Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Forum Conveniens Definition:

The court or forum most suitable for the ends of justice.

Related Terms: Locus Regit Actum

Often stated as forum non conviens or inappropriate forum.

A doctrine of international law generally, and conflict of laws specifically directing competing jurisdictions to defer to the court in the jurisdiction most suitable to the ends of justice in any particular case.

In Société du gaz, Justice Somner wrote:

"I do not see how one can guide oneself profitably by endeavouring to conciliate and promote the interests of both these antagonists, except in that ironical sense, in which one says that it is in the interests of both that the case should be tried in the best way and in the best tribunal, and that the best man should win. The real proposition is, I think, that the Court has to consider how best the ends of justice in the case in question and on the facts before it, so far as they can be measured in advance, can be respectively ascertained and served....

"The object, under the words forum non conveniens is to find that forum which is the more suitable for the ends of justice, and is preferable because pursuit of the litigation in that forum is more likely to secure those ends."

In Antares, Canada's Supreme Court adopted these words:

"Forum Non Conveniens: a state will not exercise jurisdiction if it is a seriously inconvenient forum for the trial of the action provided that a more appropriate forum is available to the plaintiff."


  • Antares Shipping Corp. v The Capricorn (1977) 2 SCR 422 and at 65 DLR 3d 105 and at 7 NR 518
  • Société du Gaz de Paris v La Société Anonyme de Navigation 1926 SC 13
  • United Oilseed Products Ltd. v Royal Bank 60 Alta. LR 2d 73, (1988) 5 WWR 181, 87 AR 337, 29 CPC 2d and at 28 1988 CarswellAlta 98 (ABCA, 1988)

Categories & Topics:

Always looking up definitions? Save time with our search provider (modern browsers only)

If you find an error or omission in Duhaime's Law Dictionary, or if you have suggestion for a legal term, we'd love to hear from you!