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Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Bangladesh

Laws of Bangladesh are derived from English Law. Like in India, Bangladesh has hierarchy of courts High Court being the highest court in a state and Supreme Court being the Apex Court of the Country.

Further, like in India, all the statutes are enacted by the Parliament and courts’ interpretations and verdicts contributes towards development of law.

Foreign Litigants:

If the defendant resides and carries his business in Bangladesh, foreign litigants can file a suit in Bangladesh.  Also, If the cause of action arouse within the jurisdiction of the courts of Bangladesh, foreign litigants can move the courts of Bangladesh. Suits for specific performance of contract to sell a property in Bangladesh against a non-residential foreigner can me moved in Bangladesh. It does not matter where the contract was signed.

Enforcement of foreign judgments:

Bangladesh courts allows enforcement of foreign decrees, if the foreign country and Bangladesh has reciprocity in the matter.  Under the supervision of the District Judge the foreign decree is executed. The decree should have been passed by superior court in the foreign country.

The District Court may execute a foreign judgment, if

  • It has been passed by a court of competent jurisdiction
  • It should have been passed on the merits of the case
  • It is founded on a correct view of international law
  • It has not been obtained by fraud, and
  • It should not uphold a claim against any law of Bangladesh

ARBITRATION:

Arbitration is governed by The Code of Civil Procedure, 1908

The CPC provides for mediation in suits at an early stage of hearing. However, debt recovery suits by financial institutions cannot be settled by arbitration.

In the contract arbitration clause should be there in writing. The Arbitration Act 2001 is applicable for all arbitrations. The dispute has to be referred to Bangladesh Council of Arbitration, a body of the Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce & Industry.

The award must be in writing and signed by the arbitrators. The award can be executed like any normal decree after 60 days from the date of the award, since, a party may approach the court to set aside the award within 60 days.

Cost of litigation:

The courts rarely award costs. It may do so favouring the winner.

Common forms of relief are Injunction, Specific performance of contract,  confiscating property and handing over to the petitioner, determining rights of litigants without compensation and appointing a receiver.

Time taken by courts:

There is no specific limitation period within which a suit to be disposed off.  A case may take even 12 years for disposal.

Default Judgment and Summary Judgment:

Civil courts may pass judgments without trail in the matters of  non appearance of defendant after release of summons an ex parte judgment, if the defendant fails to submit defence,  if the defendant admits the claim.

Class Actions:

If there is a common question of law or fact and the right to relief arises out of the same set of acts or circumstances, the plaintiffs can join together to move the court as a class suit. Similarly, if there is a common question of law or fact and if the relief sought against defendants arise out of the same acts or transactions,  the court may allow for joinder of defendants.

The author can also be reached at drgubbilegal@gmail.com

 

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Published in Civil Law
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