Foreign judgments can be recognised, registered and enforced in Cyprus either on the basis of EU law or on the basis of bilateral or multilateral agreements in the case of judgments issued by non-EU Courts. Cypriot Courts frequently register and recognise judgments issued by Courts in other EU countries. The process is quite simple and straightforward. The Courts in Cyprus will not question the foreign judgment but will rather automatically register and recognise it. This is of course provided that all necessary documents have been provided to the Court (such as a copy of the Court Judgment with translation in Greek).
Enforcement of Judgments issued by Courts of EU countries
Regulation (EU) 1215/2012 repealed and replaced Regulation 44/2001. This regulation is applicable for judgments given on or after the 10th of January 2015 and legal proceedings issued on or after the 10th of January 2015. For judgments issued previously, Regulation 44/2001 is still applicable. Regulation 1215/2012 provides for a simple process whereby the Courts will only refuse the recognition of the judgment for the following reasons:
1. The Judgment is contrary to Cypriot law.
2. The judgment is inconsistent with another earlier judgment issued in Cyprus or in another country regarding the same parties and the same matter.
3. Service of the judgment to the defendant was not satisfactory (in cases where judgment was obtained due to the defendant not appearing).
Council Regulation (EC) 805/2004 can also be used to enforce EU judgments in Cyprus. This regulation is applicable to claims not contested by the debtor. It applies to claims related to Civil and Commercial matters. It does not apply to matters relating to succession law, property disputes arising out of a matrimonial relationships, bankruptcy and other specified matters. This Regulation creates a European Enforcement Order certificate which does not require intermediate proceedings.
Enforcement of Judgments issued by Courts of non-EU countries
In regards to foreign judgments issued by Courts of non-EU countries, there must be an agreement between Cyprus and the country in question. Cyprus is a party to a number of bilateral and multilateral treaties, such as:
a) Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters;
b) Convention on the Recovery Abroad of Maintenance;
c) European Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement on Certain International Aspects of Bankruptcy.
To enforce such a judgment, the provisions of the applicable treaty must be followed along with the provisions of the domestic law ‘Foreign Judgments (Reciprocal Enforcement) Law 1935.