We can help you to obtain justice if you have suffered abuse or an infringement of your human rights by individuals/organisations in another country.
Cases that cross national borders can be complex as they raise many questions in terms of where to bring a claim and what law applies. We are experienced in advising on jurisdictional issues to enable claims to be brought in the courts of England and Wales.
For the purposes of jurisdiction, a tort (or civil wrong) is committed in England and Wales if either the damage was sustained within the jurisdiction or resulted from an act committed within the jurisdiction. It is not necessary to establish that all the relevant damage was sustained in England and Wales nor that all the relevant acts were committed in England and Wales. Damage may include financial loss and psychiatric injury – so if you suffered a wrongful act abroad but have subsequently suffered financial loss or psychiatric injury in England and Wales, it may be possible to argue that the claim should be brought in the courts of England and Wales.
Under section 11 of the Private International Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1995, the general rule is that the applicable law is the law of the country in which the events constituting the tort or delict in question occur. Where elements of the relevant events occur in different countries, s11(2) provides that in cases relating to personal injury or death, the applicable law under the general rule is taken as being the country where the individual was when s/he sustained the injury and in any other case it shall be the law of the country in which the most significant element or elements of those events occurred. This means that if the most significant wrong took place abroad, the law of that country may apply but (subject to the position of jurisdiction as above), the claim may still be brought in the courts of England and Wales. Alternatively, if a wrongful act took place abroad but the significant injury was incurred in England and Wales, then it may be possible to argue that the law of England and Wales should apply.
A leading case in this area is B v B (2008) 105(39) LSG 20 (QBD) which concerned Claimants who were a British family on holiday in Spain and hired a Spanish car through a Spanish supplier when they were involved in an accident caused by one of the Claimants. It was decided that the effects of the injury would be present for the rest of the Claimants' life in England (injury and loss of earnings) and English law therefore applied.
Our experience in this area is wide-ranging and includes complex personal injury claims such as representing an individual for injury caused by his attempted assassination whilst working abroad and assisting a group of women in their claims for sexual assault by a high-profile individual involved in the politics and governance of another state.