§ 23 Clause 33, leave out Clause 33 and insert the following new clause:
§ "Certain steps not to amount to submission to jurisdiction of overseas court.
§ .—(l) For the purposes of determining whether a judgment given by a court of an overseas country should be recognised or enforced in England and Wales or Northern Ireland, the person against whom the judgment was given shall not be regarded as having submitted to the jurisdiction of the court by reason only of the fact that he appeared (conditionally or otherwise) in the proceedings for all or any one or more of the following purposes, namely—
- (a) to contest the jurisdiction of the court;
- (b) to ask the court to dismiss or stay the proceedings on the ground that the dispute in question should be submitted to arbitration or to the determination of the courts of another country;
- (c) to protect, or obtain the release of, property seized or threatened with seizure in the proceedings.
§ (2) Nothing in this section shall affect the recognition or enforcement in England and Wales or Northern Ireland of a judgment which is required to be recognised or enforced there under the 1968 Convention."
§ The Lord Chancellor
My Lords, I beg to move that this House doth agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 23. With this amendment I group Amendments Nos. 49, 51, 53, 59 and 61.
Amendment No. 23 substitutes a revised clause for Clause 33 which deals with the consequences in English law where a party to foreign proceedings applies to the foreign court to contest its jurisdiction. The clause ensures that in such cases any judgment of the foreign court will not automatically be recognised here. The main change made in the revised clause is in subsection (1)(b) which as it stands refers to an appearance—and here I quote:to invite the court in its discretion not to exercise its jurisdiction".The new paragraph makes clear that a defendant will be protected if his application is made on the ground that the dispute is covered by an agreement to arbitrate or to submit any dispute to another court. The other amendments are consequential. The clause in effect overrules the decision of the Court of Appeal in a case called Henry v. Geoprosco International  QB 726. I beg to move.
§ Moved, That this House doth agree with the Commons in the said amendment.—(The Lord Chancellor.)
§ Lord Mishcon
My Lords, the noble and learned Lord will well know that this clause now, as amended, is of great help to practitioners who were in some doubt as to the position and certainly as to what they were committing their clients to when there was a contest in regard to jurisdiction. It will be of great interest to the legal profession to have heard what the noble and 180 learned Lord has said in explanation of this amendment from the other place.
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.