Legislation

Treaties

Is your country party to any bilateral or multilateral treaties for the reciprocal recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments? What is the country’s approach to entering into these treaties, and what, if any, amendments or reservations has your country made to such treaties?

Luxembourg has signed a number of international, bilateral and multilateral treaties in relation to the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments, as laid down in article 679 of the Luxembourg Code of Civil Procedure (the NCPC), including:

  • the New York Convention of 10 June 1958 on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards;
  • the Treaty of 24 November 1961 between Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg on jurisdiction, bankruptcy, validity and enforcement of judgments, arbitration awards and authentic instruments, as long as it is in force;
  • the Brussels Convention of 27 September 1968 on jurisdiction and the enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters;
  • the Convention of 29 July 1971 between Luxembourg and the Republic of Austria on the Recognition and Enforcement of Judgments in civil and commercial matters;
  • the Hague Convention of 2 October 1973 on the Recognition and Enforcement of Decisions relating to Maintenance Obligations; and
  • the Lugano Convention of 16 September 1988 on jurisdiction and the enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters.

Additionally, Luxembourg has also entered into an important number of European regulations and treaties with regard to the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments:

  • Council Regulation (EC) No. 1346/2000 of 29 May 2000 on insolvency proceedings;
  • Council Regulation (EC) No. 44/2001 of 22 December 2001 on Jurisdiction and the Recognition and Enforcement of Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters;
  • Council Regulation (EC) No. 2201/2003 of 27 November 2003 concerning jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in matrimonial matters and the matters of parental responsibility, repealing Regulation (EC) No. 1347/2000;
  • Regulation (EC) No. 805/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 April 2004 creating a European Enforcement Order for uncontested claims;
  • Regulation (EC) No. 1896/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2006 creating a European order for payment procedure (modified by Regulation (EU) 2015/2421 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2015 amending Regulation (EC) No. 861/2007 establishing a European Small Claims Procedure and Regulation (EC) No. 1896/2006 creating a European order for payment procedure);
  • Regulation (EC) No. 861/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 July 2007 establishing a European Small Claims Procedure (modified by Regulation (EU) 2015/2421 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2015);
  • Council Regulation (EC) No. 4/2009 of 18 December 2008 on jurisdiction, applicable law, recognition and enforcement of decisions and cooperation in matters relating to maintenance obligations;
  • Regulation (EU) No. 650/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 July 2012 on jurisdiction, applicable law, recognition and enforcement of decisions and acceptance and enforcement of authentic instruments in matters of succession and on the creation of a European Certificate of Succession;
  • Regulation (EU) No. 1215/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2012 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters;
  • Regulation (EU) No. 606/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 June 2013 on mutual recognition of protection measures in civil matters;
  • Regulation (EU) No. 655/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 May 2014 establishing a European Account Preservation Order procedure to facilitate cross-border debt recovery in civil and commercial matters;
  • Regulation (EU) 2015/848 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 May 2015 on insolvency proceedings;
  • Council Regulation (EU) No. 2016/1103 of 24 June 2016 implementing enhanced cooperation in the area of jurisdiction, applicable law and the recognition and enforcement of decisions in matters of matrimonial property regimes; and
  • Council Regulation (EU) No. 2016/1104 of 24 June 2016 implementing enhanced cooperation in the area of jurisdiction, applicable law and the recognition and enforcement of decisions in matters of property consequences of registered partnerships.

In general, Luxembourg has always been prone to sign international treaties, as it is indispensabe for a committed, united and responsible foreign policy to defend both the values and interests of the country.

Unlike other countries, Luxembourg has rarely made any amendment or reservations to such treaties.

Intra-state variations

Is there uniformity in the law on the enforcement of foreign judgments among different jurisdictions within the country?

Since Luxembourg is a small and highly centralised country with only two district courts on its territory (the Tribunal d’arrondissement de et à Luxembourg and the Tribunal d’arrondissement de Diekirch), there is uniformity in the law on the enforcement of foreign judgments among the two jurisdictions within Luxembourg.

