France has signed international treaties regarding mutual assistance in legal matters with only three South American countries, Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay. As a consequence, a lot of foreign decisions and arbitral awards will be subject to French law only.
- International treaty regarding judicial cooperation between the government of the French Republic and the government of the Argentinian Republic of July 2nd, 1991 (link)
- International treaty regarding judicial cooperation on civil matters between the Government of the French Republic and the Federal Government of Brazil of May 28th, 1996 (link)
- International treaty regarding judicial cooperation on civil and commercial matters between the Government of the French Republic and the government of the Eastern Republic of Uruguay of September 16th, 1991 (link)
Judgments originating from other South American countries will be subject to the provisions of article 509 of the French code of civil procedure as well as the conditions laid down by the famous Cornelissen case of February 20th, 2007. Essentially, in order to recognize and enforce such a judgment in France, the French judge will verify that the court decision meets the following requirements:
- The foreign Court has proper jurisdiction under French law,
- The foreign Judgment complies with French procedural and substantive public policies,
- The foreign Judgment was rendered without fraudulent forum shopping (evasion of the law)
The enforcement of South American judgments on French territory is possible as long as the conditions laid down by French law and international treaties are met. You can visit this page to learn more about the recognition process and this page to learn more about how to seize the assets of the debtor once the judgment is recognized.
I have extensive experience in private international law matters and particularly with recognition and enforcement proceedings. You can use the Contact form if you have any questions or wish to enforce a foreign Judgment in France. You will receive a response within 24 hours.