H.M.B. Holdings Limited v. Attorney General of Antigua and Barbuda

(Ontario) (Civil) (By Leave)


Private international law - Foreign judgments - Recognition - Enforcement - What is the standard for “carrying on business” in enforcement cases under provincial enforcement legislation in Canada, and does this standard change when the debtor is a sovereign - What is the proper interpretation of “original judgment” in the Reciprocal Enforcement of Judgments Act, RSO 1990, c. R.5, and in what circumstances, if any, does this Act apply to judgments which themselves enforce or register a judgment?


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In 2007, Antigua and Barbuda (Antigua), a country comprised of several islands in the Caribbean, expropriated property owned by H.M.B. Holdings Limited (HMB). The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council ordered Antigua to compensate HMB for the expropriation (Privy Council judgment) in 2014. In 2016, HMB brought an action in British Columbia to enforce the Privy Council judgment. Antigua did not defend this action and the British Columbia Supreme Court granted default judgment. HMB then brought an application in Ontario under the Reciprocal Enforcement of Judgments Act, RSO 1990, c. R.5 (REJA), to recognize the BC judgment which Antigua opposed. The Ontario Superior Court of Justice dismissed the application and a subsequent appeal was also dismissed.

Lower Court Rulings

March 4, 2019
Ontario Superior Court of Justice

2019 ONSC 1445, CV-18-597972-0000
Application to recognize and enforce foreign judgment in Ontario dismissed.
January 9, 2020
Court of Appeal for Ontario

2020 ONCA 12, C66765
Appeal dismissed.