The law applicable to enforcement of foreign judgements in Uganda is;
a) The Reciprocal Enforcement of Judgments Act Cap. 47, Laws of Uganda.
b) The Reciprocal Enforcement of Judgments Rules S.I. 47-1
c) The Civil Procedure Act Cap. 65, Laws of Uganda
d) the Civil Procedure Rules S.I. 65-1 (as amended)
e) the Court Fees Rules
Uganda is a common law country and upon following due process our High court would normally enforce a decision of a superior court of the countries outlined below.
The Reciprocal Enforcement of Judgments Act Cap 47, provides for the enforcement in the
Republic of Uganda of judgments made in a superior court in the United Kingdom and other
Commonwealth countries and the Republic of Ireland. The Reciprocal Enforcement of
Judgements (Extension) Order,
Statutory Instrument No. 47-2 extended the application of the Act to Seychelles, Mauritius, Basutoland (present Lesotho), Bechuanaland (present Botswana), Swaziland, Ceylon (present Sri Lanka) and New South Wales in Australia.
Section 2 of the said Act defines judgment to include an order given or made by court in any civil proceedings.
Under section 3(i) of Cap. 47 " where a judgment has been obtained in a superior court in the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, the judgment creditor may apply to the High Court, at any time within twelve months (12) after the judgment, or such longer period as may be allowed by the Court, to have the judgment registered in the Court, and on any such application the Court may, if in all the circumstances of the case it thinks it is just and convenient that the judgment should be enforced in Uganda, and subject to the provisions of this section, order the judgment to be registered accordingly". Subsection 2 of section 3 of the said Cap. 47 provides inter alia that " no judgment shall be ordered to be registered under this section if -
The details of the procedure for enforcement in the courts of Uganda of an order made in favour of a successful party in England is provided for in the Reciprocal Enforcement of Judgment Rules Statutory Instrument No.47-1 and it is as follows:
If the judgment debtor does not contest the application for registration, the judgment will then be registered and proceedings may be taken thereon as if it has been a judgment originally obtained or entered on the date of registration in the High Court of Uganda. The judgment debtor may at any time within the time limited by the order giving leave to register, after service on him of the notice of the registration of the judgment apply by summons to a judge to set aside the registration or to suspend execution on the judgment, and the judge, on such applications, if satisfied that the case comes within one of the case in which under Section 3(2) of the Act, no judgment can be ordered registered or that it is not just or convenient that the judgment should be enforced in Uganda or for other sufficient reason may order that the registration be set aside or execution on the judgment suspended either unconditionally or on such terms as he thinks fit, and either altogether or until such time as he shall direct: Reciprocal Enforcement of Judgments
The Foreign Judgments (Reciprocal Enforcement) Act Cap 48 makes provision for the enforcement in Uganda of judgments given in foreign countries which accord reciprocal treatment to judgments given in Uganda, for facilitating the enforcement in foreign countries of judgments given in Uganda, and for other matters connected therewith.
If the Minister of Justice is satisfied that substantial reciprocity of treatment will be assured as respects the enforcement in that foreign country of judgments given in the superior courts of Uganda by the superior courts of any foreign country, order that enforcement of foreign judgments be extended to judgments given in the superior courts of those foreign countries as are specified in the Order.
Any judgment of a recognised superior court of a foreign country shall be an enforceable judgment if its final and conclusive as between the parties thereto; a judgment shall be deemed to be final and conclusive notwithstanding that an appeal may be pending against it, or that it may still be subject to appeal, in the country of the original court; and there is payable thereunder a sum of money, not being a sum payable in respect of taxes or other charges of a like nature of in respect of a fine or other penalty; and
Procedure: The judgment creditor (which includes any person in whom the rights under the judgment have become vested by succession or assignment or otherwise) may apply to the High Court of Uganda at any time within six (6) years after the date of the judgment or, where there have been proceedings by way of appeal against the judgment, after the date of the last judgment given in those proceedings, to have the judgment registered in the High Court of Uganda and the said court shall subject to proof of the prescribed matters and other provisions of this Act, order the judgment to be registered; provided that a judgment shall not be registered if at the date of the application it has been wholly satisfied, or it could not be enforced by execution in the country of the original court.
A registered judgment shall for the purposes of execution be of the same force and effect, and proceedings may be taken thereon; the sum for which judgment is registered shall interest and the registering court shall have the same control over the execution of a registered judgment as if the judgment had been a judgment originally given in the registering court. The Act also provides for instances in which a registered judgment must or may, be set aside.
Regrettably, the Minister of Justice has not passed any statutory order or instrument applying this Act to any foreign country.