UNCITRAL Model Law on Recognition and Enforcement of Insolvency-Related Judgments (2018)

Date of adoption: 2 July 2018


Few existing international instruments deal with the recognition and enforcement of judgments generally and those that do exist exclude from their scope matters relating to insolvency and thus recognition and enforcement of insolvency-related judgments. In addition, some uncertainty exists with respect to the interpretation of articles 7 and 21 of the UNCITRAL Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency (MLCBI) in terms of providing the necessary authority for such recognition and enforcement as a form of relief available on recognition of a foreign insolvency proceeding. The Model Law on Recognition and Enforcement of Insolvency-Related Judgments (MLIJ) is designed to address those situations and provide States with a simple, straightforward and harmonized procedure for recognition and enforcement of insolvency-related judgments, thus complementing the MLCBI to further assist the conduct of cross-border insolvency proceedings.

Why is it relevant to international trade?

In a world in which it is increasingly easy for enterprises and individuals to have assets in more than one State and to move assets across borders, the MLIJ provides a simple regime for recognition and enforcement of insolvency-related judgments that can assist in the recovery of value for financially troubled businesses, thus increasing the potential for successful reorganizations or liquidations to the advantage of all interested parties, including creditors, employees and other stakeholders.

Key provisions

An insolvency-related judgment is defined in the MLIJ as a judgment that arises “as a consequence of or is materially associated with an insolvency proceeding” (whether or not that proceeding has closed), and was issued on or after the commencement of the insolvency proceeding. It does not include a judgment commencing an insolvency proceeding. The MLIJ addresses the relationship between the MLIJ and treaties that might address the same subject matter; the procedure for applying for recognition and enforcement, including the availability of provisional relief; grounds for refusing recognition and enforcement; the effect and enforceability of an insolvency-related judgment; the effect on recognition and enforcement of review of the judgment in the originating State; equivalent effect of a judgment in the recognizing State; and severability of parts of the judgment for purposes of recognition and enforcement. Recognition of a judgment can be sought directly by way of an application under article 11 or as part of a defence to a claim or as incidental to another question already before the court. The MLIJ also address its relationship to the MLCBI.

Additional information

The Model Law is accompanied by a Guide to Enactment, which provides information to assist States in enacting its provisions and to offer guidance to users of the text.