International judgment recognition is the determination of rights and obligations made by another court other than the court of origin. Parties involved in contractual relationship in International commercial transactions are often preoccupied with ascertaining whether their judgment would be granted International recognition.  Recognition on the other hand determines the acknowledgment of rights; therefore recognition is fundamental and it precedes enforcement.

This desire leads to careful choice-of-court agreement which invariably depends on choice-of-law chosen by parties.[1] A judgment given in a member state is expected to be recognised in other member states without any special procedure being required. The need to have judgments legitimacy and recognition both within the State of origin and internationally is profound that parties strive to act within the guidelines of international law[2].

 Significant issues in International dispute resolution and some recommendations is the Discontinuance with Forum shopping in international commercial litigation

Forum shopping is a common law procedure which occurs when a party seeks to by-pass his natural forum and seeks to bring his action in some alien forum. Solely because of the perceived relief or benefits which would not necessarily be available to him in his natural forum.[3]  This analysis though helpful, does not give a precise description of what forum shopping really means. This is because there remains an unresolved question on what really is meant by the word natural forum, the benefit to the plaintiff and reasons for bypassing the natural forum. Natural forum has been held  by the court  as the forum that is seemingly closely connected to the dispute,[4]thus the jurisdiction with which the dispute has the closest connection  is the natural forum for the disputes while the jurisdiction that has no substantial connection with the dispute may be regarded as a foreign forum.[5]

The complexities of forum shopping are ever so present in international commercial litigation and may operate to deny parties the much expected benefits of international commercial trade.  However Forum shopping is not just about exploiting the anarchy of different jurisdictional rules. Instead it is equally possible within the context of a treaty-based regime, such as the Brussels and Lugano Conventions.[6] Natural forum has been used to describe the place that is advantageous to the party[7] to resolve the dispute, thus the forum which is convenient to witnesses may be a major consideration in determining the natural forum of the dispute. An appropriate forum is always effective and should be considered for both parties.[8]Forum shopping has been abused in systems considered attractive by litigants because of the ‘greater income’ to practitioners.

Forum shopping is evident in commercial litigation,which is unavoidable. In ODR,forum shopping is non-existent. Do you think this makes ODR attractive to disputants?


[1] Article 33 (1) of the Brussels 1 Regulation

[2] Chapter 111 Article 8 (3) of the Hague Convention

[3] Boys v Chaplin [1971] AC 356,401

[4] JJ.Fawcett,Forum shopping Some Questions Answered 1984 35 N IRLEGAL Q 141 AT P.141

[5] JJ.Fawcett,Forum shopping Some Questions Answered 1984 35 N IRLEGAL Q 141 AT P.141

[6] Third interim report on Declining & referring jurisdiction in International jurisdiction at International Law Association

London Conference (2000)

[7] MacShannon v Rockware Glass Ltd [1978] AC 795 at p.812

[8] Owusu v Jackson[2005]ECR 1-1383