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Recognition and enforcement procedure
What is the formal procedure for seeking recognition and enforcement of a foreign judgment?
No formal procedure is required for the recognition of foreign judgments in Greece, provided that the conditions set out in Articles 323 and 780 of the Code of Civil Procedure are met.
Article 323 concerns judgments rendered in contentious proceedings and provides that such judgments have force and res judicata effect in Greece, without need for any other procedure, provided that:
- the judgment constitutes res judicata according to the law of the country in which it was issued (Article 323(1));
- the case, under Greek law, fell under the jurisdiction of the courts of the state to which the court that rendered the decision belongs (Article 323(2));
- the losing party has enjoyed equal opportunities concerning its right to defence and has not been deprived of this right (Article 323(3));
- the judgment is not contrary to a domestic Greek civil court judgment rendered in the same case and constituting res judicata between the same parties to the dispute over which the foreign judgment was also rendered (Article 323(4)); and
- the judgment is not contrary to good morals or public policy (Article 323(5)).
Article 780 applies to judgments rendered in voluntary (ex parte) proceedings and provides that, subject to the relevant international treaties, the foreign judgment will be recognised in Greece provided that it:
- has applied the same substantive rules that would have been applicable under Greek private international law (Greek conflict rules) and has been rendered by a court which had jurisdiction under the law of the state whose substantive rules were applied; and
- is not contrary to good morals or public policy.
With regard to enforcement, the interested party must submit an application before the competent single-member first-instance court requesting that the foreign judgment is declared enforceable according to Article 905 of the Code of Civil Procedure. A hearing date is then scheduled on which the applicant must submit pleadings with supporting documentation in ex parte proceedings.
What is the typical timeframe for the proceedings to grant recognition and enforcement?
The timeframe depends on the workload of the competent court. The hearing date is usually set within six to 12 months from submission of the application. The first-instance judgment declaring the enforceability is usually rendered within four to eight months from the hearing of the case.
What fees apply to applications for recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments?
The applicable court fees relate mainly to the submission of the relevant application for the declaration of enforceability of the foreign judgment before the competent court. Payment of such court fees is mandatory for the valid submission of the application. The amount of legal fees depends on the specific agreement made between the lawyer and the client.
Must the applicant for recognition and enforcement provide security for costs?
Are decisions on recognition and enforcement subject to appeal?
Yes, single-member first-instance court judgments on recognition and enforcement are subject to appeal before the competent court of appeals.
How does the enforcing court address other costs issues arising in relation to the foreign judgment (eg, calculation of interest, exchange rates)?
The decision for the calculation of interest will be stipulated in the foreign judgment and depends on the substantive law applicable to the dispute. The exchange rate to be applied is not defined by the courts, but rather is set by the applicable law.
Enforcement against third parties
To what extent can the courts enforce a foreign judgment against third parties?
In general, a foreign judgment is enforceable against only the parties to which it is addressed.
Partial recognition and enforcement
Can the courts grant partial recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments?
In general, foreign judgments are uniformly recognised and enforced by the courts in their entirety. However, partial recognition and enforcement of a foreign judgment is possible where not all parts thereof are enforceable under the applicable legal framework.
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