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Recognition and Enforcement

The recognition and enforcement of judgments within private international law may involve various issues. For example: can a German judgment on a payment order for failure to fulfil an obligation under an international agreement be directly enforced in the Netherlands? And what is the validity of a birth certificate from Turkey in the Netherlands; should and can it be recognised in the Netherlands?

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partnership property law: the Partnership Regulation;International civil and commercial matters: Brussels Ibis Regulation (EEX Regulation)

Recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments and sources of law

With regard to the question under which conditions foreign judgments can be recognised and enforced in the Netherlands, different sources of law apply with different ranking. E.g. sources of law at EU (or supranational) level, sources of the Hague Conference on Private International Law, multilateral treaties, bilateral treaties and sources of national law can apply.

At EU level, there are a number of important instruments regarding the recognition and enforcement of judgments;

In international civil and commercial matters in relation to Iceland, Switzerland and Norway, the Lugano Convention (EVEX II) comes into play. This convention is parallel to the old Brussels I Regulation.

The Hague Conference developed the 2005 Hague Choice of Court Convention specifically for exclusive forum choices. This Choice of Court Convention is relevant only in relation to Mexico, Montenegro, Singapore and the United Kingdom. In addition, for civil and commercial matters in relation to third countries, the Judgments Convention 2019 may apply to the Netherlands.

On a various specific issues, a number of bilateral enforcement treaties apply to the Netherlands.

If the above sources of law do not apply to your case, you will fall back on our national rules on international jurisdiction: Section 431 Rv and, in respect of more specific subjects, Book 10 of the Civil Code.

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What our clients say about us

Lawyer Tim de Greve, partner at Stibbe.

I regularly consult the IJI in cases involving private international law aspects. The institute has been around for over 100 years, so it boasts a long history and experience. There are eminent people associated with it. Not the least Mr Strikwerda. The IJI legal counsels think along with you, immediately understand the question you are facing and come up with solutions. They have the right connections at home and abroad to answer questions within a reasonable time. Apart from that, it is very pleasant working with the people of the IJI.


Lawyer mr Channa Samkalden, Prakken d'Oliveira

We have consulted the IJI in several cases. One example is a case brought by some Nigerian farmers against Shell about oil pollution in Nigeria. That case involved the application of Nigerian law by the Dutch courts. And the IJI figured out the framework of tort law in Nigeria for that purpose for us. We used that advice in the proceedings and also submitted it to the court and it showed, for example, that our claimants were also entitled to claim against Shell under Nigerian law. Actually in all those kinds of cases, the IJI is extremely useful because you get a very solid advice on the basis of which you know: do we want to have a number of things investigated further, can that be done by the IJI or should we turn to someone else? But at least you can use this information at an early stage of your proceedings.

Lawyer mr. Ria van Seventer, Meesters aan de Maas Advocaten

Our law firm is based in Rotterdam, a city with more than 170 nationalities, so we regularly have to seek private international law advice from the IJI. For example, I have had to deal with the recognition of a child by an Italian, to which Italian law has to be applied. I don’t speak Italian so I can’t do that myself. I also don’t have access to the sources and the IJI does.

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