There is, however, only one court of appeal (the Court of Appeal).

Luxembourg private international law applies to the whole territory of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.

Sources of law

What are the sources of law regarding the enforcement of foreign judgments?

Since Luxembourg is a legal system based on the written law tradition, in particular on the Code Napoléon, all the sources of law have to be considered in the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments.

The sources of Luxembourg law are international treaties, European Union law, the Constitution, statutes and regulations, the general principles of law and case law.

The general regime of recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments is laid down in the NCPC, which applies to civil and commercial matters.

The NCPC not only includes the general domestic regime of recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments, but also the regimes subject to the application of international treaties, European law and specific Luxembourgish regulations and rules of law.

The NCPC is applicable to all foreign judgments, regardless of their country of origin, in civil and commercial matters.

The NCPC applies to all jurisdictions for which no EU or bilateral conventions apply.

Hague Convention requirements

To the extent the enforcing country is a signatory of the Hague Convention on Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters, will the court require strict compliance with its provisions before recognising a foreign judgment?

Luxembourg is not a signatory to the Hague Convention on Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters of 1 February 1971.

Bringing a claim for enforcement

Limitation periods

What is the limitation period for enforcement of a foreign judgment? When does it commence to run? In what circumstances would the enforcing court consider the statute of limitations of the foreign jurisdiction?

Under Luxembourg law, there exists no specific limitation period regarding the proceedings to grant recognition and enforcement of a foreign judgment.

However, Luxembourg courts can only enforce foreign judgments that are enforceable in their country of origin. In this sense, the limitation period for the recognition and enforcement of a foreign judgment will depend on the law applicable to the foreign judgment in its country of origin.

Consequently, the commencement of the limitation period for enforcing a foreign judgment will be subject to the statute of limitations of the foreign jurisdiction.

Types of enforceable order

Which remedies ordered by a foreign court are enforceable in your jurisdiction?

In conformity with Regulation (EU) No. 1215/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2012 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters (EU Regulation 1215/2012), only judgments on civil and commercial matters can be recognised and enforced.

The following matters are explicitly excluded by the said Regulation:

  • status or legal capacity of natural persons, rights in property arising out of a matrimonial relationship or out of a relationship deemed by the law applicable to such a relationship to have comparable effects to marriage;
  • bankruptcy, proceedings relating to the winding-up of insolvent companies or other legal persons, judicial arrangements, compositions and analogous proceedings;
  • social security;
  • arbitration;
  • maintenance obligations arising from a family relationship, parentage, marriage or affinity; and
  • wills and succession, including maintenance obligations arising by reason of death.
Competent courts

Must cases seeking enforcement of foreign judgments be brought in a particular court?

According to article 21 of the NCPC, the Luxembourg district court is exclusively competent to hear cases on the exequatur procedure of foreign judgments and is the only court entitled to give enforcement title.

As a result of the entry into force of EU Regulation 1215/2012, the exequatur procedure for enforcing a foreign judgment has been abolished. Article 685-4 of the NCPC has introduced a new procedure opening the possibility for a defendant to request the refusal of the recognition of a judicial decision rendered in another EU member state in relation to which enforcement is sought in Luxembourg. The president of the district court sitting in urgency matters is the competent jurisdiction for this procedure.

Separation of recognition and enforcement

To what extent is the process for obtaining judicial recognition of a foreign judgment separate from the process for enforcement?

Luxembourg law, based on EU Regulation 1215/2012, which came into force on 15 January 2015, gives a legal distinction between the recognition and enforcement of a judgment.

In general, the recognition of a foreign judgment occurs when the court of one state accepts a judicial decision made by the court of a foreign state.

According to EU Regulation 1215/2012, a judgment given in a European Union member state shall be recognised in the other member state without any special procedure being required.

However, the enforcement is the recognition and the permission for a creditor to take coercive measures against a debtor directly on Luxembourg territory.

Under EU Regulation 1215/2012, a judgment given in a member state that is enforceable in that member state shall be enforceable in the other member state without any declaration of enforceability being required.

