Recognition and enforcement of decisions from Monaco in France

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Recognition and enforcement of decisions from Monaco in France are governed by the Convention between both countries. The most important is the convention on mutual legal assistance of 21st September 1949 between the Principality of Monaco and France (the "Convention") (1). Jurisprudence is also essential (2).


1.   The Convention

According to article 18, the enforceable decision in one of both countries will be enforced in the other country, provided that the judge verifies whether, according to the rules of the country where the decision is rendered that:

1.   the copy of the decision at stake satisfies the conditions necessary to establish its authenticity;

2.   this decision was rendered by a court or tribunal having jurisdiction;

3.   the parties have been duly summoned;

4.   the decision has res judicata;

5.   whether the effects of the ruling are not incompatible with public policy or the public law principles of the country where the recognition and enforcement is required. 

2.   The jurisprudence on enforcement of decisions from Monaco

Jurisprudence of the highest Court in France (Cour de cassation) (A) and Courts of Appeal (B) bring valuable information on the regime of recognition and enforcement of decisions from Monaco.

A.   Jurisprudence of the Cour de cassation

  • On 25 September 1989, it has been ruled that the Convention does not require a mandatory control of the decision from Monaco by the French judge. Therefore, the party who challenges the regularity of the decision shall ask to the judge to rule on the alleged irregularity. This ruling has been confirmed in an other decision of the Cour de cassation of 21 October 2015.
  • On 28 May 2014, the Cour de cassation ruled that the recognition and enforcement of a decision initiated by the assignee of a receivable and more generally, the beneficiary of a foreign decision is admissible. The decision was not published though, meaning that the ruling might be subject to further refinements.

B.   Jurisprudence of the Appeal courts

  • On 28 November 2018, the Appeal Court of Paris ruled that the request was inadmissible. A former employee of a financial company initiated a trial in France after his demands were rejected in Monaco. The employer was trying to prevent him from obtaining the disclosure of certain documents. According to the decisions rendered in Monaco, and that had force of res judicata, banking secrecy prevented the communication of the documents at issue. The lower court decision, that granted the request, was overturned. The Court of appeal ruled that given their nature, the decisions at issue could not be enforced in France, since the discovery/disclosure in a trial in France is governed by French rules.
  • On 12 February 2013, Paris Court of Appeal overturned the decision of the lower Court rejecting the recognition and enforcement demand, because a simple copy of the foreign decision was produced and because it was not established that the decision was final. In the framework of the appeal procedure, the appellant provided the original of the decision and a certificate establishing that the decision was final.
  • On 7 December 2006, Paris Court of Appeal upheld the lower court's decision, granting the recognition and enforcement of the decision on the civil aspects of a criminal case, judged by the criminal Court of Monaco. The appellants argued that the decision was not incompatible with France international public policy, because they were prosecuted in their absence. The French court founded that the criminal Court of Monaco granted their lawyer's first request to refer the case, and that they failed to attend the reconvened hearing, without providing legitimate grounds to their absence, nor requesting a new referral. Moreover, they did not appoint a lawyer to defend their interests.

Leïla Martin Hamidi, Attorney-at-law

Photo Credit Diego Delso

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