CONFLICT OF LAWS

GROUP 2:
Marco De Guzman
Marjorie Camille Flores
Diamela Apolinario

RECAP: WHAT TO DO WHEN FACED WITH A CASE
THAT POTENTIALLY INVOLVES APPLICATION OF
CONFLICT OF LAWS PRINCIPLES:

• First, determine jurisdiction of the forum
▫ No jurisdiction
▫ Has jurisdiction but refuses to exercise it (forum
non conveniens)
▫ Has jursidiction and exercises it – move to
second step
• Second, determine the foreign element/s
involved (factual)
▫ No foreign element – apply local law
▫ Has foreign element- move to third step

RECAP: WHAT TO DO WHEN FACED WITH A CASE
THAT POTENTIALLY INVOLVES APPLICATION OF
CONFLICT OF LAWS PRINCIPLES:

• Third, determine existence of conflict of laws
▫ No conflict- apply foreign law, as case may
be
▫ Has conflict – move to fourth step
• Fourth, determine choice of law (law
applicable)
▫ Local law
▫ Foreign law

Rouzie. v. 162894.. GR No. 26 February 2008 • Application of Foreign Law ▫ State of the Most Significant Relationship Theory . Minoru Kitamura. TOPICS FOR TONIGHT • Forum non conveniens ▫ Kazuhiro Hasegawa and Nippon Engineering Consultants Co. v. Jr.. LTD. Inc. 149177. GR No. 23 November 2007 ▫ Raytheon International.

155 P. 44.FORUM NON CONVENIENS • Literally means “inconvenient forum”. Co.. Union Pac. (Leet v.2d 42. R.25 Cal. • It is a discretionary power to decline to exercise jurisdiction which it has over a transitory cause of action when it believes that the action maybe more appropriately and justly tried elsewhere. 2d 605.) .

. Lehigh Val. court should consider the following: 1.C.7 F. 2. Relative ease of access to sources of proof. All other practical problems that make trial easy. R. expeditious and inexpensive. Availability of compulsory process for attendance of unwilling witnesses. and 5. 3. 192. Possibility of view of premises. D. (Di Lella v.FORUM NON CONVENIENS In determining whether doctrine should be applied. Co.R..N. 4.D.) . Cost of obtaining attendance of unwilling witnesses. 193.Y.

and 3. . The Philippine court is one to which the parties may conveniently resort to. The Philippine court has or is likely to have power to enforce its decision. v. 2. Court of Appeals. (Communication Materials and Design. Inc. a Philippine court or agency may assume jurisdiction over the case if it chooses to do so provided that: 1. 260 SCRA 673.FORUM NON CONVENIENS Under the rule of forum non conveniens. 695 1996). The Philippine court is in a position to make an intelligent decision as to the law and the facts.

• The State of the Most Significant Relationship Rule. KITAMURA 538 SCRA 261. 23 NOV 2007 GUIDE: • Lex Loci Celebrationis relates to the law of the place of the ceremony. CASE APPLICATION HASEGAWA v. • Lex Contractus or Lex Loci Contractus means the law of the place where a contract is executed or to be performed. under this rule to ascertain what state law to apply to a dispute. the court should determine which state has the most substantial connection to the occurrence and the parties .

The agreement provides that respondent was to extend professional services to Nippon for a year starting on April 1. a Japanese consultancy firm providing technical and management support in the infrastructure projects of foreign governments. KITAMURA 538 SCRA 261. • Nippon then assigned respondent to work as the project manager of the Southern Tagalog Access Road (STAR) Project in the Philippines. CASE APPLICATION HASEGAWA v. the respondent is Minoru Kitamura. • Petitioner entered into an Independent Contractor Agreement (ICA) with the respondent. Ltd. (Nippon). a Japanese national permanently residing in the Philippines. . 1999.. 23 NOV 2007 FACTS: • Petitioner Nippon Engineering Consultants Co. following the company's consultancy contract with the Philippine Government.

through his lawyer. respondent. this time for the detailed engineering and construction supervision of the Bongabon-Baler Road Improvement (BBRI) Project. Petitioner insisted its prior decision not to renew the contract. • Threatened with impending unemployment. . • Respondent was initially named as the project manager in the BBRI project but such appointment was later withdrawn by the company upon communicating its intention not to renew the ICA with the respondent. requested a negotiation conference and demanded that he be assigned to the BBRI project. CASE APPLICATION: HASEGAWA v. the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) engaged the consultancy services of Nippon. KITAMURA FACTS: • When the STAR Project was near completion.

