In an increasingly interconnected world, where cross-border transactions and disputes are commonplace, the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments have become crucial for ensuring the rule of law and promoting international trade. Ethiopia, as a member of the global community, has established legal mechanisms to facilitate the execution of foreign judgments within its jurisdiction. This article explores the framework for executing foreign judgments under Ethiopian law, shedding light on the key principles, requirements, and challenges involved.

The Ethiopian Civil Procedure Code and The Federal Courts Proclamation outline the guidelines for executing foreign judgments in Ethiopia. Additionally, we will discuss the conditions for enforcing foreign awards, ensuring a comprehensive understanding of this legal procedure.

Execution of Foreign Judgments in Ethiopia:

The power to execute foreign judgments in Ethiopia is vested in the Federal High Court, as stated in the federal courts proclamation. This court has first instance jurisdiction over applications related to the enforcement of foreign judgments or decisions. However, according to Article 456 of the Ethiopian Civil Procedure Code, foreign judgments may not be executed in Ethiopia unless specific conditions are met, unless provided otherwise by international conventions. To initiate the execution process, a written application must be submitted, accompanied by a certified copy of the judgment to be executed and a certificate signed by the president or registrar of the court that rendered the judgment, certifying its finality and enforceability.

The Ethiopian civil procedure code requires the court, where the application is filed, to evaluate certain requirements before granting permission to execute a foreign judgment. These requirements include:

  • Execution of Ethiopian judgments being allowed in the country where the judgment was originally given.
  • The judgment being issued by a duly established and constituted court.
  • The judgment debtor has been given the opportunity to present a defense.
  • The judgment being final and enforceable.
  • The execution does not conflict with public order or morals.

If the above conditions are fulfilled, the court grants permission for execution. However, failure to meet these requirements renders the execution of the judgment impossible. Once permission is granted, the execution process