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Just like what was said by Ms.

Magulta, when the court has no


jurisdiction over a conflicts case, because of lack of jurisdiction over
the subject matter or over the parties, it MUST dismiss the case. In
that situation, there is no discretion involved on the part of the court.
But?
What if the court has jurisdiction over the conflicts case, may it now
be compelled to proceed and decide the case?
NO.
This is by reason of what we call the PRINCIPLE of FORUM NON
CONVENIENS
This rule or principle has been developed in courts of the United
States, that even though the court has jurisdiction, it will not entertain
the case if it believes itself is a SERIOUS INCOVENIENT FORUM,
PROVIDED, that there is a more convenient forum that is available.
The court would take into account considerations of justice and
convenience to all concerned; that the case may be better decided
elsewhere, or the main aspects of the case transpired in a foreign
jurisdiction or that the material witnesses have there residence there;
as well as to avoid forum shopping.
THREE FORUMS TO TAKE INTO ACCOUNT
1. whether the forum is one to which the parties may conveniently
resort to
2. whether it is in a position to make an intelligent decision
3. whether it has or is likely to have to enforce its jurisdiction
The last element more known as the PRINCIPLE OF
EFFECTIVENESS which means that A JUDGE HAS NO RIGHT TO
PRONOUNCE A JUDGEMENT IF HE CANNOT ENFORCE IT
WITHIN ITS TERRITORY.

Whether a case is to be dismissed on the basis of the said principle,


depends largely upon the facts of each case and is addressed to the
sound discretion of the court.
In case f Heine v. New York Life Insurance
Case involved the recovery of life insurance of a number of
German citizens made and issued by the New York Like Insurance.
The case was brought in Oregon. The court dismissed the case
because none of the parties to the litigation are residents, and on the
basis that the courts of Germany and New York are open and
functioning and competent to take jurisdiction over the controversies.
In the Philippines, we have the case of Republic vs. Marcos
Appeal from judgment of the U.S District court of New York which
granted preminary injunction to the Republic of the Philippines
prohibiting the sale or transfer of five new york properties belonging
to the Marcoses.
The defense include forum non conveniens. But the decision was
affirmed by the Court of Appeals reiterating that the principle of forum
non conveniens are left to the sound discretion of the trial court.
As compared to the Islamic Republic case, the case involved Shah
and his wife who were alleged to have accepted bribes,
misappropriated funds, and embezzled or converted billions of dollars
belonging to the national treasure of Iran. The case was filed in the
New York court but was dismissed because the litigation had little
relation to the state of New York other than the presence of the
defendants in New York. Moreover, the complaint in there asked that
a constructive trust be imposed on assets throughout the world.
Comparing this to the Marcos case where in what the plaintiff sought
was a constructive trust only on the assets in New York. The
properties involved are real properties, fixed and immovable. Thus, it
is difficult to deem the New York court as an inconvenient forum.
Now we go to the second method, that is the application of the
internal or domestic law.

Read quote by Professor Cheshire and North.


Exceptions to that : when it involves foreign sovereign, diplomatic
official or properties or treaty to which the State has accepted
limitations upon its jurisdiction over certain persons or properties.
HOWEVER, the rule stressed by Cheshire and North may already be
impractical in our modern age for nations have long found that they
cannot by sheltering behind the principle of territorial sovereignty
afford to disregard foreign laws.
Three Groups:
1. Example:
a) where the land involved in the suit is located in the forum, lex
situs is normally applied
b) Under Article 80 of the Family Code, as to the marriage
settlement, for in the absence of any stipulation, the property relations
of the spouses would be governed by Philippine laws regardless of
the place of the celebration of the marriage and their residence.
2. Failure to Plead
we have learned in our evidence class that our courts does not
take judicial notice of foreign law. It must, like any matter of fact, be
properly pleaded and proved.
Say in the case of succession of an alien decedent, internal
rules on succession found in the Civil Code applicable to Philippine
nationals govern the disposition of his estate in spite the fact of the
explicit provision that with respect to order of successions, amount of
successional rights and to the intrinsice validty of the testamentary
provisions, shall be regulated by the national law of the decedent.
How do you prove a foreign law?
That would depend on the rules of evidence of that country.
In the Philippines, it would also depend if it is written or unwritten.

If written
- written law or codal provision may be evidenced by an official
publication or by a copy attested to by the officer having the legal
custody of the record or by his deputy and must be accompanied with
a certificate that such officer has the custody. The certificate may be
made by a secretary, legation or consul general of the Philippines
stationed in that foreign country.
If unwritten
- by oral testimony of expert witnesses
3. Exceptions to the Application of the Foreign law
1. enforcement of foreign law would counter an important public
policy
2. would infringe good morality
3. when it is penal in nature
4. procedural in nature
5. when the question involves immovable property in the forum
6. would carry injustice
7. vital interest of the State would be endangered.