The Decline of 'Exorbitant Jurisdiction'?

(2019) 93(4) Australian Law Journal 278

5 Pages Posted: 6 May 2019

See all articles by Michael Douglas

Michael Douglas

The University of Western Australia Law School

Date Written: April 8, 2019


A note in the February ALJ quoted a controversial dictum of Lord Sumption which seemingly reframed the way that we should think about service outside of the jurisdiction, and as a result, jurisdiction in personam. The gist was that the old pejorative label of ‘exorbitant jurisdiction’ is ill-suited to modern commercial life. It has been almost 30 years since Agar v Hyde, where the High Court observed that ‘[c]onsiderations of comity, and consequent restraint, have informed many of the reported decisions about service out of the jurisdiction’. Today, litigation between residents of different (nation) states is routine. Extraterritorial service should no longer be characterised as some kind of faux pas, or as an affront to the sovereignty of foreign governments. Recently, in Tiger Yacht Management Ltd v Morris [2019] FCAFC 8, the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia considered these kinds of ideas.

Note: See Australian Law Journal for published version.

Keywords: jurisdiction, exorbitant, service, private international law, cross-border litigation

Suggested Citation

Douglas, Michael, The Decline of 'Exorbitant Jurisdiction'? (April 8, 2019). (2019) 93(4) Australian Law Journal 278, Available at SSRN:

Michael Douglas (Contact Author)

The University of Western Australia Law School ( email )

35 Stirling Highway
Crawley, Western Australia 6009


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