Red Sea Insurance Co Ltd v Bouygues SA and Others: PC 21 Jul 1994

Lex loci delicti (the law of the jurisdiction in which the act complained of took place) can exceptionally be used when the lex fori (the jurisdiction formally assigned) gives no remedy. In the case of a claim under a foreign tort, the double actionability exception may be applied to allow use of the lex loci delicti. Lord Slynn: ‘Their Lordships, having considered all of these opinions, recognise the conflict which exists between, on the one hand, the desirability of a rule which is certain and clear on the basis of which people can act and lawyers advise and, on the other, the desirability of the courts having the power to avoid injustice by introducing an element of flexibility into the rule. They do not consider that the rejection of the doctrine of the proper law of the tort as part of English law is inconsistent with a measure of flexibility being introduced into the rules. They consider that the majority in Boys v Chaplin [1971] AC 356 recognised the need for such flexibility. They accept that the law of England recognises that a particular issue between the parties to litigation may be governed by the law of the country which, with respect to that issue, has the most significant relationship with the occurrence and with the parties. They agree with the statement of Lord Wilberforce, at pp 391-392, . . as to the extent and application of the exception. They accept, as he did, that the exception will not be successfully invoked in every case or even, probably, in many cases and, at p 391H, that ‘The general rule must apply unless clear and satisfying grounds are shown why it should be departed from and what solution, derived from what other rule, should be preferred.’


Lord Slynn


Gazette 09-Nov-1994, Ind Summary 26-Sep-1994, Times 21-Jul-1994, [1995] 1 AC 190


CitedWarren v Warren 1972
(Australia) The plaintiff was injured in a car accident while on a visit to New South Wales, where she had no right of action in tort against her husband. She began her action in Queensland, where she was ordinarily resident and domiciled where such . .
Appeal fromRed Sea Insurance Co Ltd v Bouygues SA and Others 1993
Hong Kong . .

Cited by:

CitedChagos Islanders v The Attorney General, Her Majesty’s British Indian Ocean Territory Commissioner QBD 9-Oct-2003
The Chagos Islands had been a British dependent territory since 1814. The British government repatriated the islanders in the 1960s, and the Ilois now sought damages for their wrongful displacement, misfeasance, deceit, negligence and to establish a . .
CitedHarding v Wealands HL 5-Jul-2006
Claim in UK for Accident in Australia
The claimant had been a passenger in a car driven by his now partner. They had an accident in New South Wales. The car was insured in Australia. He sought leave to sue in England and Wales because Australian law would limit the damages.
Held: . .
CitedRoberts v Gill and Co Solicitors and Others SC 19-May-2010
The claimant beneficiary in the estate sought damages against solicitors who had acted for the claimant’s brother, the administrator, saying they had allowed him to take control of the assets in the estate. The will provided that property was to be . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

International, Commonwealth

Updated: 09 April 2022; Ref: scu.85926