Friday, February 7, 2014

Enforcement of Foreign Awards and Judgments in the Sultanate of Oman

As a matter of policy, the Omani government constantly aspires to develop and maintain strong relations with other countries, and such is reflected in its foreign policies. Accordingly, Oman has adopted several mechanisms for the enforceability in Oman of foreign court judgments (which are final and non-appealable) and arbitral awards.

The Civil Procedural Law (the “CPL”) in its fourth chapter provides guidance on the enforcement of final, non-appealable court judgments via the Omani judicial system. According to the CPL, a final, non-appealable court judgment delivered in a foreign country can be enforced in the Sultanate, subject to the same conditions set out by the laws of that other country for enforcement of Omani final, non-appealable court judgments.

However, there are a number of conditions to enforcement as stipulated by the CPL. For instance, an award must not conflict with Omani law or public order and decencies, or with any other previous Omani court final judgment or arbitral decision. Furthermore, the country in which the court judgment was rendered must also accept the enforcement within its country of final, non-appealable Omani court judgments.

In addition to the above, pursuant to the 1996 Treaty for the Enforcement of Judgments, Judicial Delegation, and Courts Summons, the GCC member states have agreed to enforce each other’s final, non-appealable court judgments in respect of such matters as civil and commercial cases.

Furthermore, in respect of arbitral awards, the Sultanate of Oman is a signatory to the 1958 New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (“New York Convention”). As per the rules and conditions provided in the Convention, any award rendered in any country that is a party to the New York Convention should be legally enforceable in the Sultanate. Additionally, arbitral awards rendered in the Sultanate will also be enforceable in other signatory countries.

The Convention was ratified into Omani law by virtue of Royal Decree 36/1998.