Opposition

Defences

Can a defendant raise merits-based defences to liability or to the scope of the award entered in the foreign jurisdiction, or is the defendant limited to more narrow grounds for challenging a foreign judgment?

The distinction between European judgments, foreign judgments subject to an international treaty and foreign judgments not subject to an international treaty or EU law must be made.

In the case of a foreign judgment subject to an international treaty or European act providing for an exequatur proceeding, the application for exequatur is decided by order of the president of the district court, without the party against whom enforcement is sought being able, in this state of proceedings, to submit an observation (article 681 of the NCPC). The request may be rejected only if the foreign decision does not fulfil the conditions provided for by the convention invoked to be recognised and enforced. In any case, the foreign decision cannot be subject to a revision on the merits.

In accordance with EU Regulation 1215/2012, the recognition of a judgment may be refused on the following grounds:

  • if such recognition is manifestly contrary to Luxembourg public policy (ordre public);
  • where the judgment was given in default of appearance, if the defendant was not served with the document that instituted the proceedings or with an equivalent document in sufficient time and in such a way as to enable him or her to arrange a defence, unless the defendant failed to commence proceedings to challenge the judgment when it was possible for him or her to do so;
  • if the judgment is irreconcilable with a judgment given between the same parties in the member state addressed;
  • if the judgment is irreconcilable with an earlier judgment given in another member state or in a third state involving the same cause of action and between the same parties, provided that the earlier judgment fulfils the conditions necessary for its recognition in the member state addressed; or
  • if the judgment conflicts with some provisions of EU Regulation 1215/2012.

The enforcement of a judgment shall be refused in cases in which one of the grounds for a refusal of the recognition of a judgment exists.

Foreign EU judgments cannot be reviewed on the merits by a Luxembourg court in conformity with article 52 of the Brussels Ibis Regulation.

According to Luxembourg private international law, Luxembourg courts also cannot review the merits of a foreign non-EU judgment (article 681 of the NCPC).

Injunctive relief

May a party obtain injunctive relief to prevent foreign judgment enforcement proceedings in your jurisdiction?

According to article 932 of the NCPC, the president of a district court may in urgent cases order in a summary procedure all the measures that do not face any serious dispute or that justify the existence of a dispute. He or she may also rule on the difficulties relating to the enforcement of a judgment or other enforceable title.

Article 933 of the NCPC also provides that the president of a district court may order in a summary procedure provisional conservatory measures or necessary restitution in integrum measures relevant to preventing significant harm, either to prevent immediate damage or to end obvious illicit trouble. In order to prevent the loss of evidence, he or she may order any useful investigative measure, including the hearing of witnesses. In cases where the existence of the obligation to pay is not seriously challengeable, the judge may provide for an interim payment to the creditor.

Anti-suit injunctions are, however, not available in Luxembourg law.

According to article 39 of EU Regulation 1215/2012, a judgment given in a member state that is enforceable in that member state is immediately enforceable in other EU member states without any declaration of enforceability being required.

Requirements for recognition

Basic requirements for recognition

What are the basic mandatory requirements for recognition of a foreign judgment?

Regarding the ease of enforcement, the procedure to enforce a foreign judgment differs according to the state of origin of the judgment. Here again, the distinction between European judgments, foreign judgments subject to an international treaty and foreign judgments not subject to an international treaty or EU law must be made.

If a foreign judgment does not originate from a European Union member state and is not subject to an international treaty, the ordinary domestic proceeding applies and the foreign judgment will fall under article 678 of the NCPC and must be submitted to the exequatur formalities in order to have legal effect in Luxembourg.

This means that the applicant has to file a legal exequatur action before the district court of the place where he or she intends to pursue the execution. The proceeding is introduced in conformity with domestic law by summoning the defendant to the district court and is subject to all rules of written procedure.

