Egypt

The El Amira was applied in The Al Battini (1993) where it was held that although the defendants had shown that Egypt was a more appropriate forum, the financial burden of litigating in Egypt was so heavy that justice required that a stay should not be granted. In The Rothnie (1996) it was decided that the legal burden of proof rested on a defendant to persuade the Court to exercise its discretion to grant a stay. One of the cardinal rules of Admiralty jurisprudence is that mere balance of convenience is not a sufficient ground for depriving the plaintiff of the advantages of an action properly brought in the arresting court. In The Rothnie (a non-exclusive jurisdiction clause for the courts of Gibraltar) the action had the most real and substantial connection with Gibraltar. There were no circumstances by reason of which justice required that a stay should not be granted. (The cases go on. The ‘discretion’ of the English courts can, at times, be thought to be exercised in a ‘pro-English forum’, arbitrary manner.) Under Art 17 of the Brussels Convention, if there is an exclusive jurisdiction clause, the court does not have an inherent power to stay proceedings. It will be recalled that injunctions are the creation of equity. As an alternative, or in addition, to claiming damages, the plaintiffs may seek an injunction to restrain the commission or continuance of a tort or breach of contract. Like other equitable remedies, injunctions are discretionary; the court is not bound to grant them and will usually refuse to do so if an award of damages will afford adequate compensation. In deciding whether or not to grant the injunction the court will look at the behaviour of the plaintiff himself (‘he who comes to equity, must come with clean hands’) and will also consider all the circumstances relating to the case, i.e. not only the plaintiff’s circumstances but also the defendant’s.