• RTC denied Motion to Dismiss by the petitioner. respondent filed a civil case for specific performance and damages with the Regional Trial Court of Lipa City. CASE APPLICATION: HASEGAWA v. • Petitioner filed Motion to Dismiss for lack of jurisdiction contending that the ICA had been perfected in Japan and executed by and between Japanese nationals. KITAMURA FACTS: • Subsequently. invoking the ruling in Insular Government v. . They asserted that the claim for improper pre- termination of respondent's ICA could only be heard and ventilated in the proper courts of Japan following the principles of lex loci celebrationis and lex contractus. Frank which states that matters connected with the performance of contracts are regulated by the law prevailing at the place of performance Petitioner filed Motion for Reconsideration but was denied.

this time it complies with the procedural requirements. The petitioner filed a second Petition for Certiorari. KITAMURA FACTS: • Petitioner filed Petition for Certiorari before the CA. . contending that the principle of lex loci celebrationis was not applicable to the case. • CA ruled on the merits of the second petition in favor of the respondent. CASE APPLICATION: HASEGAWA v. The CA thus declared that the trial court was correct in applying instead the principle of lex loci solutionis. because nowhere in the pleadings was the validity of the written agreement put in issue. but was denied for failure to comply with procedural requirements. Motion for Reconsideration by the petitioner was denied.

. CASE APPLICATION: HASEGAWA v. KITAMURA ISSUE: • Whether or not the Trial Court has jurisdiction over the case.

• To elucidate. . three consecutive phases are involved: jurisdiction. and recognition and enforcement of judgments. and the state of the most significant relationship rule. • Supreme Court held that the grounds asserted by the petitioner in its Motion to Dismiss are unsound. The Rules of Court provides a specific enumeration of grounds for Motion to Dismiss. These phases differs from one another. to wit: the principles of lex loci celebrationis and lex contractus. in the judicial resolution of conflicts problems. KITAMURA RULING: • Petition on Review for Certiorari was denied. CASE APPLICATION: HASEGAWA v. choice of law.

in their motion to dismiss. this case is for specific performance and damages is one not capable of pecuniary estimation and is properly cognizable by the RTC of Lipa City. and the state of the most significant relationship rule. KITAMURA RULING: • Jurisdiction over the subject matter in a judicial proceeding is conferred by the sovereign authority which establishes and organizes the court. indeed. . To succeed in its motion for the dismissal of an action for lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter of the claim. • In the instant case. do not claim that the trial court is not properly vested by law with jurisdiction to hear the subject controversy for.What they rather raise as grounds to question subject matter jurisdiction are the principles of lex loci celebrationis and lex contractus. CASE APPLICATION: HASEGAWA v. petitioners. the movant must show that the court or tribunal cannot act on the matter submitted to it because no law grants it the power to adjudicate the claims. It is given only by law and in the manner prescribed by law.

CASE APPLICATION: HASEGAWA v. the existence of such law must be pleaded and proved. . they are rules proper for the second phase. • Further. first there should exist a conflict of laws situation requiring the application of the conflict of laws rules. choice-of-law rules are not only inapplicable but also not yet called for. Necessarily. as the only issue in this case is that of jurisdiction. They determine which state's law is to be applied in resolving the substantive issues of a conflicts problem. KITAMURA RULING: • Since these three principles in conflict of laws make reference to the law applicable to a dispute. when the law of a foreign country is invoked to provide the proper rules for the solution of a case. petitioners' premature invocation of choice-of- law rules is exposed by the fact that they have not yet pointed out any conflict between the laws of Japan and ours. the choice of law. Also. Before determining which law should apply.

