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The English CPR's gate-keeping rules, foreign claimants and access to justice.

Mante, Joseph



Foreign victims of wrongful acts ostensibly committed by companies domiciled in the United Kingdom and or their subsidiaries are increasingly turning to UK courts for redress. Many of these actions encounter jurisdictional challenges right at the start of proceedings. The challenges, in their various iterations, invariably throw up two fundamental questions namely, whether the English courts have jurisdiction to hear the claims, and if so, whether England is the most appropriate or suitable forum. Ensuing proceedings have often been elaborate, extensive, time consuming and resource-intensive, leading to questions about whether the current rules on jurisdiction facilitate or stifle access to justice. This piece attempts a review of the relevant civil procedure rules on jurisdiction of English courts over cases involving foreign claimants - mainly victims of mass wrongs resulting from the activities of English domiciled companies and their foreign subsidiaries post Brexit. It highlights problems with the current approach to resolving jurisdictional challenges around service of claims outside England. To stem the tide of the use of masses of documents, long witness statements, detailed analysis of the issues, and long arguments, a rule change is proposed. It is further proposed that the substantive justice criterion currently considered as part of the requirements for deciding whether England is the proper place to try a case should become an overarching consideration even where jurisdiction is not established.


MANTE, J. 2023. The English CPR's gate-keeping rules, foreign claimants and access to justice. Presented at the 114th Society of Legal Scholars' annual conference 2023 (SLS 2023), Oxford, UK. Hosted on OpenAIR [online]. Available from:

Presentation Conference Type Lecture
Conference Name 114th Society of Legal Scholars' annual conference 2023 (SLS 2023)
Conference Location Oxford, UK
Start Date Jun 27, 2023
End Date Jun 30, 2023
Deposit Date Sep 21, 2023
Publicly Available Date Sep 21, 2023
Keywords English Civil Procedure rule; Foreign claimants; Gate-keeping rules; Access to justice
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