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Recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments

Last updated 2020-12-18 11:15:48

The procedure of recognition and (or) permission to enforce foreign court judgments (arbitral awards) is a judicial procedure and the Court of Appeal of Lithuania has the exclusive jurisdiction to deal with these questions. Nevertheless, the court has limited powers when deciding these questions since it has no power to analyse the application of law and facts of the judgment and exercises only limited revision (révision au fond). The procedure of recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments is different from ordinary judicial proceedings and often involve only one party which seeks recognition and enforcement of foreign judgment.

An application for recognition (refusal of recognition) and (or) permission to enforce a foreign court (arbitration) decision in the Republic of Lithuania shall be submitted to the Lithuanian Court of Appeal. Articles 111–114, 811 of the Code of Civil Procedure of the Republic of Lithuania establish the requirements for the application for recognition (refusal of recognition) and (or) permission to enforce a foreign court (arbitration) decision in the Republic of Lithuania. Application to the court and additional documents shall be written only in Lithuanian.

According to the Article 805 of the Code of Civil Procedure of the Republic of Lithuania, if a party residing abroad has not appointed a representative in the case, he or she must appoint an authorized person residing in the Republic of Lithuania to whom procedural documents related to the case would be served. If the party residing abroad does not designate an authorized person, all procedural documents addressed to the party abroad remain in the file and are deemed to have been served. These consequences for the party must be clarified at the time of the first service.

The Article 8121 of the Code of Civil Procedure of the Republic of Lithuania establishes that if the applicant resides outside the Republic of Lithuania and has not appointed a representative or authorized person residing or having a registered office in the Republic of Lithuania to receive procedural documents, then instead of the applicant‘s address in the Republic of Lithuania, the electronic mail address, fax number, other means of electronic communication for the service of documents to the applicant shall be indicated in the application.

Authentic judgments of foreign courts and other official documents of foreign institutions must be authenticated by consular legalization marks, except in cases where recognition is sought of a foreign judgments of the state which is a member of the 1961 Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents (Article 807 of the Code of Civil Procedure of the Republic of Lithuania, the Article 3 of the 1961 Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents). The authenticity of such foreign court decisions and official documents of foreign institutions must be certified by a certificate of legalization and approval of the document (Apostille).

The requirements for the application for recognition (refusal of recognition) and (or) permission to enforce a foreign court may differ pursuant to the international treaties between the Republic of Lithuania and the foreign state(s). These agreements may provide for the abolition of consular legalization, the possibility to submit documents written in a language other than Lithuanian.

The application with annexes can be submitted to the Lithuanian Court of Appeal directly, sent by post (The Court of Appeal of Lithuania, Gedimino Ave. 40, LT-01503 Vilnius, Lithuania) or submitted via Electronic Services Portal (EPP) system.

Also, to the Court of Appeal of Lithuania belongs special jurisdiction for recognition of the foreign arbitral awards. The Republic of Lithuania is a party to the United Nations Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (1958 New York Convention). Thus, the Court of Appeal of Lithuania applies the 1958 New York Convention in the procedure of recognition of foreign arbitral awards and the Code of Civil Procedure of the Republic of Lithuania.