Dr. Claudia Barmann Bernard
Rechtsanwältin / Consultantconsultoria@pradogarcia.com.br I. Introduction
Globalization and international trade as well as Brazils growing economy have increased companies’ activities in the country including the needs to enforce judgments or arbitral decisions awarded in their favor.
Foreign judgments can only be enforced or will have any other effects in Brazil after recognition by the Superior Federal Court (Superior Tribunal de Justiça). This procedure is called “Homologação de sentenças estrangeiras”.
Any kind of foreign judgment is recognized by the STJ, whether the decision is granting affirmative relief, altering a legal relationship or solely declaratory.
The characterization as a judgment is thereby determined according to Brazilian law independent of how a foreign decision is named by the issuing court. Thus, certain administrative or extrajudicial decisions that are rendered in accordance to the law of the country of origin must be recognized by the STJ prior to any enforcement proceedings or any other legal effects for being characterized as judgments by Brazilian legal standards.
On the other hand, any foreign extrajudicial enforceable titles that are equally considered as such by the Brazilian law do not depend on prior recognition to be enforced in Brazil.
Foreign arbitral awards are also subject to recognition by the STJ to be enforceable and to have any other legal effects in Brazil.
Please see under III.) for a detailed description of the requirements and procedures for the recognition of foreign arbitral awards.