On 17 Aug. 2020, the Shanghai Second Intermediate People’s Court (hereinafter “the Shanghai Second Intermediate Court”) rendered two rulings to recognize and enforce the judgments made by the October District Court of Minsk City, the Republic of Belarus (hereinafter “the Belarusian Court”) (Duo Mou Ni Mou v. Duo Mou Mie Mou (2020) Hu 02 Xie Wai Ren No. 4 ((2020)沪02协外认4号), and (2020) Hu 02 Xie Wai Ren No.5 ((2020)沪02协外认5号)).
This is the first time that a Shanghai court has accepted a case transferred by a foreign court according to the treaty, in which the foreign party applied for recognition and enforcement of a foreign judgment on alimony and child maintenance allowance.
II. Case Overview
The applicant, Duo Mou Ni Mou, is a citizen of Belarus, and the respondent, Duo Mou Mie Mou, is a Turkish citizen residing and working in Shanghai, China.
The applicant and the respondent, now divorced, were a married couple with a daughter. The applicant filed a lawsuit before the Belarusian Court, requesting the respondent to pay her alimony and child maintenance allowance.
The Belarusian Court made two judgments respectively on 6 Nov. 2018 and 12 Dec. 2018, both of which supported the applicant’s claims. However, the respondent failed to satisfy the judgments.
On 2 Apr. 2019, the applicant filed an application for recognition and enforcement of the two aforementioned judgments with the Belarusian Court. The court then transferred the application to the Shanghai Second Intermediate Court pursuant to the Treaty between the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Belarus on Judicial Assistance in Civil and Criminal Matters (中华人民共和国和白俄罗斯共和国关于民事和刑事司法协助的条约). 
On 12 Mar. 2020, the Shanghai Second Intermediate Court admitted the two applications and docketed the cases separately.
On 17 Aug. 2020, the Shanghai Second Intermediate Court rendered two rulings to recognize and enforce each of the two Belarusian judgments. The Chinese rulings have now entered into force.
The case details are from a posting by the Shanghai Second Intermediate Court in its official account. 
It was further reported that the Shanghai Second Intermediate Court was responsible for enforcing the rulings and had served the respondent’s work unit with the Notice to Assist in Enforcement, notifying it to cooperate with the court in deducting the corresponding amount of money from the respondent’s monthly salary. 
III. Our Comments
Recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments under bilateral treaties is an important channel for judgment circulation, and at present, China has concluded treaties on civil judicial assistance with 35 countries that include the recognition and enforcement of court judgments. This is the first time where a Shanghai court has recognized and enforced a Belarusian judgment, and also the second time, after a lapse of 19 years since 2001, that Chinese courts have handled applications for enforcing Belarusian judgments. 
It is worth noting that cases, where applications for enforcing foreign judgments are transferred to a Chinese court by a foreign court, are relatively rare. Previously, most of the reported cases were initiated before Chinese courts by the applicants themselves.
 《中华人民共和国和白俄罗斯共和国关于民事和刑事司法协助的条约》于1993年1月11日在北京签署，于1993 年11月29日生效。
Photo by Osman Yunus Bekcan (https://unsplash.com/@osilost) on Unsplash
Contributors: Zilin Hao 郝梓林