Societe Nationale Industrielle Aerospatiale v Lee Kui Jak, Yong Joon Kim and, Lee Kui Jak (F): PC 14 May 1987

Brunei Darussalam – The Board was asked where a civil claim should be tried.
Held: The court stated some principles governing the grant of anti-suit injunctions restraining foreign proceedings. The inconvenience of a forum is of itself not a sufficient justification for the grant of injunctive relief. The mere fact that the English court refused a stay of English proceedings on the grounds of forum non conveniens did not itself justify the grant of an injunction to restrain foreign proceedings. In this case the defendant’s vexatious conduct was taken into account.
When an English court makes a restraining order, it is making an order which is addressed only to a party which is before it. The order is not directed against the foreign court. ‘An injunction will only be issued restraining a party who is amenable to the jurisdiction of the court, against whom an injunction will be an effective remedy’ The jurisdiction derives from ‘the basic principle of justice.’
Lord Goff set out the following test: ‘In the opinion of their Lordships, in a case such as the present where remedy for a particular wrong is available both in the English (or, as here, the Brunei) court and in a foreign court, the English or Brunei Court will, generally speaking, only restrain the plaintiff from pursuing proceedings in the foreign court if such pursuit would be vexatious or oppressive. This presupposes that, as a general rule, the English or Brunei Court must conclude that it provides the natural forum for the trial of the action; and further, since the Court is concerned with the ends of justice, that account must be taken not only of injustice to the defendant if the plaintiff is allowed to pursue the foreign proceedings, but also of injustice to the plaintiff if he is not allowed to do so. So the Court will not grant an injunction if, by doing so, it will deprive the plaintiff of advantages in the foreign forum of which it would be unjust to deprive him.’
Otherwise: SNI Aerospatiale v Lee

Keith of Kinkel, Griffiths, Mackay of Clashfern, Goff of Chieveley LL, Sir John Megaw
[1987] 1 AC 871, [1987] UKPC 12
Bailii
England and Wales
Cited by:
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CitedHarms Offshore AHT Taurus Gmbh and Co KG v Bloom and Others CA 26-Jun-2009
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Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Jurisdiction

Updated: 14 November 2021; Ref: scu.443457