However, the court will not rule on the case, but is confined to verify the following conditions:

  • the decision is enforceable in the country of origin;
  • the original judge had jurisdiction to make a decision according to Luxembourg international private law;
  • the original judge had jurisdiction to make a decision according to its own procedural law;
  • the foreign court has applied the law as designated by Luxembourg’s conflicts of law;
  • the foreign procedure rules have been respected;
  • the defendant had proper notice of the proceedings;
  • the decision does not contravene any Luxembourg public policy rules; and
  • the foreign decision must contain an order that can be executed.

If these conditions are met, the judge will grant the exequatur order and the claimant will give notice thereof to the defendant.

If the foreign judgment originates from a European Union member state or is subject to an international treaty, the conditions for enforcement are significantly simplified.

There are several European regulations that cover different matters, such as civil and commercial general matters, but also more particular matters, such as matrimonial and parental responsibility and maintenance obligations.

Only civil and commercial matters, including insurance, consumer contracts and individual contracts of employment, are covered in this chapter.

Foreign judgments rendered in Europe that are subject to a treaty or EU law fall under articles 679 to 685-2bis of the NCPC, which provide the simplified procedure of enforcement rules, as provided by EU Regulation 1215/2012 replacing the initial Council Regulation (EC) No. 44/2001 of 22 December 2000 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters.

According to article 39 of EU Regulation 1215/2012, a judgment given in a member state that is enforceable in that member state shall be enforceable in the other member states without any declaration of enforceability being required.

These judgments are recognised and immediately enforceable without any special procedure being required.

For foreign judgments rendered in a jurisdiction outside the European Union with which Luxembourg has concluded a bilateral or multi­lateral treaty for the reciprocal recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments, article 679 of the NCPC non-exhaustively lists several conventions, such as the convention on jurisdiction and the enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters signed in Lugano on 30 October 2007.

These judgments must be submitted to simplified exequatur formalities to have legal effect in Luxembourg, consisting of filing an ex parte petition with the president of the district court, who will grant an order if all the conditions imposed by those treaties are respected.

Other factors

May other non-mandatory factors for recognition of a foreign judgment be considered and, if so, what factors?

There are no other non-mandatory factors to be considered for the recognition of a foreign judgment. All factors for recognising a foreign judgment not subject to EU law or an international treaty are defined by Luxembourg private international law.

With respect to foreign EU judgments, EU Regulation 1215/2012 does not contain any non-mandatory factors.

Procedural equivalence

Is there a requirement that the judicial proceedings where the judgment was entered correspond to due process in your jurisdiction and, if so, how is that requirement evaluated?

Again, the distinction between European judgments, foreign judgments subject to an international treaty and foreign judgments not subject to an international treaty or EU law must be made.

With regard to the enforcement of foreign non-EU judgments, Luxembourg private international law applies.

In respect of the enforcement of foreign EU judgments, in conformity with EU Regulation 1215/2012, there exists no requirement of procedural equivalence. The EU member states, by simply applying said Regulation, ensure a consistent application of the same legal rules throughout the EU.

Jurisdiction of the foreign court

Personal jurisdiction

Will the enforcing court examine whether the court where the judgment was entered had personal jurisdiction over the defendant and, if so, how is that requirement met?

Under Luxembourg law, it is not possible for the Luxembourg district court to review the personal jurisdiction of the foreign court that issued the original judgment.

Subject-matter jurisdiction

Will the enforcing court examine whether the court where the judgment was entered had subject-matter jurisdiction over the controversy and, if so, how is that requirement met?

The Luxembourg court cannot review the subject-matter jurisdiction of the foreign court that issued the original judgment.

The Luxembourg court cannot interfere with the first judgment, except if the judgment compromises Luxembourg public policies.

According to article 52 of EU Regulation 1215/2012, a judgment given in a member state may under no circumstances be reviewed as to its substance in the member state addressed. This clearly means that the Luxembourg court does not have the power to review the substance of the original judgment taken in another member state.

Service

Must the defendant have been technically or formally served with notice of the original action in the foreign jurisdiction, or is actual notice sufficient? How much notice is usually considered sufficient?

In order to have a foreign judgment recognised and enforceable in Luxembourg, in accordance with article 42 of EU Regulation 1215/2012, the applicant has to provide the competent district court with:

  • a copy of the judgment, which satisfies the conditions necessary to establish its authenticity; and
  • the certificate using the form set out in Annex I of the EU Regulation.

