Long-standing European regulations, as well as European case law, recognize the ability to seek enforcement of a decision rendered in civil matters by a criminal court in another Member State of the European Union. This particular situation has been encountered by French court registries only exceptionally, they tended systematically to refuse to grant the European certificate required to enforce the said decision. The French Ministry of Justice has confirmed the primacy of the relevant European regulations.
In accordance with Council Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 of 22 December 2000 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters (“Brussels I”), decisions rendered in a Member State of the European Union in civil and commercial matters are to be
recognized in other Member States without any special procedure being required, except in cases of dispute. A statement as to the enforceability of a judgment must be issued in the Member State in which the judgment is to be enforced after a formal review of the documents provided.
The European certificate, which is obtained pursuant to Annex V of Brussels I Regulation, is listed among the documents to be provided. In France, the chief clerk of the court which rendered the decision issues the certificate referred to in Annex V of the Brussels I Regulation.
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