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CHAPTER 23 Jurisdiction agreements

Civil Jurisdiction and Judgments


Page 447

CHAPTER 23

Jurisdiction agreements

23.01 Nature and effects of jurisdiction agreements

Pacta sunt servanda: agreements are made to be kept. So are those by which parties promise each other where they will and will not sue each other.1 The common law deals separately and distinctly with stay applications which are founded on an agreement made for the jurisdiction of a foreign court and for the non-exercise of jurisdiction by the English court.2 Two reasons in particular justify doing so. First, in Spiliada itself, Lord Goff of Chieveley doubted whether there should be any cross-fertilisation between this basis for a stay of proceedings and that, examined in the previous Chapter, which applied when there was no prior agreement on choice of court.3 Second, in applying for a stay, the defendant is making an allegation of specific wrongdoing: the claimant is breaking his contract and should be prevented from doing so, just as any other party in breach should.

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