Ukraine ratifies Hague Judgements Convention


On 15 July 2022, the President of Ukraine signed the recently adopted law on ratifying the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters, which provides a legal framework for the circulation and enforcement of civil and commercial judgments across jurisdictions.

The Convention covers the recognition and enforcement of monetary and non-monetary judgments, and decisions on costs that can be recognised or enforced under the Convention. Its provisions, however, do not extend to administrative, revenue, anti-trust, insolvency, intellectual property, and certain other matters.

To be considered for recognition or enforcement under the Convention, a judgment must meet one of the following eligibility criteria envisaged in Article 5 of the Convention:

  • the defendant expressly consented to the jurisdiction of the court;
  • the judgment ruled on a contractual obligation and was given by a court of the state in which performance of that obligation took place;
  • the person against whom recognition or enforcement is sought is the person that brought the claim;
  • the person against whom recognition or enforcement is sought had permanent residence or carried out business activities in the state where the court that considered the case is located.

The court considers a request for recognition or enforcement of a judgment under the Convention without any review of its merits, and can refuse to recognise or enforce judgments only in a limited set of instances (e.g. violation of the procedure for notification of the defendant, obtaining a judgment by fraud, incompatibility of the judgment with the state's public policy, etc. as per Article 7 of the Convention).

Currently, Ukraine is the first country to ratify the Convention, and it will enter into force once another state deposits its instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval, or accession in accordance with the procedure established under the Convention. Six countries have signed the Convention thus far, including Ukraine, USA, Israel, Costa Rica, Uruguay, and Russia.

On 12 July 2022, the Council of the European Union adopted a decision on the accession of the EU to the Convention which, considering Ukraine’s ratification of the Convention, becomes a turning point for the cross-border recognition and enforcement of state judgements.

The main purpose of the Convention is to simplify and standardise recognition and enforcement of judgments issued by the state courts and ultimately to make recognition and enforcement of the state courts’ judgments transparent in the same way that arbitral awards are recognised and enforced under the New York Convention.

For more information on litigation and enforcement in Ukraine, contact your regular CMS advisors or our local experts: Olga Shenk, Oleksandr Protsiuk.