Saudi courts ensure $3.4 bln payment based on foreign rulings

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Saudi enforcement courts have announced the recovery of more than $3.4 billion (around 13 billion Saudi riyals) after enforcing a number of foreign rulings.

According to a statement released by Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Justice, the rulings came from foreign arbitration committees and foreign courts from a number of countries around the world concerning individuals, companies and entities inside the Kingdom. The most recent one came from a Court in Virginia, forcing a Saudi tourism company to pay $3,758,000 (SAR 14 million) to a US company.

“We have received more than 400 applications by a number of applicants who are following up on the foreign rulings implementation, the enforcement courts were working hard to process them and enforce the rulings, whether they are concerning individuals, investors, companies or other institutions”, says the ministry.

“The process is clear, foreign court or arbitration judgments were regarded as execution writs under Article 9 of the Enforcement Law; after completing the regulatory requirements, the applicant could apply directly to the enforcement court without having to file a new lawsuit”, explains the ministry.

The ministry’s undersecretary for enforcement, Abdulaziz al-Suhaiman said: “Saudi Arabia is a member of the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards. The convention mainly focuses on enforcing arbitral awards amongst its members, ultimately to boost trade and investment between those countries.”

He said that complying with the agreement enhances the international status of the Kingdom’s judiciary, which is shifting towards efficiency, firm restoration of rights and law enforcement in line with the global practice.

As for the countries the judgments came from; al-Sohaiman explained: “The foreign judgments were issued by various countries, from across the GCC, Arab, US and European (such as Switzerland, France, UK), and some East Asian countries (namely China and Japan); some had been issued by foreign courts, whereas others by foreign arbitrators or arbitral tribunals.”

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