Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments
Previous chapters discussed proceedings in State A from the perspective of how that state, under its law or under applicable international norms, acquires decision-making authority – “jurisdiction” – over the subject matter and over the parties in a dispute, and on what basis, using what methodology, it decides the controversy (“applicable law”). In a purely domestic (internal) case, and after possible appeals have been exhausted, this will end the matter: The same state authority that authorized and regulated the progress of the proceeding provides for the implementation (“enforcement”) of its result.
Matters are far more difficult and involved in international cases, here defined as cases in which the determination in State A cannot be implemented in State A alone, but requires some action in one or more other states. This may be the case where a defendant’s assets in State A are insufficient to satisfy a State A money judgment, when implementation of a custody decree requires the return of the child from another state, or when a person owing support has now moved to another state, to give but a few examples.
These cases raise a number of important questions, most of which will be explored in the subsections that follow. They include, among others: What must be the nature of the State A action before its enforcement in State B can be sought – for instance, is a fee charged by a local library in State A collectible in State B? Will State B act as a...
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