Skip to main content
Sign up to updates

UK signs 2019 Hague Judgments Convention: but what does that mean?

On 12 January 2024, the UK signed the Hague Convention on the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments in civil and commercial matters (the “Convention”). But what does that mean? Partners, Adele Whaley and Russell Strong explore.

What does the Convention do?

It is intended to provide a global framework for the recognition and enforcement of judgments from one contracting state to another, by requiring contracting states to recognise and enforce civil and commercial judgments within its scope.

Who are the signatories?

Currently the Convention is in force between the EU (except Denmark) and Ukraine, and it is due to enter into force for Uruguay on 1 October 2024. It has also been signed by Israel, Costa Rica, the Russian Federation and the US, but it is not yet in force in those states. Plus, now the UK, with it being anticipated that the Convention will come into force in the UK in the next 12 months.

What are the benefits of the Convention for the UK?

  • Uniform rules – for the recognition and enforcement of judgments between the UK and other contracting states.
  • More legal certainty – that judgments from the UK will be recognised and enforced in other contracting states and vice versa.
  • Parties have a choice – whether to agree to a non-exclusive or asymmetric jurisdiction clause (which are excluded from the scope of the 2005 Hague Choice of Court Convention) – again, creating certainty that judgments from contracting states under these clauses will be enforceable.


This is a positive step for the UK, bringing certainty about the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments in the UK and the recognition and enforcement of Judgments made by the courts in the UK in other contracting states. It also helps to promote the UK as a preferred dispute resolution forum.

There are distinct rules regarding the enforcement of judgments between the English and UAE courts in particular (which is a jurisdiction of focus), Russell Strong and Eleni Nicolaou previously wrote about how these rules apply here.

We have specialist lawyers with experience in acting for individuals and companies in the English courts and can support with the enforcement of foreign judgments, including court orders, judgments and arbitral awards. Please contact Adele or Russell if you need advice.


Greenwoods Legal LLP is a Limited Liability Partnership, registered in England, registered number OC306912. Our registered office is Queens House, 55-56 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London, WC2A 3LJ. A list of the members’ names is available for inspection at our offices in Peterborough, Cambridge and London. Authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, SRA number 401162. Details of the Solicitors’ Codes of Conduct can be found at All instructions accepted by Greenwoods Legal LLP are subject to our current Terms of Business. VAT Reg No: 161 9287 89.

    By completing and submitting this form, you consent to Greenwoods Legal LLP processing your personal data to provide you with the email update services you have selected and any other materials and information about our services that Greenwoods Legal LLP reasonably believes will be of interest to you. You are free to withdraw your consent at any time by emailing