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Relationship Between Bir And English Rules Cases

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RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN BRUSSELS 1 REGULATION AND ENGLISH NATIONAL RULES Forum Non Conveniens and the BIR Owusu v Jackson [2005] (ECJ) C was domiciled in England; went on holiday to Jamaica, and stayed in a villa lent to him by D, who was also domiciled in England. C suffered physical injury at villa's private beach, sued D in England along with numerous Jamaican companies allegedly complicit in the injury. Was clear that Court of Appeal could stay proceedings against the Jamaican companies; issue was whether, given that court had Article 2 jurisdiction, they could stay proceedings against D on forum non conveniens grounds. Held:

1. Where national court has jurisdiction under Article 2, it cannot stay proceedings on grounds that a non-Member State is a more appropriate forum.

2. Article 2 jurisdiction is unqualified save for where the Regulation expressly provides for this

1. however Regulation says nothing about declining jurisdiction in favour of nonMember States.

3. Reasons: 1) Article 2 is mandatory in nature 2) Legal certainty
- where court has Article 2 jurisdiction, allowing stay might be unfair to D o i.e. D will wish to be sued in his domicile o yet because of forum non conveniens doctrine, he will not know whether court may force him to defend case abroad 3) Aims of Regulation
- Regulation was enacted to harmonise jurisdiction rules for the benefit of the internal market o And this is achieved by promoting uniformity and certainty
- however forum non conveniens doctrine is only found in some Member States o thus allowing doctrine to override Regulation in only some Member States would adversely affect uniform application of Regulation o and thus prevent harmonisation of internal market Alternative Bases Equitas Ltd v AllstateInsurance [2008]
English court had Article 23 jurisdiction under an exclusive jurisdiction clause. Held:



Where jurisdiction clause is exclusive, court has no power to stay on forum non conveniens grounds. Article 23 is stronger grounds of jurisdiction than Article 2.

o Therefore follows that Owusu reasoning must apply in relation to Article 23 as well.

Skype Technologies v Joltid Ltd [2009]



Where there is exclusive jurisdiction clause, court has no power to stay on forum non conveniens grounds. ECJ in Owusu only objected to stays on discretionary grounds. o Thus where stay is non-discretionary, Owusu does not prohibit this.

Ferrexpo v Gilson Investments [2012]
Proceedings were brought against English D under Art 2 jurisdiction concerning the validity of resolutions in a Ukranian company. D sought stay in favour of Ukraine. Held:

1. Stay granted in favour of Ukranian courts. Reflexive Effect

2. Article 22, 27+28 BIR have reflexive effect

1. and Catalyst Investment is incorrect.

3. Moreover this reflexive effect is not strict

1. rather English court has discretion to stay in situations where reflexive effect applies

4. Three reasons for this: 1) No policy reason why reflexive effect should be strict 2) Strict reflexive effect might cause injustice

1. e.g. if courts were required to stay even where there was risk C would not receive justice in foreign courts 3) power of court to grant stay where reflexive effect applies derives from English national rules (under which courts have discretion whether to stay)

2. i.e. BIR merely grants courts power to decide whether to decline jurisdiction/stay under their own national rules

3. however it does not grant the actual power to stay itself JKN v JCN [2011]
Case was decided under Brussels II Regulation. Issue was whether proceedings in England under Article 3 (BIR II's equivalent of Article 2) could be stayed at the discretion of English court. Held:

1. Is neither necessary nor desirable to extend Owusu principle to cases where there are parallel proceedings in a non-Member State.

2. Reasons:

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