Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Alberta Law Reform Institute Report on Enforcement of Judgments From Other Jurisdictions

The Alberta Law Reform Institute recently published final report no. 94 on the enforcement of judgments obtained outside Alberta.

The report recommends that the government of the province adopt three uniform statutes based on the work of the Uniform Law Conference of Canada:

"At present in Alberta if one wants to enforce a foreign judgment, either Canadian or non-Canadian, one has three options:"

  1. sue again on the original cause of action in Alberta;
  2. sue on the judgment in Alberta on the grounds that the judgment forms the basis of an outstanding obligation owed by the judgment debtor; or
  3. where appropriate, register the judgment under the Reciprocal Enforcement of Judgments Act, which is only available for certain types of judgments from specific jurisdictions.

"The outcome of any of these options, however, is uncertain, as there is no guarantee that the enforcement mechanism chosen will necessarily be successful in any particular case."

"In 1990, the Attorneys General and the Ministers of Justice requested that the Uniform Law Conference of Canada develop uniform legislation to provide a modern legal framework for the enforcement of judgments across Canada and the harmonization of the rules of jurisdiction. The work of the ULCC was bolstered by the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Morguard Investments Ltd. v. De Savoye, wherein Justice La Forest writing on behalf of the court held that in a federal state, such as Canada, the courts of one province should not question the assumption of jurisdiction by the courts of another province."

"The ULCC’s work has culminated in three uniform statutes:

  • Uniform Enforcement of Canadian Judgments and Decrees Act
  • Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act
  • Uniform Court Jurisdiction and Proceedings Transfer Act"

"These three uniform acts together create a legislative enforcement regime which, if implemented in Alberta, will encourage businesses operating elsewhere in Canada or the world, to conduct their business within Alberta due to the certainty that almost any judgment obtained from outside Alberta will be recognized by the Alberta courts and enforceable in Alberta."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:40 pm


Anonymous John G said...

This is good news. The Law Reform Institute will help put these uniform statutes (back?) on the legislative drawing boards, and reinforce their legitimacy with those who are not so familiar with the Uniform Law Conference. ALRI has long been a pillar of the Conference, and it serves the Conference - and the law in Canada - well with this resource.

9:14 pm  

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