In my torts course this semester, I came across the case of Kuwait Airways Corp v Iraqi Airways Co  AC 883 (“Kuwait Airways”). It was a case whereby the plaintiff, Kuwait Airways Corp (KAC), was suing the defendant, Iraqi Airways Co (IAC) in tort. KAC succeeded in making out the case that KAC had converted its aircraft. The interesting thing was that this dispute between KAC and IAC was heard in a UK court.
When an action is brought before the court and there are foreign elements in the case, the court will have to decide whether based on lex loci delicti commissi (Latin for “law of the place where the delict was committed”), it has the jurisdiction to hear the case. In the case of Kuwait Airways, the parties depended on the doctrine of double actionability. This is a doctrine of private international law which states that an action for an alleged tort can be heard in a foreign court if it were actionable in both the domestic as well as the foreign jurisdiction. Therefore, as the tort of conversion was actionable both in Kuwait as it was in the UK, the case could be heard in the UK court.