Alsuwaidi & Company

Legal system in the UAE

Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Yemen

What should a Judgment Creditor do when the Judgment Debtor is in Yemen?

Enforcing foreign judgments in Yemen involves adhering to specific legal provisions and procedures. Below is an overview based on the Yemeni Arbitration Law and Code of Procedure.

1. Legal Framework:

  • The Yemeni Arbitration Law does not explicitly address the enforcement of foreign arbitration awards. Instead, it subjects such enforcement to the rules applicable to foreign court rulings and judgments as stipulated in the Code of Procedure.

2. Code of Procedure:

    • Article 491 of the Code of Procedure stipulates that foreign deeds can only be enforced if they qualify as enforcement deeds under Yemeni law. Enforceable arbitration awards are considered enforcement deeds under Clause 3 of Article 328 of the Code of Procedure.

3. Conditions for Enforceability: 

    • For a foreign arbitration award to be deemed enforceable in Yemen, it must:
      1. Be recognized as an enforcement deed in the country where it was issued.
      2. Have compulsory enforceability, meaning it must be ratified and given the enforcement form in the issuing country.
      3. Obtain an enforcement order from the foreign court to establish its enforcement force before seeking enforcement in Yemen.

  4. Procedural Requirements:

    • Article 495 of the Yemeni Code of Procedure outlines the method for enforcing foreign deeds. It states that official enforceable deeds issued in a foreign country may be enforced in Yemen under the same conditions required for enforcing Yemeni deeds in that country.
    • A petition must be submitted to the enforcement judge of the court of first instance within the jurisdiction where enforcement is sought. The judge must verify the deed’s compliance with Yemeni law and ensure it does not violate morals or public order.

 5. Specific Conditions:

    • Article 494 of the Code of Procedure lists several conditions for enforcing foreign arbitration awards in Yemen:
      1. The award must not violate Islamic Law, public morals, or public order in Yemen.
      2. The Yemeni court must not have jurisdiction over the matter, and the foreign court must have proper jurisdiction according to its laws.
      3. Enforcement must be under the same conditions that the foreign country requires for enforcing Yemeni deeds, upholding the principle of reciprocity.
      4. The award must be issued by a competent court or tribunal and must be final and conclusive (res judicata).
      5. The parties involved must have been properly notified to appear before the foreign court, ensuring the judgment was not rendered in absentia without proper notice.
      6. The award must not conflict with any existing judgments by Yemeni courts.

6. Practical Implications: 

    • Since there is no bilateral treaty between Yemen and the enforcing country as Yemen is not a signatory to the 1958 New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, enforcement relies solely on the Yemeni Code of Procedure.
    • To enforce a foreign arbitration award in Yemen, a petition must be presented to the enforcement judge of the relevant court of first instance. The judge will review the petition to ensure all legal conditions are met before issuing an enforcement order. If the conditions are not satisfied, the petition will be dismissed.

This overview highlights the necessary steps and legal considerations for enforcing foreign judgments in Yemen. Our firm, Alsuwaidi & Company, is well-equipped to handle such matters, providing expert legal assistance to navigate these complex procedures. For more information or specific legal advice, please contact us on [email protected]