is brought before a court or administrative agency. there are three alternatives open to the latter in disposing of it: 1. KITAMURA RULING: • It should be noted that when a conflicts case. assume jurisdiction over the case and apply the internal law of the forum. one involving a foreign element. either because of lack of jurisdiction or refusal to assume jurisdiction over the case. assume jurisdiction over the case and take into account or apply the law of some other State or States. dismiss the case. CASE APPLICATION: HASEGAWA v. 2. . or 3.

the propriety of dismissing a case based on this principle requires a factual determination.Second. First.In this case. KITAMURA RULING: • Neither can the other ground raised. hence. the RTC decided to assume jurisdiction. be used to deprive the trial court of its jurisdiction herein. this conflicts principle is more properly considered a matter of defense. forum non conveniens. . Rule 16 of the Rules of Court does not include it as a ground. CASE APPLICATION: HASEGAWA v. whether a suit should be entertained or dismissed on the basis of the said doctrine depends largely upon the facts of the particular case and is addressed to the sound discretion of the trial court. Third. it is not a proper basis for a motion to dismiss because Section 1.

Inc. (BMSI). • On March 11. • BMSI hired Rouzie as its representative to negotiate sale of services in several government projects in the Philippines for an agreed remuneration of 10% of gross receipts. 1992. . and Stockton Rouzie. 546 SCRA 555. JR. Pinatubo Eruption and mudflows. (Rouzie). v. Of behalf of BMSI for the dredging of rivers affected by the Mt. 26 FEB 2008 FACTS: • Sometime in 1990. Jr. Brand Marine Services. a corporation duly organized & existing under the laws of Connecticut. an American citizen. ROUZIE. Rouzie secured a service contract with the Rep. CASE APPLICATION RAYTHEON INT’L INC. of the Phils. entered into a contract.

• Upon appeal. Rouzie filed before the NLRC a suit against BMSI and Rust International. Inc. • Rouzie elevated the case to the SC but the same was dismissed in a Resolution which became final and executory on November 9. v. the NLRC reversed the decision of the LA and dismissed the complaint on the ground of lack of jurisdiction. CASE APPLICATION: RAYTHEON INT’L INC. and breach of employment contract. ROUZIE. (RUST) for alleged nonpayment of commissions. JR. . • The Labor Arbiter ordered BMSI and RUST to pay Rouzie’s money claims. FACTS • On July 16 1994. 1998. illegal termination.

. CASE APPLICATION: RAYTHEON INT’L INC. The complaint also averred that BMSI. • Rouzie essentially reiterated the allegations in the labor case. • Raytheon sought the dismissal of the complaint of the grounds of failure to state a cause of action and forum non conveniens. as well as BMSI and RUST. 1999. that he was not paid the commissions due him from the Pinatubo dredging project which he secured on behalf of BMSI. RUST and Raytheon had combined and functioned as one company. Inc. Rouzie filed an action for damages before the RTC of La Union (where he was then a resident) against Raytheon International. v. and prayed for damages by way of compulsory counterclaim. JR. ROUZIE. FACTS • On January 8.

It also ruled that the principle of forum non conveniens was inapplicable because the trial court could enforce judgment on petitioner. . assuming the same to be admitted. • Raytheon raised the case to SC. The trial court held that the factual allegations in the complaint. CASE APPLICATION: RAYTHEON INT’L INC. ROUZIE. • CA affirmed. were sufficient for the trial court to render a valid judgment thereon. FACTS • The RTC denied Raytheon’s motion. v. it being a foreign corporation licensed to do business in the Philippines. JR.

the parties and witnesses involved are American corporations and citizens and the evidence to be presented is located outside the Philippines. the contract shall be governed by the laws of the State of Connecticut. that is. • That the presence of foreign elements in the dispute. Petitioner’s contentions: • That the written contract between Rouzie and BMSI included a valid choice of law clause. JR.renders our local courts inconvenient forums. CASE APPLICATION: RAYTHEON INT’L INC. ROUZIE.namely. v. . • That the foreign elements of the dispute necessitate the immediate application of the doctrine of forum non conveniens.

CASE APPLICATION: RAYTHEON INT’L INC. JR. ISSUES: 1. v. . WON the RTC had jurisdiction 2. ROUZIE. WON the complaint should be dismissed on the ground of forum non conveniens.