The competent district court may, where necessary, require the applicant to provide a translation or transliteration of the contents of the certificate. The court may also ask the applicant to provide a translation of the judgment rendered in the state of origin if it is unable to proceed without such a translation.

Those copies have to be provided to the court clerk, who checks the authenticity of the documents.

According to article 45 of EU Regulation 1215/2012, the recognition of a judgment shall be refused where the judgment was given in default of appearance, if the defendant was not served with the document that instituted the proceedings or with an equivalent document in sufficient time and in such a way as to enable him or her to arrange a defence, unless the defendant failed to commence proceedings to challenge the judgment when it was possible for him or her to do so.

Fairness of foreign jurisdiction

Will the court consider the relative inconvenience of the foreign jurisdiction to the defendant as a basis for declining to enforce a foreign judgment?

The Luxembourg district courts will not take into consideration the relative inconvenience of a foreign judgment when deciding upon the enforceability of a foreign judgment, if the foreign judgment does not violate Luxembourg public policy.

Examination of the foreign judgment

Vitiation by fraud

Will the court examine the foreign judgment for allegations of fraud upon the defendant or the court?

According to Luxembourg private international law, the Luxembourg court will not examine the foreign judgment as to its substance. However, the Luxembourg court can refuse recognition or enforcement of a foreign judgment if it violates Luxembourg public policy or if it was rendered on a fraudulent basis.

Public policy

Will the court examine the foreign judgment for consistency with the enforcing jurisdiction’s public policy and substantive laws?

A foreign judgment may not be recognised or enforced if it violates Luxembourg public policy or any substantive Luxembourg laws.

In the proceedings of enforcing a foreign non-EU judgment, Luxembourg private international law will examine the foreign decision if it complies with Luxembourg public policy. In the negative, the Luxembourg district court will not enforce the foreign judgment.

A decision is not recognised if its recognition is manifestly contrary to the public policy of the requested member state, in particular to its fundamental principles. The word ‘manifestly’ reveals a desire to retain a restrictive conception of the public order. The judge of a requested state may invoke the concept of public policy only in the event that the recognition or enforcement of the decision would unacceptably prejudice the judicial order of the requested state as it would undermine a fundamental principle; the infringement should constitute a manifest violation of a rule of law considered essential in the legal order of the requested state or of a right recognised as fundamental in that legal order (Court of Appeal, 30 June 2011).

According to article 45 of EU Regulation 1215/2012, the recognition of a judgment shall be refused if such recognition is manifestly contrary to public policy in the member state addressed.

Conflicting decisions

What will the court do if the foreign judgment sought to be enforced is in conflict with another final and conclusive judgment involving the same parties or parties in privity?

The recognition and enforcement of a foreign judgment may be refused when the foreign judgment is irreconcilable with concurrent proceedings or conflicting judgments involving the same parties or dispute.

If a conflicting domestic Luxembourg judgment already exists, the recognition and enforcement of the foreign judgment will be denied.

Enforcement against third parties

Will a court apply the principles of agency or alter ego to enforce a judgment against a party other than the named judgment debtor?

A person domiciled in a member state may also be sued as a third party in an action on a warranty or guarantee or in any other third-party proceedings, in the court seized of the original proceedings, unless these were instituted solely with the object of removing him or her from the jurisdiction of the court that would be competent in the case.

The Luxembourg court can consequently enforce a foreign judgment against third parties.

However, Luxembourg courts do not apply the principles of agency or alter ego. A foreign judgment can only be enforced against the party named as debtor.

Alternative dispute resolution

What will the court do if the parties had an enforceable agreement to use alternative dispute resolution, and the defendant argues that this requirement was not followed by the party seeking to enforce?

According to Luxembourg private international law, the parties to an agreement are free to agree to use alternative dispute resolution (ADR). Under article 1224 of the NCPC, a dispute may be submitted to arbitration if the issue at stake relates to rights of which parties have free disposal. Therefore, disputes involving family law, criminal law or, more broadly, public policy cannot be subject to arbitration.

