A foreign judgment is enforceable in the Netherlands under:
The Brussels Regulation or another EU Regulation that allows enforcement.
A bilateral or other convention that allows enforcement (see list above).
Principles of comity.
Convention or EU Regulation
Under the Brussels I Regulation (recast) or other applicable EU regulations, judgments issued by a court in an EU jurisdiction may be enforced in the Netherlands without any declaration of enforceability being required. To enforce judgments issued by a court in a non-EU jurisdiction, a declaration of enforceability is required under most applicable conventions. The declaration may be obtained by submitting an application to the district court in the district where the enforcement is to take place or where the judgment debtor is domiciled. A judgment on the application is usually given within a few weeks.
Principles of comity
An action may be brought before the competent court as determined by the ordinary rules, seeking relief in accordance with a foreign judgment.
The court will grant relief on this basis only if:
- the foreign court had jurisdiction under generally accepted rules (e.g., not forum actoris) (a);
- the trial was fair (b);
- there is no public policy violation (c);
- there is no irreconcilable conflict with another judgment involving the same cause of action and the same parties (d); and
- the foreign judgment is enforceable in the jurisdiction that issued it (e).
If these requirements are met, the court will, as a rule, issue a judgment along the lines of the foreign judgment (Gazprom).
There may be a public policy violation (c) where the alleged failure to pay debts, resulting in the foreign judgment, was asserted under false pretenses (Yukos). Public policy is reflected by the European Convention on Human Rights and similar documents.
The requirement under (e) above is not met where an appeals court in the jurisdiction that issued the judgment has annulled the judgment or granted a stay of enforcement, or where the judgment according to its terms must be enforced within a specific period of time, and this period of time has not yet commenced or has expired (ECJ, 29 April 1999, case C-267/97).
The Kingdom of the Netherlands consists of several regions (“countries”): the Netherlands, Aruba, Curacao and St Martin. Furthermore, Bonaire, St Eustace and Saba are public entities with a status comparable to a municipality in the Netherlands. Judgments from these regions or entities are considered as domestic and are enforceable in the Netherlands.