The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has entered into a cooperative arrangement with Egypt known as the 'Legal and Judicial Cooperation Agreement between the UAE and the Arab Republic of Egypt' in the year 2000. This arrangement governs the reciprocal enforcement of judgments between UAE and Egypt, and the enforcement of UAE judgments are thereby recognized in the territory of Egypt through this agreement. Legal and Judicial Cooperation Agreement between the Government of the United Arab Emirates and the Government of Egypt was published in the UAE pursuant to Federal Decree Number 83 of 2000 and published in Egypt pursuant to Presidential Decree Number 464 of 2000 and came about in order to obtain constructive cooperation between the two governments by establishing reciprocity of foreign judgments.
Chapter V of this Agreement dictates the recognition and implementation of judgments in civil, commercial and personal status articles. Article 26 of this convention states that each of the parties shall recognize the rulings issued by the courts of the other, thereby affirming that the enforcement of judgments passed in UAE holds the same binding nature in the territory of Egypt. Such judgments shall cover civil matters, criminal matters issued in civil courts, commercial and personal status matters provided that the court issuing the ruling is competent in accordance with the rules of international judicial jurisdiction in the respective country and such decision that shall be based on judicial or state procedures from the courts of the state. It is imperative that the provisions in recognition and implementation are compatible with the international treaties and agreements in force with the contracting party.
In certain cases, there can be a refusal to recognize the foreign judgment that has been mandated in Article 31, and the grounds for refusal of enforcement of a foreign judgment would include:
- If the ruling passed in the judgment is contrary to the provisions of the Constitution; if such principles are contrary to the public order or morals of the country from which such recognition would be derived, in that case as well the foreign judgment could not be enforced. Therefore, a judgment executed in UAE shall not be recognized in Egypt if it holds to be conflicting with the public policy and morality of the principles in Egypt and if it is contradictory to the provisions of the Constitution of Egypt.
- If any judgment is passed in violation of the law of the states and was passed in favor of persons without any legal representation or persons that are incapable of obtaining such legal representation.
- If the judgment was passed by a court that was not fit or competent to pass such judgment.
- An ex-parte judgment delivered shall not be enforceable, where the opponent convicted in absentia was not capable of representation to defend himself.
- Any judgment passed against the laws of the country or passed in contravention to the laws shall not be enforceable in the territory of Egypt.
In all such cases, the judgment passed shall not be recognized in a foreign country, and the judgment passed in UAE on the above grounds shall not be recognized to be enforceable in the jurisdiction of Egypt. Article 32 explicitly states that the execution of the judgment shall be dependent on being in sync with the rules and law of the country where it is being enforced. For the judgment rendered in UAE to be recognized in Egypt, it has to be consistent with the laws of the territory of Egypt and cannot be in contradiction to the regulations of Egypt. The judgment shall be deemed to be competent in the cases where the jurisdiction of the court of the contracting party in which such judgment was pronounced follows the principles of competency which have been mandated in Article 29 and outlined below. Following are the grounds where a said judgment shall be deemed to be passed by a competent court:
- Where the defendants' domicile or place of residence at the time of the lawsuit was located in that country.
- If the contractual obligation which is the subject of the dispute has been executed in whole or in part in the state where it was pronounced or if it is obligatory to implement in it according to an explicit or implicit agreement between the plaintiff and defendant.
- In cases of non-contractual liability, the act required for liability has occurred in that country.
- If the defendant accepts explicitly or implicitly to submit to the jurisdiction of the court whether by selecting a chosen home or by agreeing on its jurisdiction where the law of the country does not prohibit such an agreement.
- If the defendant has expressed his defense of the merits of the case without submitting that the dispute was not within the jurisdiction of the court.
- In the case of personal status and expenses, if the opponent has a domicile or a residence in the territory of that state.
- In the case of inheritance, if the deceased person had a domicile or property in the territory of that state at the time of his death.
- If the defendant in that particular country has an agent at the time of taking the actions arising from the agency's work.
All such judgments pertaining to the grounds mentioned above shall be deemed to be competent and shall be fit for execution. The competent judicial authority in Egypt shall recognize or implement the ruling passed in UAE by firstly verifying whether the conditions stipulated in the legal and judicial cooperation agreement are met without being subject to an examination of the matter, and this shall be done by the authority itself and by declaring such decision. Upon such examination, if the decision declared deems the judgment to be fit and executable, then an order to execute such ruling shall be issued, and the effect of such ruling in UAE shall be equivalent to the effect in Egypt. The effect of such foreign ruling in Egypt shall hold the same effect as it would in UAE. However, there are certain documents that shall be required for the execution of the foreign ruling, and it is vital that all such documents be submitted. Such documents are addressed in Article 35 of the Agreement and include the following:
- A full and complete official copy of the ruling along with the attested signatures from the competent authorities.
- A testimony obtaining that the judgment holds power to order/request recognition/execution of the ruling. The party requesting recognition is required to obtain such testimony in most cases unless otherwise stipulated.
- Testimony has to be obtained in certain cases where the person who does not have the capacity to litigate to show that he has represented legal litigation.
- In cases of absentia, a copy of declaration authenticated by its conformity to the original has to be submitted, or any other document has to be submitted that shall prove the defendants' true declaration of the case in which the judgment was issued.
- For the implementation of the ruling, the official copy must be affixed to the executive form.
All documents must be officially signed and sealed by the competent court in order for the foreign judgment to be enforceable. It is only after the establishment of conciliation before the judicial authorities in accordance with the provisions of the agreement that the judgment rendered in UAE would be recognized and enforced in the jurisdiction of Egypt. This conciliation would include verification that it has the power of executive support in the country where it was established, in this case, UAE and that it is void of including provisions that contradict the provisions of the Constitution or the principles of the system. The party that is aiming and requesting for such recognition shall have the duty to present an official copy and certificate from the judicial authority affirming that it possesses such power stated in the executive bond. All such documents shall be signed and sealed by the court of the competent authority. The executive bonds produced in UAE would be ordered to be executed in Egypt in harmony with the procedures in relation to judicial rulings and that such rulings do not contradict the provisions of the Constitution or the principles of public order and morality in Egypt where it is required to be implemented. The party requesting such recognition of document shall submit an official copy stamped with the seal of the notary or notarial office. It shall also present a certificate that justifies the statement that the document is in possession of the powers of the executive bond. Article 34 dictates that the implications of an order to execute the rulings that have been issued in one country by a competent court shall be enforced and have the same effect of rulings as if issued by the courts of the other country. Therefore, the enforcement of judgments passed by the courts of UAE shall have the same effect of the ruling and be executed in Egypt, provided that it does not contravene any of the grounds that have been mentioned in the agreement for refusal of execution and provided that the judgment does not hinder any of the principles of public order and morality.
Originally published 08 July, 2020
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