Foreign Judgment Enforcement in Israel
Foreign judgment – enforcement of decisions about Israeli affairs ruled by courts outside of Israel – can be recognized, declared enforceable, and obligate defendants in Israel. This applies to judgments made by foreign countries in civil matters and judgments for paying compensation or damages to an injured party, even in non-civil matters.
How Is Foreign Judgment Enforcement in Israel Recognized?
A foreign judgment has no legal validity in Israel until it goes through a judicial integration process. According to the 1958 Foreign Judgments Enforcement Law, there are certain conditions that a foreign judgment must meet in order to be declared enforceable in Israeli courts:
1. The judgment was made by a foreign court which was granted jurisdiction by the foreign country to rule over the matter.
2. The foreign judgment can no longer be appealed to a higher court in the foreign country.
3. The judgment is enforceable in Israel and does not contradict any laws regarding enforcement of foreign judgment in Israel or public policy.
4. The judgment is still viable and enforceable in the country it was given, otherwise it will not be recognized as enforceable in Israel. Furthermore, if the foreign judgment was given in a country where the laws do not allow for the enforcement of judgments in Israeli courts, it will not be enforced by Israeli courts unless the attorney general requests otherwise. If these conditions are not met, the foreign judgment enforcement in Israel will not be recognized.
Are There Defenses That Can Be Made against the Enforcement of a Foreign Judgment?
If a party is opposed to a foreign judgment enforcement in Israel, there are defenses in the law that can be argued to prevent it. These tools can be used even when the foreign judgment meets all the conditions for enforcement mentioned above. According to the law, a foreign judgment enforcement in Israel will not be recognized if it is proven to the court that:
1. The decision was reached by fraud.
2. The foreign court did not give the defendant a reasonable opportunity to present a defense before the decision was reached.
3. The decision was made by a court unauthorized to do so according to the rules of private international law applicable in Israel.
4. The ruling contradicts another judgment which is still valid and on the same issue between the parties.
5. While the lawsuit was presented in the foreign court, a similar case between the same parties is pending in an Israeli court or tribunal.
It is important to keep in mind that judgments given by foreign courts are enforceable in Israel. Therefore, we highly recommend that you obtain suitable legal advice from a lawyer who will examine the nature and substance of the judgment. We at Cohen, Decker, Pex & Brosh law firm would be happy to assist you.