The case file was an action for damages arising from an alleged breach of contract. it may or can proceed to try the case even if the rules of conflict-of-laws or the convenience of the parties point to a foreign forum. • Jurisdiction over the nature and subject matter of an action is conferred by the Constitution and the law & by the material allegations in the complaint. JR. the nature of the action and the amount of damages prayed are w/in the jurisdiction of the RTC. RULING: 1. irrespective of w/n the plaintiff is entitled to recover all or some of the claims or reliefs sought therein. v. ROUZIE. . Undoubtedly. This is an exercise of sovereign prerogative of the country where the case is filed. the parties and the res. CASE APPLICATION: RAYTHEON INT’L INC. YES • On the matter of jurisdiction over a conflicts-of-laws problem where the case is filed in a Philippine court and where the court has jurisdiction over the subject matter.

• As regards jurisdiction over the parties. after hearing on the merits proceeds before the trial court. • Jurisdiction and choice of law are two distinct concepts. On the other hand. Jurisdiction considers whether it is fair to cause a defendant to travel to this state. are precluded from hearing the civil action. . that is. The choice of law stipulation will become relevant only when the substantive issues of the instant case develop. • That the subject contract included a stipulation that the same shall be governed by the laws of the State of Connecticut does not suggest that the Philippine Courts. jurisdiction over the person of Raytheon was acquired by its voluntary appearance in court. CASE APPLICATION: RAYTHEON INT’L INC. or any other foreign tribunal for that matter. v. ROUZIE. the RTC acquired jurisdiction over Rouzi upon the filing of the complaint. JR. choice of law asks the further question whether the application of a substantive law which will determine the merits of the case is fair to both parties.

JR. Raytheon’s averments of the foreign elements are not sufficient to oust the trial court of its jurisdiction over the case and the parties involved. it is more properly considered as a matter of defense. CASE APPLICATION: RAYTHEON INT’L INC. hence. may refuse impositions on its jurisdiction where it is not the most “convenient” or available forum and the parties are not precluded from seeking remedies elsewhere. NO • Under the doctrine of forum non conveniens. • Moreover. to determine whether special circumstances require the court’s desistance. in conflicts-of-laws cases. . it should do so only after vital facts are established. ROUZIE. RULING: 2. the propriety of dismissing a case based on the principle of forum non conveniens requires a factual determination. While it is within the discretion of the trial court to abstain from assuming jurisdiction on this ground. a court. v.

the instant petition for review on certiorari is DENIED. 67001 are hereby AFFIRMED. JR. . CASE APPLICATION: RAYTHEON INT’L INC.R. SO ORDERED. v. ROUZIE. SP No. The Decision and Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. SC: WHEREFORE. Costs against Petitioner.

STATE OF THE MOST SIGNIFICANT RELATIONSHIP THEORY • Center of Gravity Doctrine • Grouping of Contacts Principle • Pursuant to this doctrine. the "Choice of law problems in conflict of law are resolved by the application of the law of the jurisdiction- which has the most significant relationship to or contact with event and parties to litigation and the issue therein. .

not one of which is of sufficient significance to determine the law applicable or the place where the action is to be filed. .STATE OF THE MOST SIGNIFICANT RELATIONSHIP THEORY • It is generally applied when the acts or contacts or series of acts or contracts occur in more than two countries. law of the state which has the most significant relationship with the occurrence and with the parties determines their rights and liabilities in tort or in contract. so that there is need to group them together and from which determination is done. • Under the "most significant relationship" rule.

if any.corporation. c) the domicile. between the parties is centered. b) the place where the conduct causing the injury occurred. nationality. d) the place where the relationship. the following contacts are to be taken into account and evaluated according to their relative importance with respect to the particular issue: a) the place where the injury occurred. and place of business of the parties.STATE OF THE MOST SIGNIFICANT RELATIONSHIP THEORY • In applying the principle to determine the State which has the most significant relationship. . place of in. residence.

STATE OF THE MOST SIGNIFICANT RELATIONSHIP THEORY • In determining the relative importance of the contacts. the forum will consider the issues. . and the relevant purposes of the rule involved. the character of the tort or contract.