A return to the doctrine of forum non conveniens after Brexit and the implications for corporate accountability

Francesca Farrington* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

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On 1 January 2021, the European Union’s uniform laws on jurisdiction in cross-border disputes ceased to have effect within the United Kingdom. Instead, the rules governing jurisdiction are now found within the Hague Convention 2005 where there is an exclusive choice of court agreement and revert to domestic law where there is not. Consequently, the doctrine of forum non conveniens applies to more jurisdictional issues. This article analyses the impact forum non conveniens may have on victims of human rights abuses linked to multinational enterprises and considers three possible alternatives to the forum non conveniens doctrine, including (i) the vexatious-and-oppressive test, (ii) the Australian clearly inappropriate forum test, and (iii) Article 6(1) of the European Convention on Human Rights. The author concludes that while the English courts are unlikely to depart from the forum non conveniens doctrine, legislative intervention may be needed to ensure England and Wales’ compliance with its commitment to continue to ensure access to remedies for those injured by the overseas activities of English and Welsh-domiciled MNEs as required by the United Nation’s non-binding General Principles on Business and Human Rights.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)399-423
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Private International Law
Issue number3
Early online date17 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jan 2022


  • Brexit
  • foreign direct liability
  • corporate accountability
  • jurisdiccion
  • forum non conveniens


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