Foreign Judgments Enforcement in Israel

For a foreign judgement to be acknowledged or enforced in Israel it must be accepted by an Israeli court.1 The acceptance and enforcement of Judgments made by foreign judiciaries in Israel is performed in accordance with The Foreign Judgments Enforcement Law – 1958.2 The statute relates to judgments regarding civil matters, meaning noncriminal and matters not within public law. This includes judgments ruling compensation or damages for an injured party even where the matter is not a civil one.

The Preconditions Required for Enforcement3
Firstly, the judgement is to be given by a judiciary which holds jurisdiction on the matter (according to the law within its own jurisdiction).

Secondly, the judgement is final, meaning it can no longer be overruled by a higher court. An exception to the rule stipulates court may, if it considers that the circumstances of the case justify it doing so, enforce a foreign provisional judgment or interim order in a matter of maintenance even though such judgment or order may still be appealable.4

Thirdly, the obligation according to the judgement is enforceable according to Israeli law. This means, vis a vis, that the judgement must be in accordance with Public policy, and it cannot be illegal nor immoral.5

Finally, the judgement must be doable in the jurisdiction in which it was given.

Reciprocity6
For a judgement to be enforced by an Israeli court, the jurisdiction which it was given by is to enforce judgments made by Israeli courts. Still a deviation from the reciprocity rule is permitted; court may respond to a general attorney’s request for enforcing a judgement even when it was made by a jurisdiction which does not enforce judgments made by Israeli courts.

Enforcement Time7
Court will not respond nor deliberate upon a request for enforcing a foreign judgment which was submitted over five years after the judgement was given. This is unless a different time period was agreed upon by Israel and the jurisdiction in which the judgement was given. Another exception to the rule is where court finds special circumstances which justify the delay in submitting the request for enforcement.

Defences8
Firstly, a judgement which was given as a result of deceit will not be rendered enforceable.

Secondly, a judgement will not be rendered enforceable if it is in the opinion of the court that the defendant was not given a reasonable possibility to argue its claims or present its evidence before the verdict was made.

Thirdly, the judgement is to be given by a judiciary which holds jurisdiction on the matter according to the rules of international law which apply in Israel.

Fourthly, the judgement cannot stand in contradiction with another judgment given in the same matter between the same parties that is still valid. Furthermore it cannot stand where at the time the action was brought before the foreign court a suit in the same matter and between the same parties was pending before a Court or a Tribunal in Israel.

Finally, a foreign judgment will not be declared enforceable if its enforcement is likely to prejudice the sovereignty or security of Israel.

Execution9
A foreign judgment which has been declared enforceable will, for the purposes of execution, have the effect of a judgment validly given in Israel.

1 The Foreign Judgments Enforcement Law – 1958, s 11.
2 The Foreign Judgments Enforcement Law – 1958, s 2.
3 The Foreign Judgments Enforcement Law – 1958, s 3.
4 The Foreign Judgments Enforcement Law – 1958, s 8.
5 The Contracts (General Part) Law – 1973, s 30.
6 The Foreign Judgments Enforcement Law – 1958, s 4.
7 The Foreign Judgments Enforcement Law – 1958, s 5.
8 The Foreign Judgments Enforcement Law – 1958, s 6-7.
9 The Foreign Judgments Enforcement Law – 1958, s 10.

We represent international clients from the United States, Canada, the UK, Europe and Israel. Please contact us from the US or Canada at 1.888.923.0022 or in Israel at (972) 3.9055478 or (972) 50.7322688 to schedule a discussion regarding your case.