Foreign court judgments are enforceable in Kazakhstan

Four years ago, I wrote an article and a post on LinkedIn describing one of the advantages of the then New Kazakh Code of Civil Procedure, which entered into effect on 1 January 2016.

I wrote that Article 501 made it possible to recognise and enforce judgments of foreign courts on the basis of reciprocity. Prior to adoption of the New Code Kazakh courts would refuse to recognise and enforce foreign judgments, unless there was an international treaty.

Kazakhstan has signed over 10 bilateral treaties on mutual legal assistance none of which was with any western European state. This made it impossible to, for example, enforce an English judgment in Kazakhstan. At that time, it was not clear if Article 501 of the New Code would work.

I am now happy to inform that there is at least one judgment where a Kazakh court recognised and enforced a judgment of the UK High Court of Justice. Appellate Court upheld District Court’s ruling to recognise and enforce a foreign judgment. There was no further appeal to the Supreme Court.

So, at least we have one precedent to refer to when we have a potential request to recognise and enforce a foreign judgment.

Bakhyt Tukulov