ABLI has recently been alerted to a legal write-up published by YKVN, a Vietnam-based law firm, in which it is mentioned that on 25 September 2020, the Ministry of Justice of Vietnam published a “database” on the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments and arbitral awards in Vietnam between 1 January 2012 and 30 January 2019.
In relation to judgments recognition and enforcement, the key takeaways are:
- During the stated period, 26 applications for recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments came before Vietnamese courts;
- Seven out of these 26 applications concerned commercial disputes, involving judgments from China, Czech Republic, France, Singapore and South Korea; and
- Three out of these seven foreign commercial judgments were refused recognition and enforcement.
Upon contacting YKVN, the firm has kindly provided translation of the available information of those seven applications which we provide below. It shall be noted that ABLI has not independently sighted most of those judgments but is working with the firm to read two of them. In addition, Vietnam being a civil law jurisdiction, judgments are not automatically reported, making publicly searchable information limited.
We would also like to point out that ABLI is aware of at least one more case where a Singapore commercial judgment was recognised and enforced in Vietnam during the stated period. The case of DBS Bank Limited v Ms Vu Thi Bich (first instance No 1186/2016/QĐST-DS, appeal No 111/2017/QĐPT-KDTM) was cited in our publication Asian Principles for the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments. Since this case is not included in the information published by the Ministry of Justice of Vietnam, readers are advised to exercise sound and independent judgment as to the comprehensiveness of the information published by the list.
We thank YKVN and its team of Truong Nhat Quang, Nguyen Duy Duong and Vu Tuan Duc for their generosity, and Associate Professor Beligh El Balti of Osaka University for first alerting us to the write-up and working with us to locate the relevant judgments.
For the landscape of foreign judgments recognition and enforcement in Asia Pacific, read our publication Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Asia.
The information below is a summarisation of the translation provided by YKVN of the relevant information released by the Ministry of Justice of Vietnam. All company names are anonymised by the Ministry. ABLI relies on YKVN as to the accuracy of the translation.
The information below is not indicative of any analysis by ABLI of those judgments and/or any trend in the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments in Vietnam. Such analysis will be addressed separately.
- On 8 May 2014, the People’s Court of Quang Nam Province recognised and enforced two separate judgments from France, one by the Paris Commercial Court dated 21 November 2011 and the other by the Paris Court of Appeal dated 23 April 2013. However, both judgments were refused recognition and enforcement on appeal by the Da Nang Court of Appeal on the basis that the Paris Commercial Court judgment had not taken legal effect and the Paris Court of Appeal judgment was annulled.
- On 8 July 2016, the People’s Court of Quang Binh Province recognised and enforced two separate bankruptcy declarations by the Prague Municipal Court, Czech Republic. The decision was upheld on appeal by the High People’s Court in Da Nang.
- On 14 November 2016, the People’s Court of Nam Dinh Province refused recognition and enforcement of a judgment from China’s Beihai Maritime Court on disputes over a contract for carriage of goods at sea. The rejection was upheld on appeal by the High People’s Court in Hanoi. It seems that the rejection was on the basis that the foreign judgment was against the basic principles of Vietnamese law and on the basis of the lack of proper summons.
- On 16 January 2018, the People’s Court of Ha Noi City refused recognition and enforcement of a judgment from the Supreme Court of South Korea on disputes over a capital transfer contract on the ground of lack of reciprocity and the fact that the dispute resolution clause was not respected (leading to the lack of jurisdiction by the foreign court).
- On 9 July 2018, the People’s Court of Binh Duong Province recognised and enforced a judgment from Supreme Court of South Korea on disputes over a coat processing contract.
- On 27 September 2018, the People’s Court of Ho Chi Minh City recognised and enforced a commercial judgment from the Seoul Central District Court relating to a loan.
- On 25 October 2018, the People’s Court of Ho Chi Minh City recognised and enforced a Singapore Magistrates’ Court judgment on a contract for sale and purchase of goods. This judgment was upheld on appeal to the High People’s Court in Ho Chi Minh City.