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The Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Nigeria: Scope and Conflict of Laws Questions

The Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Nigeria: Scope and Conflict of Laws Questions I. INTRODUCTION It is a generally acceptable principle of Conflict of Laws that the powers of the courts are limited by their territorial boundaries (i.e. territorial jurisdiction).1 Thus a judgment (inclusive of a commercial arbitral award), pronounced by the court of one jurisdiction, may have no force or effect beyond its own territory save for situations where other jurisdictions or states have agreed to allow reciprocal enforceability within their own territories of judgments of Nigerian courts. There is no specific bilateral agreement of reciprocity signed by Nigeria with any foreign country at present. The Reciprocal Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Ordinance,19582 (`the 1958 Ordinance') only extends the reciprocity treatment to the judgments from the courts in Britain and other Her Majesty's territories within the British Commonwealth.3 While the Foreign Judgment (Reciprocal Enforcement) Act, 20044 (`the 2004 Act') specifically empowers the Nigerian Minister of Justice to extend the reciprocal treatment to any foreign country with substantial reciprocity of treatment with respect to the enforcement of foreign judgments.5 To date, the Minister of Justice is yet to act as provided under the 2004 Act. The foregoing statutes are the enabling laws and they form the bedrock of the recognition and with http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png African Journal of International and Comparative Law Edinburgh University Press

The Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Nigeria: Scope and Conflict of Laws Questions

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Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Copyright
© Edinburgh University Press 2015
Subject
Articles; African Studies
ISSN
0954-8890
eISSN
1755-1609
DOI
10.3366/ajicl.2015.0113
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

I. INTRODUCTION It is a generally acceptable principle of Conflict of Laws that the powers of the courts are limited by their territorial boundaries (i.e. territorial jurisdiction).1 Thus a judgment (inclusive of a commercial arbitral award), pronounced by the court of one jurisdiction, may have no force or effect beyond its own territory save for situations where other jurisdictions or states have agreed to allow reciprocal enforceability within their own territories of judgments of Nigerian courts. There is no specific bilateral agreement of reciprocity signed by Nigeria with any foreign country at present. The Reciprocal Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Ordinance,19582 (`the 1958 Ordinance') only extends the reciprocity treatment to the judgments from the courts in Britain and other Her Majesty's territories within the British Commonwealth.3 While the Foreign Judgment (Reciprocal Enforcement) Act, 20044 (`the 2004 Act') specifically empowers the Nigerian Minister of Justice to extend the reciprocal treatment to any foreign country with substantial reciprocity of treatment with respect to the enforcement of foreign judgments.5 To date, the Minister of Justice is yet to act as provided under the 2004 Act. The foregoing statutes are the enabling laws and they form the bedrock of the recognition and with

Journal

African Journal of International and Comparative LawEdinburgh University Press

Published: Feb 1, 2015

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