Ace Ankomah vs Kevin Tailor: Center for Legal and Social Research explains ‘International’ Law


Center for Legal and Social Research (CLSR) writes;

This defamation by its nature is likely to give rise to private international law issues, and bring into play the Choice of law rules. The Choice of law rules are used to resolve the question of which laws should apply to proceedings that have connections with more than one state or country.

The issues are;
Firstly, the parties involved in the percieved “defamation action” are not in the same place. (Jurisdiction)

Secondly, the alleged tortious act of the falsehood publication and the injury to reputation each occured in more than one jurisdiction. (Thus, the advent of the Internet, and other forms of trans-boundary
communication channels have increased the likelihood of defamation actions and raising issues of choice of law and jurisdiction)

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Nonetheless, the nature of the tort of defamation generally is less jurisdictionally constrained, than some other causes of action involving the publishing of information, due to its strong focus on damage suffered by the plaintiff rather than on the behaviour of the defendant. (See Ward Group Pty Ltd v Brodie & Stone Plc [2005] FCA 471)

Accordingly, subject to the principle of forum non conveniens ,the lex loci delicti the courts will likely exercise jurisdiction where the defendant has been served within the territorial jurisdiction of the court, or where the defendant has voluntarily submitted to the jurisdiction of the court, or where service outside the jurisdiction is authorised by the rules of court. Service outside Ghans is permitted by the rules of court (see Order 8 of C.I. 47)

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It is important to note also that, while a court may be able to assume jurisdiction over a particular cause or matter, it does not suggest, the court will necessarily exercise it. The Ghanaian courts will not exercise jurisdiction where it can be shown that the chosen state or territory is a ‘clearly inappropriate forum’. And factors that are relevant to this test include matters affecting convenience and expenses, the place of domicile of the parties, the place where relevant events occurred, the location of witnesses and any legitimate personal or juridical advantage available to the plaintiff in the forum, which would not be available in an alternative forum. (See Voth (1990) 171 CLR 538 at 564-565)


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