CHAPTER 85
FOREIGN JUDGMENTS (RECIPROCAL ENFORCEMENT) ACT

Arrangement of Sections

1. Short title.

2. Definition.

PART I

Registration of Foreign Judgements

3. Power to extend Part I to foreign countries giving reciprocal treatment.

4. Application for, and effect of, foreign judgement.

5. Rules of court.

6. Cases in which registered judgements must or may, be set aside.

7. Powers of registering court on application to set aside registration.

8. Foreign judgement which can be registered not to be enforceable otherwise.

PART II

Application to Commonwealth Countries

9. Power to apply Part I to the Commonwealth.

10. Modification of Act in relation to the Commonwealth.

PART III

Miscellaneous and General

11. General effect of certain foreign judgements.

12. Power to make foreign judgements unenforceable in Seychelles if no reciprocity.

13. Issue of certificates of judgements obtained in Seychelles.

29 of 1961,

7 of 1962,

23 of 1976.

SI 95 of 1975,

72 of 1976.

[Date of commencement: 6th November 1961]

1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the Foreign Judgements (Reciprocal Enforcement) Act.

2. Definition.

(1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—

"appeal" includes any proceeding by way of discharging or setting aside a judgement, or an application for a new trial or a stay of execution;

"country of the original court" means the country in which the original court is situated;

"judgement" means a judgement or order given or made by a court in any civil proceedings, or a judgement or order given or made by a court in any criminal proceedings for the payment of a sum of money in respect of compensation or damages to an injured party;

"judgement creditor" means the person in whose favour the judgement was given, and includes any person in whom the rights under the judgement have become vested by succession or assignment or otherwise;

"judgement debtor" means the person against whom the judgement was given, and includes any person against whom the judgement is enforceable under the law of the original court;

"original court" in relation to any judgement means the court by which the judgement was given;

"prescribed" means prescribed by rules of court;

"registration" means registration under Part I and expressions "register" and "registered" shall be construed accordingly;

"registering court" in relation to any judgement means the court to which an application to register the judgement is made;

"the commonwealth" means the whole of those territories of which the Queen of the United Kingdom is recognised as the Head.

(2) For the purposes of this Act, the expression "action in personam" shall not be deemed to include any matrimonial cause or any proceedings in connection with any of the following matters, that is to say, matrimonial matters, administration of the estates of deceased persons, bankruptcy, winding up of companies, lunacy, or guardianship of infants.

PART I

Registration of Foreign Judgements

3. Power to extend Part I to foreign countries giving reciprocal treatment.

(1) The President, if he is satisfied that, in the event of the benefits conferred by this part being extended to judgements given in the superior courts of any foreign country, substantial reciprocity of treatment will be assured as respects the enforcement in that foreign country of judgements given in the Supreme Court, may by order published in the âFGazette direct—

(a) that this part shall extend to that foreign country; and

(b) that such courts of that foreign country as are specified in the order shall be deemed superior courts of that country for the purposes of this Act.

(2) Any judgement of a superior court of a foreign country to which this part extends, other than a judgement of such a court given on appeal from a court which is not a superior court, shall be a judgement to which this part applies, if—

(a) it is final and conclusive as between the parties thereto; and

(b) there is payable thereunder a sum of money, not being a sum payable in respect of taxes or other charges of a like nature or in respect of a fine or other penalty; and

(c) it is given after the coming into operation of the order directing that this part shall extend to that foreign country.

(3) For the purposes of this section, a judgement shall be deemed to be final and conclusive notwithstanding that an appeal may be pending against it, or that it may still be subject to appeal, in the courts of the country of the original court.

(4) The President may by a subsequent order published in the Gazette vary or revoke any order previously made under this section.

4. Application for, and effect of, foreign judgement.

(1) A person, being a judgement creditor under a judgement to which this part applies, may apply to the Supreme Court at any time within six years after the date of the judgement, or, where there have been proceedings by way of appeal against the judgement, after the date of the last judgement given in those proceedings, to have the judgement registered in the Supreme Court, and on any such application the court shall, subject to proof of the prescribed matters and to the other provisions of this Act, order the judgement to be registered:

Provided that a judgement shall not be registered if at the date of the application—

(a) it has been wholly satisfied; or

(b) it could not be enforced by execution in the country of the original court.

(2) Subject to the provisions of this Act with respect to the setting aside of registration—

(a) a registered judgement shall, for the purposes of execution, be of the same force and effect; and

(b) proceedings may be taken on a registered judgement; and

(c) the sum for which a judgement is registered shall carry interest; and

(d) the registering court shall have the same control over the execution of a registered judgement,

as if the judgement had been a judgement originally given in the registering court and entered on the date of registration:

Provided that execution shall not issue on the judgement so long as, under this part and the rules of court made thereunder, it is competent for any party to make an application to have the registration of the judgement set aside, or, where such application is made, until after the application has been finally determined.

(3) Where the sum payable under a judgement which is to be registered is expressed in a currency other than Seychelles currency, the judgement shall be registered as if it were a judgement for such sum in Seychelles currency, as on the basis of the rate of exchange prevailing at the date of judgement of the original court, is equivalent to the sum so payable.

(4) If at the date of the application for registration the judgement of the original court has been partly satisfied, the judgement shall not be registered in respect of the whole sum payable under the judgement of the original court, but only in respect of the balance remaining payable at that date.

