Local Expertise, Global Standards

A Legal Insight into the Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Iraq

A judge signing legal documents in court
Post By: Mustafa Muayad - Founder & Managing Partner mustafa.muayad@muayadandassociates.com Print Post

A Legal Insight into the Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Iraq

A foreign judgment is a decision made by a court that is not located in Iraq. Foreign verdicts were not upheld or acknowledged in Iraq before 1928 because, at the time, it was believed that doing so would violate their sovereign rights.

The maintenance of rights protected by international judgments and the significance of protecting people’s business interests became more crucial as opinions started to shift. Many nations, including Iraq, started to respond to this by allowing the incorporation and execution of foreign judgments rendered by non-national authorities either through statute or through numerous multinational treaties.

Leather law books on a shelf

Enforcing Foreign Judgments in Iraq

Foreign judgments rendered by international courts cannot be enforced in Iraq unless otherwise determined by a particular law, according to Article 16 of the 1951 Iraqi Civil Code. We must thus examine the Foreign Enforcement Law, which is the primary law addressing the subject, to comprehend the execution of foreign judgments in Iraq.

Anyone seeking to have a foreign judgment enforced in Iraq needs to make a request to the Court of First Instance in line with Article 3 of the Foreign Enforcement Law. The appropriate court must be chosen based on its proximity to either the accused’s dwelling or the property subject to claim, whichever is closer.

A ruling enforcing an international judgment may be made by the Court of First Instance. If the accused can show that the decision was obtained unfairly or that the international court did not follow justice, then the court may also decline to execute the foreign judgment.

A judge signing legal documents in court

Foreign Arbitration

The New York Convention of 1958, a key document for the admission and execution of foreign arbitral judgments, was ratified by Iraq. This led to increased foreign investment attraction and facilitated foreign judgments on a higher scale.

Despite foreign arbitration becoming a popular choice for resolving disputes in business transactions due to Iraq’s economic growth and market expansion, the law has traditionally been opposed to arbitral judgments rendered abroad.

Additionally, the improvements in practice have sparked a parallel improvement in the judiciary, with courts frequently favoring a more flexible reading of the Civil Procedures Law, making an effort to update the current legal framework.


Hire a Lawyer

According to the aforementioned, it is obvious that creating a modernized and reliable legal system governing conflict resolution can serve as one of the primary catalysts for economic development and business expansion in Iraq.

At Muayad & Associates, we can help clients with legal matters relating to foreign judgments in Iraq. We have a team of expert attorneys with vast knowledge and experience in aiding foreign businesses. Our lawyers are also experienced in legal services for healthcare, withholding tax, and labor laws in Iraq. Get in touch with us today to start the process.