June 15, 2015
Recognition and enforcement of judgments between the Dutch Caribbean and Surinam
EXTENSION TO ARUBA, CURAÇAO AND SINT MAARTEN OF THE AGREEMENT ON THE RECIPROCAL RECOGNITION AND ENFORCEMENT OF LEGAL JUDGMENTS AND AUTHENTIC ACTS IN CIVIL CASES (TRB. 1976, 144 AND TRB. 1979, 7) BETWEEN THE KINGDOM OF THE NETHERLANDS AND THE REPUBLIC OF SURINAME
On 14 July 2015 the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Republic of Suriname reached agreement on the extension of the Treaty to cover Aruba, Curacao and Sint Maarten. As a result judgements rendered and authentic acts drawn up in Aruba, Curaçao or Sint Maarten will be recognized and enforced in Suriname and vice versa.
The extension of the Treaty will have important consequences for parties in Aruba, Curaçao or Sint Maarten engaged in commercial transactions with a counterparty in Suriname and vice versa. It also provides the option for international parties doing business in Suriname to opt for dispute resolution in the courts of Aruba, Curaçao or Sint Maarten.
2. CURRENT POSITION
At present there is no treaty on the recognition and enforcement of judgments of the courts of Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten in Suriname and vice versa. Disputes settled in the courts of Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten will have to be re-litigated before the courts of Suriname in order to obtain a judgment enforceable in Suriname. It is common knowledge that court proceedings in Suriname are time consuming, taking many years to be resolved, as opposed to court proceedings in Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten, which generally can be resolved within 8 to 12 months, and within weeks in case of urgent matters.
3. FUTURE POSITION
Upon the extension of the Treaty entering into force, judgments rendered in the courts of Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten will be recognisable and enforceable in Suriname and vice versa, subject to the provisions of the Treaty and statutory provisions.
The Treaty applies to civil and commercial matters, excluding: (i) the status or legal capacity of natural persons, matrimonial matters, wills and succession, (ii) bankruptcy, (iii) social security, and (iv) arbitration.
4. ENTRY INTO FORCE OF EXTENSION
The extension of the Treaty will enter into force on the first day of the second month following the announcement by the Republic Suriname that the conditions for entry into force are satisfied.
Before the extension can enter into force, the National Assembly (i.e. the Parliament) of Suriname must approve the extension, followed by the signature of the President of the Republic of Suriname and publication in the Gazette of Treaties of the Republic Suriname.
Extension of the Treaty will undoubtedly be welcomed by commercial parties doing business in Aruba, Curaçao, Sint Maarten or Suriname.
If a commercial contract between such parties designates the courts of Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten as the forum for resolving disputes arising from the contract, a judgment obtained in the courts of Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten will be recognisable and enforceable in Suriname. In particular if the assets of a debtor are located in Suriname, this opens up a swift and effective remedy to have recourse against such a debtor.
In addition, parties may also opt to vest security rights by authentic deed before a civil law notary in Aruba, Curaçao or Sint Maarten, which authentic deed can also be recognised and enforced in Suriname under the Treaty.
Extension of the Treaty may also support legal certainty in cross border transactions and may avoid lengthy and costly (re-)litigation and conflicting decisions.
If you have any questions on the matters discussed above, please contact one of our attorneys listed below.
+5999 434 3300
Eric R. de Vries
+5999 434 3300
+5999 434 3300