Accordingly, parties that have agreed to use ADR in a contract clause are prevented from bringing an action in a district court. If one party to the ADR brings an action in court in violation of the ADR clause, the other party can contest the jurisdiction of the court. The Luxembourg court would declare the action inadmissible unless the ADR clause is manifestly invalid.

Arbitral awards under Luxembourg law have the same legal effect as a court judgment. However, in order to be enforceable, an arbitral award requires an enforcement order issued by the president of the district court of Luxembourg (article 1241 of the NCPC).

The only possibility to challenge an arbitral award is to take an opposition procedure against the order of the president of the district court to have it declared null and void.

Favourably treated jurisdictions

Are judgments from some foreign jurisdictions given greater deference than judgments from others? If so, why?

Luxembourg courts do not give greater deference to foreign judgments from certain foreign jurisdictions.

However, European regulations simplify and facilitate the recognition and enforcement of judgments between the different member states within the EU.

Alteration of awards

Will a court ever recognise only part of a judgment, or alter or limit the damage award?

In conformity with Luxembourg international private law, the applicant can ask for a partial enforcement of a foreign judgment (article 685 of the NCPC).

According to article 48 of Council Regulation (EC) No. 44/2001 of 22 December 2000 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters, an applicant may request a declaration of enforceability limited to parts of a judgment. This provision is not included in the new EU Regulation 1215/2012.

Article 49 of EU Regulation 1215/2012 foresees that a foreign judgment, which orders a periodic payment by way of a penalty, shall be enforceable in the member state in which enforcement is sought only if the amount of the payment has been finally determined by the courts of the member state of origin.

It is consequently not possible to enhance or reduce the amount due in the foreign judgment.

Awards and security for appeals

Currency, interest, costs

In recognising a foreign judgment, does the court convert the damage award to local currency and take into account such factors as interest and court costs and exchange controls? If interest claims are allowed, which law governs the rate of interest?

In principle, the court does not convert the damage award to local currency. The competent executing authority will make the conversion of the outstanding amounts.

In conformity with article 42 of EU Regulation 1215/2012, for the purposes of enforcement in a member state of a judgment given in another member state, the applicant shall provide the competent enforcement authority with the certificate issued by the court of origin, certifying that the judgment is enforceable and containing an extract of the judgment, as well as, where appropriate, relevant information on the recoverable costs of the proceedings and the calculation of interest.

Security

Is there a right to appeal from a judgment recognising or enforcing a foreign judgment? If so, what procedures, if any, are available to ensure the judgment will be enforceable against the defendant if and when it is affirmed?

In general, decisions on the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments can be subject to appeal.

According to article 682 of the NCPC, the defendant can file for an appeal against the judgment authorising the execution of the foreign judgment subject to a treaty or EU law providing the exequatur procedure in the period of one month from the notification of the decision when the applicant is domiciled in Luxembourg or within two months when the applicant is domiciled abroad. The appeal is introduced by writ served by a court bailiff.

On the other hand, in conformity with article 683 of the NCPC, the applicant can also appeal against the decision rejecting the execution of a foreign judgment subject to a treaty or EU law providing the exequatur procedure, within one month of the notification of the decision of refusal.

An appeal suspends the execution of the judgment of first instance.

The party willing to appeal the decision has to file for appeal within one month of the notification of the decision when the applicant is domiciled in Luxembourg or within two months when the applicant is domiciled abroad.

EU Regulation 1215/2012 also states that either party may appeal against the decision on the application for refusal of enforcement.

Enforcement and pitfalls

Enforcement process

Once a foreign judgment is recognised, what is the process for enforcing it in your jurisdiction?

Foreign judgments rendered in the EU, in accordance with EU Regulation 1215/2012, are recognised upon the production of a copy of the decision, a certificate and a translation, if necessary. These judgments are immediately enforceable without any special procedure.

Foreign judgments subject to a treaty can be recognised and enforced once the requirements provided by the treaty are respected.

