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Boys V. Chaplin Hl Notes

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BOYS V. CHAPLIN (HL) LORD WILBERFORCE The wrong, in respect of which this action was brought, negligence on a road in
Malta, was actionable, in the sense that civil proceedings might be brought to recover
damages, in England and in Malta, under the laws prevailing in each of those
countries. I refer, for convenience, to the former as the lex fori and the latter as the lex
delicti. Under the lex delicti, as found by the trial judge upon the basis of Article 1088
of the Maltese Civil Code, damages are limited to financial loss directly suffered, to
expenditure necessarily incurred and (which did not arise in the present case) to wages
actually lost, and proved future loss of earnings. But no compensation can be awarded,
as it can under the lex fori, for pain and suffering as such. This appeal raises the
question whether such monetary compensation can be recovered in an English action. Actionable if committed in England - Choice of Law Rule The first part of the rule ­ "actionable as a tort according to English law." I accept
what I believe to be the orthodox judicial view that the first part of the rule is laying
down, not a test of jurisdiction, but what we now call a rule of choice of law: is
saying, in effect, that actions on foreign torts are brought in English courts in
accordance with English law. I would be satisfied to rest this conclusion on the
words of the rule itself "if done [committed] in England" which seem clear enough to
exclude the "jurisdiction" theory…
It results from the foregoing that the current English law is correctly stated by Dicey
and Morris, it being understood (a) that the substantive law to be applied is the lex
fori, (b) that, as a condition, non­justifiability under the lex delecti is required. Overruling Machado v. Fontes In my opinion, in agreement with your Lordships and the Court of Appeal, Machado
v. Fontes [1897] 2 Q.B. 231 ought to be overruled. The balance of judicial opinion is
decidedly against it. The broad principle should surely be that a person should not be permitted to claim in
England in respect of a matter for which civil liability does not exist, or is excluded,
under the law of the place where the wrong was committed. "Double actionability" has to be satisfied even as regards heads of damages The broad principle should surely be that a person should not be permitted to claim in
England in respect of a matter for which civil liability does not exist, or is excluded,
under the law of the place where the wrong was committed. This non­existence of
exclusion may be for a variety of reasons and it would be unwise to attempt a
generalisation relevant to the variety of possible wrongs. But in relation to claims for
personal injuries one may say that provisions of the lex delicti, denying, or
limiting, or qualifying recovery of damages because of some relationship of the
defendant to the plaintiff, or in respect of some interest of the plaintiff (such as

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