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5 The Need for a Federal Statutory Approach to the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Country Judgments

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Chapter Summary

The topic of the author's panel at the 2013 Sokol Colloquium was a discussion of "common law" versus statutory approaches to enforcing foreign country judgments. There is a curious history as to how state law-whether as reflected in common law or in a statute-came to govern recognition and enforcement practice. The only Supreme Court case dealing with recognition and enforcement of foreign country judgments-the 1895 decision in Hilton v. Guyot-viewed the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments as a matter of federal common law informed by principles of international law. The significant move-from "common law" to "statute"-occurred in 1962, when the Uniform Law Commissioners approved the Foreign Money Judgments Recognition Act ("1962 Uniform Act") for adoption by states, which applies to foreign judgments "granting or denying recovery of a sum of money". Allocation of jurisdiction between state and federal courts can also be clarified with enactment of a federal statute.

Keywords: 1962 Uniform Act; federal common law; federal statute; federal statutory approach; foreign country judgments; international law



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