2009 Yong Pung How Professorship of Law Lecture

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Within the equitable jurisdiction, the phrase in personam has been used to describe the means of enforcement of the equitable decree, the justification for equitable jurisdiction generally, and the mechanism by which chancery rulings effectively override the common law. In the context of curial proceedings, the phrase is also used to describe the nature of jurisdiction assumed over a person, as well as the effect of a decree against a person, as opposed to a thing. In the discourse on rights, it is used to distinguish personal from property rights. In personam reasoning in the equitable sense has been used historically to justify the assumption of jurisdiction in disputes relating to foreign immovable property, and the application of the principles of equity of the forum without reference to choice of law. In more modern times, similar reasoning has been used to justify cross-border anti-suit injunctions and asset-freezing orders. In this lecture, the uses of in personam reasoning in private international law in these contexts will be evaluated, and further implications for the context of recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments will be considered, with particular reference to the law in Singapore.


International Law | Jurisdiction

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