Bumper Development Corporation Ltd v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis: CA 1991

An Indian temple having a legal persona recognised in India may assert rights and make claims under English Law. Even though it would not be recognised as a litigant if based in England and Wales, it was nonetheless entitled, in accordance with the principle of comity of nations, to sue in England.
Purchas LJ said: ‘The particular difficulty arises out of English law’s restriction of legal personality to corporations or the like, that is to say the personified groups or series of individuals. This insistence on an essentially animate content in a legal person leads to a formidable conceptual difficulty in recognising as a party entitled to sue in our courts something which on one view is little more than a pile of stones.’
Issues of foreign law are issues of fact. However, they are a special kind of fact. The Court is entitled to apply its own legal knowledge to determining the issue. However, it is confined to materials on foreign law which are exhibited to an expert report. The court considered the approach to be taken where there was conflicting evidence as to foreign law. The court must resolve differences in the same way as in the case of other conflicting evidence as to facts. It is not permissible to reject uncontradicted expert evidence unless it is patently absurd.


Purchas LJ


[1991] 1 WLR 1362, [1991] 4 All ER 638



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Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Jurisdiction, Litigation Practice

Updated: 17 May 2022; Ref: scu.238747