Duhaime's Law Dictionary


Reconvention Definition:

A rule of jurisdiction which enables a counterclaim against another who, although otherwise beyond the jurisdiction of the court, has voluntarily submitted to jurisdiction by iniating the principal action.

"Reconvention - the rule of jurisdiction which enables a person to counterclaim or bring a cross-claim against another who, although otherwise beyond the jurisdiction of the court, has voluntarily submitted himself to its jurisdiction by bringing the principal action there."

These words were used by the Law Society of Scotland in their 1992 booklet, Glossary: Scottish Legal Terms, Latin Maxims and European Community Legal Terms.

In Scots Law by Enid Marshall, the author explains reconvention as follows, in the context of the Scottish Court of Session:

"... where a party raises an action voluntarily in the Court of Sessions, he thereby submits himself to its jurisdiction in any counter-action arising out of the same undertaking or belonging to the same class."

For example, in the case of a collision between ships, to borrow from an example awkwardly set out by Marshall (op. cit.), if a foreign ship owner chooses to launch an action for damages in the jurisdiction of the alleged defendant, he cannot raise the issue of jurisdiction if the defendant responds by filing a counter-claim in regards to the same collision.

REFERENCES:

  • Law Society of Scotland, Glossary: Scottish Legal Terms, Latin Maxims and European Community Legal Terms (Edinburgh: Butterworths, 1992), page 76.
  • Marshall, Enid, General Principles of Scots Law, 6th Edition (Edinburgh: Sweet & Maxwell, 1995), page 53.

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