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FORUM NON CONVENIENS IN THE FEDERAL COURTS OF THE UNITED STATES: AN UPDATE US Supreme Court, 5 March 2007, Sinochem Int'l Corp. Ltd v. Malaysia Int'l Shipping Corp., 127 S Ct. 1184 (2007)

  • Guangjian Tu (a1)

Abstract

The US Supreme Court has recently decided the case of Sinochem Int'l Corp. Ltd v. Malaysia Int'l Shipping Corp. This is another landmark case regarding the doctrine of forum non conveniens, which resolved a long-term split among the circuit courts. A federal court will now be able to decline a case by the doctrine of forum non conveniens without conclusively determining the issue of personal jurisdiction or subject matter jurisdiction. The decision of the US Supreme Court is laudable in terms of procedural economy and judicial efficiency. However, to reach the decision, the Court adopted a pragmatic approach. The decision does not entirely conform to the nature and definition of the doctrine. Furthermore, the Court avoided the important question regarding conditional dismissal. It is a fair reading of the Court's decision that there is no mandatory order between jurisdiction and forum non conveniens and, in the future, a federal court can dismiss a case either by lack of jurisdiction or by forum non conveniens, whichever is easier to be determined. This case may also have impact outside the area of forum non conveniens.

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FORUM NON CONVENIENS IN THE FEDERAL COURTS OF THE UNITED STATES: AN UPDATE US Supreme Court, 5 March 2007, Sinochem Int'l Corp. Ltd v. Malaysia Int'l Shipping Corp., 127 S Ct. 1184 (2007)

  • Guangjian Tu (a1)

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