Advertisement

Australia: Inconsistencies in the Treatment of Optional Choice of Court Agreements

  • Brooke MarshallEmail author
Chapter
  • 312 Downloads
Part of the Ius Comparatum - Global Studies in Comparative Law book series (GSCL, volume 37)

Abstract

Optional choice of court agreements, referred to in Australia as “non-exclusive jurisdiction agreements”, feature in Australian court decisions. A clear distinction is drawn between exclusive choice of court agreements, on the one hand, and optional agreements, on the other. The principles applicable to exclusive agreements and the policies informing them are, however, better developed than those applicable to optional agreements. This chapter argues that the legal treatment of optional agreements under Australian law is deficient in multiple ways. Chief among them is that optional agreements nominating forum courts and optional agreements nominating foreign courts are treated inconsistently: in only one published case in which a forum court was nominated in an optional agreement has an Australian court stayed its proceedings. In no published case in which a foreign court was nominated in an optional agreement has an Australian court stayed its proceedings. There is also a marked difference in how judges perceive parties’ intentions in concluding an optional agreement in intra-national as compared with international cases. In the former, an optional agreement is said to be “a strong indication” by the parties as to where litigation should occur; in the latter, it is said not to indicate any “preference” as to where litigation should occur.

References

  1. Bälz K, Stompfe P (2017) Asymmetrische Streitbeilegungsklauseln in internationalen Wirtschaftsverträgen. SchiedsVZ 15:157–164Google Scholar
  2. Bell A (2003) Forum shopping and venue in transnational litigation. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  3. Davies M, Bell AS, Brereton PLG (2014) Nygh’s conflict of laws in Australia, 9th edn. LexisNexis Butterworths, ChatswoodGoogle Scholar
  4. Dickinson A (2014a) What, if anything, can Australia learn from the EU? In: Dickinson A, Keyes M, John T (eds) Australian private international law for the 21st century: facing outwards. Hart, Oxford, pp 157–189Google Scholar
  5. Dickinson A (2014b) Harmonisation of the forum conveniens tests in Australia and trans-Tasman proceedings: a discussion paper. In: Dickinson A, Keyes M, John T (eds) Australian private international law for the 21st century: facing outwards. Hart, Oxford, pp 275–293Google Scholar
  6. Dickinson A (2015) Keeping up appearances: the development of adjudicatory jurisdiction in the English courts. Br Yearb Int Law 86:6–67Google Scholar
  7. Dickinson A (2019) In absentia: evolution and reform of Australian rules of adjudicatory jurisdiction. In: Douglas M, Bath V, Keyes M, Dickinson A (eds) Commercial issues in private international law. Hart, Oxford, pp 13–44Google Scholar
  8. Dinelli A (2015) The limits on the remedy of damages for breach of jurisdiction agreements: the law of contract meets private international law. Melbourne Univ Law Rev 38:1023–1040Google Scholar
  9. Douglas M (2017) Anti-suit injunctions in Australia. Melbourne Univ Law Rev 41:66–105Google Scholar
  10. Douglas M, Bath V (2017) A new approach to service outside the jurisdiction and outside Australia under the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules. Australian Bar Rev 44:160–185Google Scholar
  11. Fawcett J (2001) Non-exclusive jurisdiction agreements in private international law. LMCLQ: 234–261Google Scholar
  12. Fentiman R (2013) Unilateral jurisdiction agreements in Europe. Cambridge Law J: 24–27Google Scholar
  13. Fentiman R (2015) International commercial litigation, 2nd edn. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  14. Forrest C (2009) The Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements: the maritime exceptions. J Private Int Law 5:491–516CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Garnett R (2013) Jurisdiction clauses since Akai. Australian Law J 87:134–149Google Scholar
  16. Hartley T, Dogauchi D (2010) Explanatory report on the Convention of 30 June 2005 on Choice of Court Agreements. In: Permanent Bureau of the Conference (ed) Proceedings of the twentieth session, Tome III. Intersentia, Antwerp, pp 783–862Google Scholar
  17. Keyes M (2009) Jurisdiction under the Hague Choice of Courts Convention: its likely impact on Australian practice. J Private Int Law 5:181–211CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Keyes M (2011) Financial agreements in international family litigation. Australian J Family Law 25:167–184Google Scholar
  19. Keyes M (2014) Improving private international law. In: Dickinson A, Keyes M, John T (eds) Australian private international law for the 21st century: facing outwards. Hart, Oxford, pp 15–45Google Scholar
  20. Keyes M (2015) Party autonomy in dispute resolution: implied choices and waiver. Japanese Yearb Int Law 58:223–246Google Scholar
  21. Keyes M (2019) Developing Australian private international law: the Hague choice of court convention & the Hague principles of choice of law in international commercial contracts. In: Douglas M, Bath V, Keyes M, Dickinson A (eds) Commercial issues in private international law. Hart, Oxford, pp 277–309Google Scholar
  22. Keyes M, Marshall BA (2015) Jurisdiction agreements: exclusive, optional and asymmetrical. J Private Int Law 11:345–378CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Marshall B (2019) The 2005 Hague convention: a panacea for non-exclusive and asymmetric jurisdiction agreements too? In: Douglas M, Bath V, Keyes M, Dickinson A (eds) Commercial issues in private international law. Hart, Oxford, pp 91–127Google Scholar
  24. Marshall BA, Keyes M (2017) Australia’s accession to the Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements. Melbourne Univ Law Rev 41:246–283Google Scholar
  25. Mills A (2018) Party autonomy in private international law. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Mortensen R (2009) The Hague and the ditch: the trans-Tasman judicial area and the Choice of Court Convention. J Private Int Law 5:213–242CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Mortensen R (2014) Together alone: integrating the Tasman world. In: Dickinson A, Keyes M, John T (eds) Australian private international law for the 21st century: facing outwards. Hart, Oxford, pp 113–144Google Scholar
  28. Mortensen R, Garnett R, Keyes M (2015) Private international law in Australia, 3rd edn. LexisNexis, ChatswoodGoogle Scholar
  29. Raphael T (2008) The anti-suit injunction. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  30. Thomson J, Martin K, Warnick L (2015) Commercial contract clauses: principles and interpretation, 2nd edn. Lawbook Co., PyrmontGoogle Scholar
  31. Yeo TM (2005) The contractual basis of the enforcement of exclusive and non-exclusive choice of court agreements. Singapore Acad Law J 17:306–360Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of LawUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia

Personalised recommendations