The Enforcement of Non-EU Judgments in Ireland

Non-EU Judgments

Judgments obtained in countries which are not party to an international convention for the mutual recognition of court judgments are not automatically enforceable under Irish Law. In many cases new proceedings before the competent Irish court will have to be issued and served by the claimant on the respondent and the claim will have to be proven. The United States of America for example are not party to a bilateral treaty with Ireland or a multilateral convention in this regard which means that American judgments, and similarly judgments from all other countries which are not party to treaties or conventions, are only enforceable once proven under the Irish national rules of enforcement.

In Ireland this area is governed by common law. A judgment in personam delivered by a foreign court is enforceable under certain circumstances which include the requirement that the judgment is for a definite sum of money, that it is final and conclusive and that it was delivered by a court in the competent jurisdiction. Furthermore, there are numerous restrictive circumstances, such as the judgment having been obtained by fraud, which will make the judgment unrecognizable and unenforceable. Defences include res judicata and estoppel.

Trying to enforce a foreign non-EU judgment can therefore pose various difficulties and it is crucial that should you wish to enforce such judgment you seek legal advice.


The legislative situation regarding judgments obtained within the EU is different as the enforcement of such judgements is regulated in more detail and occurs on a daily basis within the EU.