Double Counting the Place of the Tort?

In common law Canada there is a clear separation between the question of a court having jurisdiction (jurisdiction simpliciter) and the question of a court choosing whether to exercise or stay its jurisdiction.  One issue discussed in the Supreme Court of Canada’s recent decision in v Goldhar (available here) is the extent of that separation.  Does this separation mean that a particular fact cannot be used in both the analysis of jurisdiction and of forum non conveniens?  On its face that seems wrong.  A fact could play a role in two separate analyses, being relevant to each in different ways.

The Most Appropriate Forum: Assessing the Applicable Law

Another issue in the recent Supreme Court of Canada decision in v Goldhar (available here) involves the applicable law as a factor in the forum non conveniens analysis.  It is clear that one of the factors in determining the most appropriate forum is the applicable law.  This is because it is quite easy for the forum to apply its own law and rather more difficult for it to apply the law of another jurisdiction.

So if the defendant can show that the forum would apply not its own law but rather the law of another jurisdiction, that points to a stay of proceedings in favour of that other jurisdiction.  In contrast, if the plaintiff can show that the forum would apply its own law, that points against a stay of proceedings.  In the plaintiff was able to show that the Ontario court would apply Ontario law, not Israeli law.  So the applicable law factor favoured Ontario.

The Role of Foreign Enforcement Proceedings in Forum Non Conveniens

The doctrine of forum non conveniens, in looking to identify the most appropriate forum for the litigation, considers many factors.  Two of these are (i) a desire to avoid, if possible, a multiplicity of proceedings and (ii) any potential difficulties in enforcing the decision that results from the litigation.  However, it is important to keep these factors analytically separate.

In the Supreme Court of Canada’s recent decision in v Goldhar (available here) Justice Abella noted that “enforcement concerns would favour a trial in Israel, in large part because Haaretz’s lack of assets in Ontario would mean that any order made against it would have to be enforced by Israeli courts, thereby raising concerns about a multiplicity of proceedings” (para 142).  Similarly, Justice Cote concluded (paras 82-83) that the fact that an Ontario order would have to be enforced in Israel was a factor that “slightly” favoured trial in Israel.


Opinion of AG Szpunar in the case of Ellmes Property Services, C-433/19, on Article 24(1) and Article 7(1)(a) of the Brussels I bis Regulation

Today, AG Szpunar delivered his Opinion in the case of Ellmes Property Services, C-433/19, on the interpretation of Article 24(1) and Article 7(1)(a) of the Brussels I bis Regulation. This case arose from the following facts:

Both parties are co-owners of a house situated in Zell am See, Austria. The applicant, who is the owner of apartment No 10, has his home address at this location. The defendant company, which is the owner of apartment No 20, has its registered office in the United Kingdom. It uses its apartment, which was designated for residential purposes, for tourist purposes by regularly letting it out to holiday guests.

Job Vacancy: Doctoral Researcher in Private International Law

The University of Rijeka, Faculty of Law announced a call for application to the newly opened position of assistant, funded by the Croatian Science Foundation. It is a full-time position for the duration of the project (approximately 4 years) which is focused on research rather than teaching. The candidate will be expected to complete the doctoral studies conducing research on the various aspects of cross-border enforcement in EU under the mentorship of Professor Ivana Kunda, the Head of the Chair of International and European Private Law. Good command of English is required as well as certain level of Croatian. The call was announced yesterday and remains opened for 30 days.

The details of the call are available here, and questions could be addressed to

Job Vacancy: Researchers in Private International Law and in International Business Law

Professor Matthias Lehmann, Chair of Private International and Comparative Law at the University of Vienna (from 1 September 2020), seeks highly skilled and ambitious research fellows (“prae-docs”).

Successful candidates will hold a first law degree from any jurisdiction, possess an excellent command of English, and have a basic knowledge of German. Knowledge of other languages and advanced IT skills are desirable qualities that may be taken into consideration.

One type of position is available in the area comparative and private international law (further details here).

Another type of position is available in the area of international business law, preferably with the candidate having some knowledge or background in banking and capital markets law (further details here).