In its advice delivered today on appeal from the Gibraltar Court of Appeal, the Privy Council examines when a judgment debtor will be regarded as having agreed to the jurisdiction of a foreign court (in advance rather than by appearance) so that a foreign default judgment may be enforced against him in another jurisdiction (in this case Gibraltar). The Board’s advice also provides a convenient summary of the role of experts on foreign law.
The Board’s advice is given by Lord Collins (editor of the leading text Dicey, Morris and Collins on the Conflict of Laws). It examines a great deal of apparently conflicting previous authority. It is therefore not surprising that the Board considered the case so important that it has delivered its advice notwithstanding the settlement, post hearing, of the underlying dispute.
The conclusion reached is that an agreement to submit to the foreign court’s jurisdiction may be implied. Continue reading