(5) If, on an application for the registration of a judgement, it appears to the registering court that the judgement is in respect of different matters and that some, but not all, of the provisions of the judgement are such that if those provisions had been contained in separate judgements those judgements could properly have been registered, the judgement may be registered in respect of the provisions aforesaid but not in respect of any other provisions contained therein.

(6) In addition to the sum of money payable under the judgement of the original court, including any interest which by the law of the country of the original court becomes due under the judgement up to the time of registration, the judgement shall be registered for the reasonable costs of and incidental to registration, including the costs of obtaining a certified copy of the judgement from the original court.

5. Rules of court.

(1) The Chief Justice may, subject to the provisions of this section, make rules of court for the following purposes—

(a) for making provision with respect to the giving of security for costs by persons applying for the registration of judgements;

(b) for prescribing the matters to be proved on an application for the registration of a judgement and for regulating the mode of proving those matters;

(c) for providing for the service on the judgement debtor of notice of the registration of the judgement;

(d) for making provision with respect to the fixing of the period within which an application may be made to have the registration of the judgement set aside and with respect to the extension of the period so fixed;

(e) for prescribing the method by which any question arising under this Act whether a foreign judgement can be enforced by execution in the country of the original court, or what interest is payable under a foreign judgement under the law of the original court, is to be determined;

(f) for prescribing any matter which under this part is to be prescribed.

(2) Rules made for the purposes of this part shall be expressed to have, and shall have, effect subject to any such provisions contained in orders made under section 3 as are declared by the said orders to be necessary for giving effect to agreements made between President and foreign countries in relation to matters with respect to which there is power to make rules of court for the purposes of this part.

6. Cases in which registered judgements must or may, be set aside.

(1) On an application in that behalf duly made by any party against whom a registered judgement may be enforced the registration of the judgement—

(a) shall be set aside if the registering court is satisfied—

(i) that the judgement is not a judgement to which this part applies or was registered in contravention of the foregoing provisions of this Act; or

(ii) that the courts of the country of the original court had no jurisdiction in the circumstances of the case; or

(iii) that the judgement debtor, being the defendant in the proceedings in the original court, did not (notwithstanding that process may have been duly served on him in accordance with the law of the country of the original court) receive notice of those proceedings in sufficient time to enable him to defend the proceedings and did not appear; or

(iv) that the judgement was obtained by fraud; or

(v) that the enforcement of the judgement would be contrary to public policy in the country of the registering court; or

(vi) that the rights under the judgement are not vested in the person by whom the application for registration was made;

(b) may be set aside if the registering court is satisfied that the matter in dispute in the proceedings in the original court had previously to the date of the judgement in the original court been the subject of a final and conclusive judgement by the court having jurisdiction in the matter.

(2) For the purpose of this section the courts of the country of the original court shall, subject to the provisions of subsection (3), be deemed to have had jurisdiction—

(a) in the case of a judgement given in an action in personam

(i) if the judgement debtor, being a defendant in the original court, submitted to the jurisdiction of that court by voluntarily appearing in the proceedings otherwise than for the purpose of protecting, or obtaining the release of, property seized, or threatened with seizure, in the proceedings or of contesting the jurisdiction of that court; and

(ii) if the judgement debtor was plaintiff in, or counterclaimed in, the proceedings in the original court; or

(iii) if the judgement debtor, being a defendant in the original court, had before the commencement of the proceedings agreed, in respect of the subject matter of the proceedings, to submit to the jurisdiction of that court or of the courts of the country of that court; or

(iv) if the judgement debtor, being a defendant in the original court, was at the time when the proceedings were instituted resident in, or being a body corporate had its principal place of business in, the country of that court; or

(v) if the judgement debtor, being a defendant in the original court, had an office or place of business in the country of that court and the proceedings in that court were in respect of a transaction effected through or at that office or place;

(b) in the case of a judgement given in an action of which the subject matter was immovable property or in an action in rem of which the subject matter was movable property, if the property in question was at the time of the proceedings in the original court situate in the country of that court;

(c) in the case of a judgement given in an action other than any such action as is mentioned in paragraph (a) or paragraph (b) of this subsection, if the jurisdiction of the original court is recognised by the law of the registering court.

(3) Notwithstanding anything in subsection (2), the courts of the country of the original court shall not be deemed to have had jurisdiction—

(a) if the subject matter of the proceedings was immovable property outside the country of the original court; or

(b) except in the cases mentioned in sub paragraphs (i), (ii) and (iii) of paragraph (a) and in paragraph (c) of subsection (2), if the bringing of the proceedings in the original court was contrary to an agreement under which the dispute in question was to be settled otherwise than by proceedings in the courts of the country of that court; or

(c) if the judgement debtor, being a defendant in the original proceedings was a person who under the rules of public international law was entitled to immunity from the jurisdiction of the courts of the country of the original court and did not submit to the jurisdiction of that court.

7. Powers of registering court on application to set aside registration.

(1) If, on an application to set aside the registration of a judgement, the applicant satisfies the registering court either that an appeal is pending, or that he is entitled and intends to appeal, against the judgement, the court, if it thinks fit, may, on such terms as it may think just, either set aside the registration or adjourn the application to set aside the registration until after the expiration of such period as appears to the court to be reasonably sufficient to enable the applicant to take necessary steps to have the appeal disposed of by the competent tribunal.

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