Enforcement of Foreign Judgements – Israel as a Case Study

59 Pages Posted: 6 May 2022 Last revised: 13 Mar 2023

See all articles by Vera Shikhelman

Vera Shikhelman

University of Chicago Law School; NYU School of Law

Date Written: May 3, 2022


The increasing globalization of the world in recent decades highlighted the need for more cooperation between countries in the field of enforcement and recognition of foreign judgements. Traditionally, each country set its own conditions for enforcement and recognition, but the necessity for more unified rules brought countries to draft a multilateral convention on the subject. However, there is a huge gap regarding data on actual state practice in this field, which might pose a problem for countries seeking to make informed decisions regarding their policies.

This article uses Israel as a case study for how patterns of enforcement of foreign judgements work de facto. Using an original hand coded dataset, I investigate empirically what are the variables that increase the likelihood of a foreign judgment to be enforced by Israeli courts. To do so I use two major theories about enforcement of foreign judgments – international comity and vested rights. To operationalize those theories, I coded variables such as trade relations, mutual vote in the United Nations, and independence of the judicial system. Also, I hypothesize that enforcement can be influenced by specific characteristics of the court and the case – for example, the subject matter of the case and the type of court.

I find that the best predictor of case enforcement in Israel is the specific characteristics of a case. For instance, cases with a contractual-commercial nature are more likely to be enforced than cases of family law. Additionally, the volume of trade between the countries was also a good predictor of enforcement – echoing international comity. Regarding the vested rights theory, it seems that the general features of the legal system and political institutions in the country matter less to the court, however the due process in individual cases is probably more significant to the enforcement decision.

Keywords: Enforcement of foreign judgments, empirical legal studies, Israeli Law, law and international relations, access to international justice

JEL Classification: K33, K41

Suggested Citation

Shikhelman, Vera, Enforcement of Foreign Judgements – Israel as a Case Study (May 3, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4099493 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4099493

Vera Shikhelman (Contact Author)

University of Chicago Law School ( email )

Chicago, IL
United States
3124208291 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.uchicago.edu/jsd/vera-shikhelman

NYU School of Law ( email )

245 Sullivan Street, Suite 340
New York, NY 10012
United States
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