize certain types of awards. Awards for things such as privacy, wills, financial insolvency, nuclear damages, and intellectual property are not subject to the Convention. Also, the Convention does not recognize punitive or exemplary damages. Punitive or exemplary damages are damages awarded not related to the plaintiff’s actual injuries. Obviously, plaintiffs must ask their attorneys if the foreign jurisdiction can enforce their award.
Uruguay signed the Convention first. Uruguay considers it an honor. However, the fill list of contracting parties is not yet available. Lastly, the list of contracting parties is available at: https://www.hcch.net/en/instruments/conventions/status-table/?cid=137.
The Convention is the 40th global instrument adopted by the HCCH. Finally, the HCCH began operating in 1893.