“Importing” Foreign Judgments into Singapore through Transnational Issue Estoppel: An Important Piece in Singapore’s Recognition Regime

15 Apr 2021 CaseWatch

Under the doctrine of transnational issue estoppel, a party in a domestic court is prevented from re-litigating the same issue that had been previously decided by a foreign court involving the same parties. This effectively means that the foreign judgment is recognised in Singapore, and has the effect of binding the parties before the domestic court. In a significant decision by a five-Judge Court of Appeal, with the assistance of amicus curiae Prof Yeo Tiong Min S.C., the Court of Appeal outlined the applicability and perimeters of transnational issue estoppel: Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp (formerly known as Merck & Co, Inc) v Merck KGaA (formerly known as E Merck) [2021] SGCA 14.

This update explores the relevant aspects of the Court of Appeal’s decision concerning, and the intricacies of, transnational issue estoppel.

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