Project on Convergence in International Civil Procedure:
The Harmonisation of the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgment Rules
in ASEAN, Australia, China, India, Japan and South Korea
... [t]here is nothing more frustrating to the ends of transnational commerce than for a business actor to obtain a judgment in one jurisdiction and then find that it is in fact worth nothing more than the paper on which it is printed in another. Certainty in enforcement of judgments will enable businesses to have greater confidence to invest and trade freely.
~ The Honourable the Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon, Supreme Court of Singapore and Chair of ABLI’s Board of Governors, Doing Business Across Asia: Legal Convergence in an Asian Century, Keynote Address, 21 January 2016.
The advent of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Economic Community (AEC) in 2015, a market valued at US$2.6 trillion and home to over 622 million people, will no doubt increase the number and size of cross-border transactions. The increase in cross-border transactions may lead to a concomitant rise in cross-border litigation.
In this regard, the recognition and enforcement of judgments made by the courts of one country in the courts of another has particular significance. The greater portability of judgments within ASEAN and its major trade partners such as Australia, China, India, Japan and South Korea will facilitate cross-border transactions by lowering transaction costs and associated legal friction among jurisdictions. In general terms, each country currently relies on its own specific recognition and enforcement rules to determine if a foreign judgment ought to be enforced within its jurisdiction.
The project was approved by ABLI’s Board of Governors in August 2016 and involves two phases to determine the best means of harmonising the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgment rules in ASEAN and its major trade partners (namely, Australia, China, India, Japan and South Korea).
The Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Asia
As the first study of its kind that covers the laws of all ASEAN countries in addition to the major Asian economies of China, India, Japan, South Korea and Australia, this book will be a valuable resource to commercial entities engaged in business across Asia. We also hope that its publication will provoke constructive dialogue and law reform in Asia to facilitate the cross-border movement of judgments.
Professor YEO Tiong Min, SC (honoris causa), Yong Pung How Chair Professor of Law, Singapore Management University and ABLI’s Academic Director
On 8 January 2018, ABLI launched its first publication in the ABLI Legal Convergence Series titled Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Asia.
A copy of the text is available for download below.
The text is a compendium of 15 concise country reports written by legal scholars and legal practitioners in the respective countries, identifying the existing recognition and enforcement of foreign judgment rules of the ten ASEAN countries and their major Asian trade partners (Australia, China, India, Japan and South Korea). In addition, the text distinguishes between monetary and non- monetary judgments.
The compendium is of utility to lawyers and businesses in the region as it provides an overview of how foreign judgments in civil and commercial matters are recognised in different jurisdictions in Asia and the requirements which need to be fulfilled for a foreign judgment to be enforced in these jurisdictions.
It also acts as a springboard for the next phase of ABLI's project (discussed below) which will consider whether sufficient areas of commonality exist for convergence in this area of the law and how convergence may best be achieved.
What is even more exciting is that this work sets the stage for the next step in a larger project which entails a consideration of whether there can be a convergence or harmonisation of these seemingly disparate systems of the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments and, if so, how this is to be accomplished.
The Honourable Justice Andrew Phang, Judge of Appeal of the Supreme Court of Singapore and ABLI Project Adviser
The convergence of the foreign judgment rules in Asia is essential not just to the legal community, but also to businesses, as the greater portability of judgments within Asia will facilitate cross-border transactions by lowering transaction costs and associated legal friction among jurisdictions.
While significant differences do exist, there is cause to believe that harmonisation of the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgment rules in Asia is no pipe dream.
Associate Professor Adeline Chong, School of Law, Singapore Management University and ABLI Project Lead
- Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, Laos, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam.
- Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Asia (PDF).
- Khmer translation of Cambodia chapter of Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Asia (PDF). This translation of the Cambodia chapter into Khmer has been prepared by Bun & Associates Attorneys at Law and is not part of the original work. ABLI does not confirm the accuracy of, and accepts no responsibility for, this translation. The original English version of this chapter is the authoritative version and will prevail in case of discrepancies.
- Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Asia launch flyer (PDF).
- Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Asia news release (PDF).
- The Honourable the Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon, "Response by Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon: Opening of the Legal Year 2018", 8 January 2018 (link).
- Grace Leong, “Study done on how foreign judgments are recognised in Asia”, The Straits Times, 9 January 2018 (link).
- The Honourable Justice Andrew Phang, Judge of Appeal of the Supreme Court of Singapore.
||Professor Elizabeth AGUILING-PANGALANGAN
||University of the Philippines, Philippines
||Dr Andrew BELL SC
||Eleven Wentworth Chambers, Sydney, Australia
||Dr BÍCH Du Ngoc
||Ho Chi Minh City Open University, Vietnam
||Mr Youdy BUN
||Bun & Associates, Cambodia
||Ms Xaynari CHANTHALA and Mr Kongphanh SANTIVONG
||LS Horizon (Lao) Limited, Laos
||Associate Professor Adeline CHONG
||Singapore Management University
||Professor CHOONG Yeow Choy
||University of Malaya, Malaysia
||Professor GUO Yujun
||Wuhan University, China
||Professor Toshiyuki KONO
||Kyushu University, Japan
||Mr Minn NAING OO
||Allen & Gledhill (Myanmar) Co Ltd, Myanmar
||Dr Colin ONG QC
||Dr Colin Ong Legal Services, Brunei
||Dr Yu Un OPPUSUNGGU
||University of Indonesia, Indonesia
||Mr Narinder SINGH
||Indian Society of International Law, India
||Dr Poomintr SOOKSRIPAISARNKIT
||University of Tasmani, Australia
||Professor SUK Kwang Hyun
||Seoul National University, South Korea