In many foreign countries, as in most jurisdictions in the United States, the recognition and enforcement of international judgments is governed by local domestic law and the principles of comity, reciprocity and res judicata (that is, that the issues in question have been decided already).
There is no bilateral treaty or multilateral convention in force between the United States and any other country on reciprocal recognition and enforcement of judgments. Although there are many reasons for the absence of such agreements, a principal stumbling block appears to be the perception of many foreign states that U.S. money judgments are excessive according to their notions of liability. Moreover, foreign countries have objected to the extraterritorial jurisdiction asserted by courts in the United States. In consequence, absent a treaty, whether the courts of a foreign country would enforce a judgment issued by a court in the United States depends upon the internal laws of the foreign country and international comity. In many foreign countries, as in most jurisdictions in the United States, the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments is governed by local domestic law and the principles of comity, reciprocity and res judicata.
The general principle of international law applicable in such cases is that a foreign state exercises the right to examine foreign judgments for four causes: (1) to determine if the court that issued the judgment had jurisdiction; (2) to determine whether the defendant was properly notified of the action; (3) to determine if the proceedings were vitiated by fraud; and (4) to establish that the judgment is not contrary to the public policy of the foreign country. While procedures and documentary requirements vary widely from country to country, judgments which do not involve multiple damages or punitive damages generally may be enforced, in whole or in part, upon recognition as authoritative and final, subject to the particulars cited above, unless internal law mandates a treaty obligation.