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Australia – New South Wales Supreme Court Upholds Registration Of Solomon Islands Judgment.

3 March, 2014

 

Legal News & Analysis – Asia Pacific – Australia – Dispute Resolution

 

Earlier this month the New South Wales Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal against orders for registration of a judgment of the High Court of the Solomon Islands pursuant to the Foreign Judgments Act 1991 (Cth) (the Act) (Quarter Enterprises Pty Ltd v Allardyce Lumber Co Ltd [2014] NSWCA 3).


The issue before the court included the question of whether an order that the appellants pay the respondents’ legal costs of failed proceedings in the Solomon Islands was a ”money judgment” for the purposes of the Act. ”Money judgment” is defined in the Act as a ”judgment under which money is payable”.


The appellants submitted that the judgment failed to meet criteria set out in the Act because it was expressed in a currency foreign to both the Solomon Islands and Australia. They submitted further that the Solomon Island court had had no jurisdiction to make orders as to costs against certain of the appellants, that the judgment was not final and conclusive and that the registration ought to be set aside on the basis of fraud.


The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal on all grounds. As to the foreign currency, the court said that ”[i]t would be surprising to say the least that an Act providing for the registration of foreign money judgments could not apply to a judgment in a foreign currency”. The question of jurisdiction was dismissed based on the facts of the case and how it had proceeded through the Solomon Island courts.


As to the allegations of fraud, the Court of Appeal held that the judgment sought to be registered was not obtained by fraud, but as a result of the appellants’ failure to prosecute the action.

 

 

For further information, please contact: 

 

Bronwyn Lincoln, Partner, Herbert Smith Freehills

bronwyn.lincoln@hsf.com

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