Enforcement of foreign civil judgments is a subject of concern to the judgment creditors when the assets belonging to the judgment debtors are located outside the jurisdictions where the judgments are issued. The aim of this article is to provide a brief overview of the laws and regulations governing the enforcement of foreign civil judgments in Iran
Foreign judgements do not benefit from a unified system of enforcement at an international level such as the one available to foreign arbitral awards governed by the New York Convention of 1958 on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards. The most recent international efforts to create a similar system of enforcement for foreign judgments have resulted in “the Hague Convention on Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters” in 2019, with only 3 signatories as of date.
In the absence of a widespread international treaty, the domestic laws of each country as well as any regional or bilateral treaties govern the enforcement of foreign judgments. In Iran, the enforcement of foreign judgments is governed by the domestic laws and regulations, mainly the provisions of Civil Code (1928) and the Law on the Enforcement of Civil Judgments (1977) along with a series of bilateral treaties with various countries, mostly referred to as “the treaties of judicial assistance”.
This article studies the requirements for the enforcement of foreign court decisions under both sets of regulations. In the first section, the requirements and restrictions imposed by the Civil Code will be discussed, and the second section includes a study of the provisions relevant to the topic under the treaties of judicial assistance. Since the enforcement of foreign criminal judgments is outside the scope of this article, a reference made to foreign judgments includes foreign civil judgments, unless otherwise specified.