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Asian Principles for the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments

The post below was provided by Catherine Shen, Project Manager at the Asian Business Law Institute.

Readers of the EAPIL blog are well aware that in Europe, harmonisation in the field of private international law has been enormously successful with efforts encompassing both the civil and commercial, as well as family, spheres. In relation to foreign judgments in civil and commercial matters, the Brussels I bis Regulation is a double convention comprising of rules on both jurisdiction and foreign judgments. Apart from harmonising the rules under which a court in one European Union (“EU”) Member State would assume jurisdiction, it enables the free circulation of judgments from one EU Member State within the EU.

In Asia, however, harmonisation efforts in this field have been relatively lacking. That was until recently. The Asian Business Law Institute (“ABLI”), set up in 2016 with the aim of promoting the convergence of business laws in Asia, identified among its first batch of projects an undertaking to advance the convergence of foreign judgments recognition and enforcement rules in Asia (“Foreign Judgments Project”).

ABLI released its first publication, Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Asia (“Judgments Compendium”) in the beginning of 2018. This compendium contains 15 short and concise country reports which provide lawyers and businesses with an overview of how foreign judgments in civil and commercial matters are recognised in different jurisdictions in Asia and the requirements which would need to be met for a foreign judgment to be enforced in those jurisdictions. The jurisdictions studied are all ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations or ASEAN (i.e., Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam) and their major trading partners, including Australia, China, India, Japan and South Korea.

In fact, the Judgments Compendium marks the first time when the rules of several ASEAN member states on the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments are made available in the English language. Its release concluded the first phase of ABLI’s Foreign Judgments Project and set the stage for the second phase where both the similarities and the differences of the rules of these 15 jurisdictions are distilled to formulate a set of common principles.

That set of principles has now been released under the title of Asian Principles for the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments (“Asian Principles”). This ambitious piece of work is a sequel to the Judgments Compendium and includes a total of 13 principles that among other things, cover the rules on international (or “indirect”) jurisdiction, reciprocity, the enforcement of non-monetary judgments, public policy, due process and inconsistent judgments. Each principle is accompanied by a commentary which fleshes out how the various countries apply that principle and also includes a way forward section, where applicable, to suggest the desired directions of law development.

A detailed write-up on the Asian Principles and the Foreign Judgments Project in general can be found at Adeline Chong, “Moving towards harmonisation in the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgment rules in Asia” (2020) 16 Journal of Private International Law 31-68. Associate Professor Chong is the general editor of both the Judgments Compendium and the Asian Principles.

ABLI is delighted to offer all members of EAPIL and all readers of this blog an exclusive discount to purchase both the Judgments Compendium and the Asian Principles. Interested members and readers can enjoy 10% off by following the steps listed at the end of this post.

Both the Judgments Compendium and the Asian Principles are available in PDF softcopies. Three hardcopies remain in stock for the Judgments Compendium. Please contact Catherine Shen, Project Manager of ABLI, for any query at

How to enjoy your 10% discount as an EAPIL member or EAPIL blog reader (offer ends on 1 March 2021): (1) Go to (for Judgments Compendium) or (for Asian Principles); (2) Click on the purple icon “buy now”; (3) After entering your name and email address, click on “Have a coupon code? Add coupon (right below the data protection terms) and enter promo code “EAPIL”, and then proceed to check out; (4) Once payment is processed by PayPal, an email will be sent to your indicated address for you to download the purchased copy instantly.

Please contact Catherine Shen if you wish to pay by credit card instead of PayPal.

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