What exactly is the recognition of foreign court judgements?
Recognition is the mechanism by which the effects of a court decision issued in another country are recognized in Romania.
In other words, you can acknowledge the existence of a legal dispute in another country, as well as the judge’s solution. In this type of trial, the judge only assesses formal aspects without actually going into the merits of the case or changing the initial court judgement in any way.
A foreign court judgment can be enforced in Romania only after the procedure for recognition is finalized. The only exceptions are judgements on personal status, issued in the home country of the claimant.
What kind of foreign judgments can be recognized in Romania?
You can recognize judgements issued both in contradictory/contentious proceeding (e.g. divorces, annulment of parental rights) and in non-contentious proceedings (e.g. name change).
Attention – court decisions on precautionary measures or provisionally measures of enforcement cannot be recognized, because they are final judgements.
What types of recognition are there?
A. Full recognition, for:
– Decisions on the personal status of citizens in the country where the decision was issued
– Decisions that were issued in another country, if:
- these decisions were first recognized in the country of each party or, if they were not recognized, they were delivered based on the applicable law according to Romanian international law
- they are not contrary to the public order of Romanian international private law
- the right to legal defense was observed
B. Conditional recognition – concerns procedures other than those listed above.
For this recognition, certain conditions must be met:
- the decision is final in the country where it was delivered
- the respective court was competent to issue the judgment
- the countries mutually recognize their judgments
! If the judgment was rendered in the absence of the party who lost the trial, the following conditions for recognition must be met:
- the party was legally summoned in court
- the party received the document of referral to court
- their right to defend themselves and their right to appeal was observed
How can you draft the application for judgment recognition?
The application for recognition must comply with the requirements provided by the Code of Civil Procedure for drafting general court applications, being very similar to a court petition.
Which court should judge the recognition?
The competent court is at the defendant’s domicile/ office. If the competent court cannot be determined, the application will be tried by the Bucharest Tribunal.
What should you annex to the application?
You should submit the following documents with your application for judgment recognition:
- copy of the foreign court decision
- proof that the judgment is final
- proof that the court summons and the document of referral of the court were handed over to the defendant who lost the trial
- any other document proving that the foreign judgment meets the conditions for legal recognition
! The above documents must be submitted with authorized translations and will be legalized according to the Hague procedure (with apostille) or over-legalized, respectively. The only exceptions are court decisions from countries that have signed treaties for mutual recognition of legal documents with Romania (e.g. Republic of Moldova, Ukraine).
Alina Ușurelu – Junior Lawyer
R&R Partners Bucharest
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