Scotland is widely regarded as the birthplace of forum non conveniens. The doctrine is perhaps Scots law’s most important private-international-law export, helping to shape the development of similar principles across the common law world. However, notwithstanding the doctrine’s significance and long-running history, relatively little is known about its origins in Scotland. The principal intention of the article is to trace the Scots doctrine’s genesis. In this respect, its chief contention is that the discretionary staying-of-proceedings practice – resembling that at the heart of the modern-day forum non conveniens doctrine – is not actually as deep-seated as it has been widely believed. Rather, it is argued that the availability of the practice was first acknowledged in Scotland in M’Morine v Cowie in 1845.
- Private International law
- forum non conveniens doctrine