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The origins of the Scottish forum non conveniens doctrine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130-151
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Private International Law
Issue number1
Early online date7 Apr 2017
DateAccepted/In press - 2 Sep 2016
DateE-pub ahead of print - 7 Apr 2017
DatePublished (current) - 2017


Scotland is widely regarded as the birthplace of forum non conveniens. The doctrine is perhaps Scots law’s most important private-international-law export, helping to shape the development of similar principles across the common law world. However, notwithstanding the doctrine’s significance and long-running history, relatively little is known about its origins in Scotland. The principal intention of the article is to trace the Scots doctrine’s genesis. In this respect, its chief contention is that the discretionary staying-of-proceedings practice – resembling that at the heart of the modern-day forum non conveniens doctrine – is not actually as deep-seated as it has been widely believed. Rather, it is argued that the availability of the practice was first acknowledged in Scotland in M’Morine v Cowie in 1845.

    Research areas

  • Private International law, jurisdiction, forum non conveniens doctrine

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  • Full-text PDF (pre-refereed submitted manuscript)

    Rights statement: This is the pre-refereed version of the article. The final peer-reviewed version will be published in the Journal of Private International Law Volume 13, 2017

    Submitted manuscript, 495 KB, PDF-document

  • Full-text PDF (accepted author manuscript)

    Rights statement: This is the accepted author manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via Taylor & Francis at Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

    Accepted author manuscript, 1 MB, PDF-document


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