Volcano Holdings Limited Vs All Africa Logistics Solutions Ltd.
Hon. Justice Ssekaana Musa, in the case of Volcano Holdings Limited vs. All Africa Logistics Solutions Ltd, High Court Miscellaneous Cause No. 230 of 2021, delivered on 27th July, 2022, has ruled that in light of Section 3(1) of the Foreign Judgements (Reciprocal Enforcement) Act, Cap. 9 and Rule 2 of the Foreign Judgement (Reciprocal Enforcement) (General Application) Order 35/2002, of Uganda, a person with a foreign judgement from a Court of competent jurisdiction and a member of the Commonwealth, can apply to the High Court of Uganda to have their judgment registered, which gives it the same effect as a judgment passed in Uganda. Registration of a foreign judgement is, however, discretionary and not mandatory. Further, that the Court may order the judgment to be registered if it is just and convenient in all the circumstances of the case to do so. As such, regardless of the fact that a foreign judgement may meet the above requirements, it is still at the discretion of the High Court of Uganda to have the same registered, where such Court deems it reasonable.
Justice Ssekaana further asserts that the High Court, in exercising this discretion, must be embraced with the theories of obligation, reciprocity, and the doctrine of comity, in foreign judgements. That is to say, the creation of a debt and liability to pay – obligation; the need for one country to recognize and enforce judgements of another country – reciprocity; and the need to maintain amicable working relationships between nations – a shorthand of good neighborliness, common courtesy and mutual respect between those who labour in adjoining judicial vineyards where the point of law is raised and which, if decided in one way, would be decisive of litigation – comity.
Where the above considerations are met, parties engaged in cross-border transactions will have no more worries about such engagements. This is on account of the fact that there is a guarantee of justice being served across the border regardless of the possibility of unfortunate engagement with unscrupulous foreign-based business partners.