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Retiring Forum Non Conveniens

72 Pages Posted: 8 Dec 2016 Last revised: 1 Aug 2017

Maggie Gardner

Harvard Law School

Date Written: December 6, 2016


When it comes to transnational litigation in the federal courts, it is time to retire the doctrine of forum non conveniens. The doctrine, which allows judges to decline jurisdiction in cases they believe would be better heard in foreign courts, is meant to promote international comity and protect defendant fairness. But it is not well-designed for the former purpose, and given recent developments at the Supreme Court, it is dangerously redundant when it comes to the latter. This Article seeks to demythologize forum non conveniens, to question its continuing relevance, and to encourage the courts and Congress to narrow its scope of application so that, when the time is right, it may be fully interred.

Keywords: Transnational Litigation, Jurisdiction, Comity, Procedure

Suggested Citation

Gardner, Maggie, Retiring Forum Non Conveniens (December 6, 2016). 92 New York University Law Review 390 (May 2017). Available at SSRN:

Maggie Gardner (Contact Author)

Harvard Law School ( email )

1557 Massachusetts Ave
6 Ever
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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