Enforcement and Recognition of Italian Judgements in China




Italian judgments can be recognized and enforced in China by virtue of the Treaty Between the People’s Republic of China and the Italian Republic on Judicial Assistance in Civil Matters (中华人 民共和国和意大利共和国关于民事司法协 助的条约) signed in 1991 and in force since 1995.

According to Article 20 of the Treaty, it can be recognized and enforced in China:

  • Italian civil judgments

  • The part concerning civil compensation and property return in criminal judgments

  • Judicial settlement statements

In addition, according to the new rules implemented by China’s Supreme People’ s Court in 2022 also Bankruptcy judgments can be recognized and enforced in China. While judgments of intellectual property cases, unfair competition cases and anti-monopoly cases can not be recognized and enforced in China due to the geographical attributes and particularity thereof.

The application for recognition should be made to a Chinese intermediate court of the place where the respondent is located or where the property subject to execution is located within two years counted from the last day of the performance period provided in the italian judgement or from the date when the judgment takes effect if the latter does not provide for a period of performance. The application for enforcement should be made within two years from the recognition.

The application can be made also by the legal successor to the creditor, such as the wife, if the the creditor dies before filing recognition and enforcement of Italian judgement in China.

During the recognition and enforcement procedure, Chinese courts would not examine whether italian judgments make mistakes in fact-finding and application of law. However, Chinese courts will refuse to recognize the italian judgment as follows:

i. When the court that rendered the judgment has no jurisdiction over the case;

ii. The defendant did not receive proper notice of the judicial proceedings or did not receive appropriate representation

iii. The judgment is obtained by fraud or bribery;

iv. The Chinese court has rendered a judgment on the same dispute between the same parties, or has recognized the judgment of a third country in this regard;

v. Recognition and enforcement of the judgment concerned will violate the basic principles of the laws of the People’s Republic of China or the sovereignty, security, and public interests of the state. vi. Where a italian judgment awards damages, the amount of which significantly exceeds the actual loss, a people’s court may refuse to recognize and enforce the excess.

vii. The Chinese court is hearing a case between the same parties on the same subject matter started before bringing a lawsuit to the court that has made the decision to be recognized.

The Chinese ruling refusing to recognize and enforce the italian judgment according to the above mentioned reasons shall not be appealed.

Avv. Lifang Dong and Avv. Chiara Civitelli

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