Foreign judgments not subject to any treaty or EU law are subject to the conditions laid down in article 678 of the NCPC and articles 2123 and 2128 of the Luxembourg Civil Code. Those judgments will only be granted legal effect in Luxembourg after being submitted to the exequatur procedure. The court will verify if the foreign judgment respects the requirements pointed out in the question regarding the ease of enforcement:

  • the original judge had jurisdiction to make a decision according to Luxembourg international private law;
  • the original judge had jurisdiction to make a decision according to its own procedural law;
  • the foreign court has applied the law as designated by Luxembourg’s conflicts of law;
  • the foreign procedure rules have been respected;
  • the defendant had proper notice of the proceedings;
  • the decision does not contravene any Luxembourg public policy rules; and
  • the foreign decision must contain an order that can be executed.
Pitfalls

What are the most common pitfalls in seeking recognition or enforcement of a foreign judgment in your jurisdiction?

The most common pitfall for a claimant seeking recognition and enforcement of a foreign judgment in Luxembourg is the long and demanding proceedings, especially in the event that the procedure provided for in article 678 of the NCPC is applicable.

Since the procedure under Luxembourg private international law is a written procedure, it may take several years before the Luxembourg courts render a final decision, depending on the arguments raised by the parties and the complexity of the case.

The timeframe for the proceedings to grant recognition and enforcement depends on whether the foreign decision was a European decision, a foreign decision subject to a treaty or a foreign decision not subject to a treaty or EU law.

Decisions rendered in an EU member state are subject to articles 679 to 685 of the NCPC introducing the simplified procedure of enforcement. These judgments are recognised and immediately enforceable in Luxembourg.

A foreign decision subject to a treaty falls under article 680 and subsequent of the NCPC. In order to have legal effect in Luxembourg, those decisions must be submitted to the simplified exequatur formalities, meaning that the applicant must file an ex parte partition with the president of the district court, who will grant an order if all conditions are respected.

Finally, a foreign decision not subject to a treaty or EU law falls under article 678 of the NCPC and must be submitted to the exequatur formalities in order to be recognised and enforced in Luxembourg. The foreign judgment has to be submitted to the district court, with the appearance of the prosecutor, who has to ensure that the public’s interests are not jeopardised. This written proceeding demands the filing of briefs between the attorneys of the parties. The recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments not subject to any treaty or EU law generally takes a few months, making this procedure longer than in the other cases.

In Luxembourg, the proceedings for the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments are not subject to initial court fees.

The expenses of proceedings (article 238 of the NCPC) encompass fees resulting from preliminary investigations, bailiff fees, clerk fees, expert fees and the costs and expenses in accordance with the Grand-Ducal Regulation of 21 March 1974 on the fees and remuneration payable to solicitors and lawyers, as amended. The expenses of proceedings do not include lawyers’ fees.

The compensation for proceedings is covered by article 240 of the NCPC and essentially includes a part of the lawyers’ fees, excluding all the expenses of proceedings. The expenses of proceedings have to be requested during the proceedings by the parties.

The applicant in the proceeding for recognition and enforcement of a foreign judgment only has to pay lawyers’ fees and the bailiff’s fees.

This low amount of fees to be paid makes the Luxembourg legal system an attractive jurisdiction for the recognition and the enforcement of foreign judgments.

Update and trends

Hot topics

Are there any emerging trends or hot topics in foreign judgment enforcement in your jurisdiction?

Hot topics29 Are there any emerging trends or hot topics in foreign judgment enforcement in your jurisdiction?

There has been no recent legal development or any emerging trend or hot topic relating to the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments.

A new Hague Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters was concluded on 2 July 2019, but has not yet entered into force. Thus far, Uruguay is the only country to have signed the Convention, so the exact influence of this Convention is not yet predictable.

Finally, the departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union (Brexit) will have an impact on the enforcement of UK judgments in Luxembourg, and vice versa. However, the exact impact on how UK judgments will be enforced after Brexit will depend on the outcome of negotiations between the EU and the UK.