The exequatur in France of the judgments from the African States

 

The experience of the Firm with Africa

                                                                                      

Maître David MOTTE-SURANITI has an experience of several years in the treatment of cases in relation with Africa, in the OHADA law, arbitration and exequatur of African judgments and arbitral awards.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

He has a network of clients and attorneys in several African countries, in particular in Burkina Faso, Cameroun, Central African Republic, Gabon, Mali, Senegal and Togo.

 

 

The bilateral conventions concluded between France and the African States concerning exequatur

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

France has concluded agreements of judicial cooperation, governing the exequatur, with 19 African States

 

The exhaustive state of these conventions is the following.

 

Algeria: Convention between the government of the French Republic and the government of the democratic and popular Algerian Republic relative to exequatur and extradition of August 27th, 1964; Convention between the government of the French Republic and the government of the democratic and popular Algerian Republic on children custody and visit of September 18th, 1980 ; Convention between the government of the French Republic and the government of the democratic and popular Republic Algerian relating to the children from separated mixed couples French and Algerian of June 21th, 1988.

 

Benin (ex-Dahomey): Cooperation agreement as regards justice between the government of the French Republic and the government of the Republic of Dahomey of February 27th, 1975.

 

Burkina-Faso (ex-Upper Volta): Cooperation agreement as regards justice between the French Republic and the Republic of the Upper Volta of April 24th, 1961.

 

Cameroon: Cooperation agreement as regards justice between the government of the French Republic and the government of the United Republic of Cameroon of February 21th, 1974.

 

Chad: Agreement of legal matters between the government of the French Republic and the government of Chad of March 6th, 1976.

 

Central African Republic: Cooperation agreement as regards justice between the French Republic and the Central African Republic of January 18th, 1965.

 

Djibouti: Civil cooperation agreement including the personal status, commercial, social and legal administrative matters between the French Republic and the Republic of Djibouti of September 27th, 1986.

 

Egypt: Convention between the French Republic and the Arab Republic of Egypt on legal cooperation on the civil matters, including the personal statute, and on social, commercial and administrative matters of March 15th, 1982.

 

Gabon: Convention of mutual cooperation and exequatur of the judgments and of extradition between the French Republic and the Republic of Gabon of July 23th, 1963.

 

Ivory Coast: Cooperation agreement as regards justice between the French Republic and the Republic of Ivory Coast of April 24th, 1961 and interpretative agreements of April 11th, 1986 and July 13th, 1989.

 

Madagascar: Convention between the government of the French Republic and the government of the Madagascar Republic relating to the legal affairs of June 4th, 1973.

 

Mali: Cooperation agreement as regards justice between the French Republic and the Republic of Mali of March 9th, 1962.

 

Mauritania: Agreement as regards justice between the French Republic and the Islamic Republic of Mauritania of June 19th, 1961.

 

Morocco: Legal convention between France and Morocco of October 5th, 1957 and additional protocol of August 10th, 1981 ; Convention between the French Republic and the kingdom of Morocco relating to the statute of the people and the family and to the legal cooperation of August 10th, 1981.

 

Niger: Legal matters cooperation agreement between the French Republic and the Republic of Niger of February 19th, 1977.

 

Popular Republic of Congo: Legal matters cooperation agreement between the French Republic and the Popular Republic of Congo of January 1st, 1974.

 

Senegal: Legal matters cooperation agreement between the government of the French Republic and the government of the Republic of Senegal of March 29th, 1974.

 

Togo: Legal convention between the government of the French Republic and the government of the Togolese Republic of March 23rd, 1976.

 

Tunisia: Convention between the French Republic and the Republic of Tunisia relative to mutual legal cooperation in civil and commercial matters and to the recognition and the execution of the judgments of June 28th, 1972; Convention between the French Republic and the Republic of Tunisia relative to the mutual legal cooperation as regards custody and charge of the children, and the right of access and food obligations of March 18th, 1982.

 

 

Conditions and procedure of the exequatur of the judgments of the African tribunals                

                                                                                                                        

Each one of these conventions set forth the specific conditions and procedure applicable to the exequatur of judgments coming from the country concerned.

 

The conditions and the procedure vary from a State with another, but generally the applicant with the exequatur shall establish that:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

-      the judgment emanates from a tribunal that has jurisdiction according to the private international law rules of the State where the judgment must be executed.

 

-      the judgment has, according to the law of the State where it was given, res judicata and is suitable for execution.

 

-      the parties were regularly summoned, represented or declared failing.

 

-      the judgment does not contain anything opposite to the public order of the State where it is executed, or with the principles of public law applicable in this State. It is not contrary with a judgment given in this State and already having res judicata.

 

Concerning the States not having ratified a cooperation agreement with France, the exequatur of the judgments is governed by French case law as set forth by the Cornelissen case.