Private International Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1995

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1995 c. 42


Private International Law(Miscellaneous Provisions) Act1995

1995 CHAPTER 42

An Act to make provision about interest on judgment debts and arbitral awards expressed in a currency other than sterling; to make further provision as to marriages entered into by unmarried persons under a law which permits polygamy; to make provision for choice of law rules in tort and delict; and for connected purposes.

[8th November 1995]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

I Interest on Judgment Debts and Arbitral Awards

PART I

Interest on Judgment Debts and Arbitral Awards

S-1 Interest on judgment debts generally.

1 Interest on judgment debts generally.

(1) In the Administration of Justice Act 1970, after section 44 (interest on judgment debts) there shall be inserted the following section—

S-44A

44A ‘Interest on judgment debts expressed in currencies other than sterling.

(1) Where a judgment is given for a sum expressed in a currency other than sterling and the judgment debt is one to which section 17 of the Judgments Act 1838 applies, the court may order that the interest rate applicable to the debt shall be such rate as the court thinks fit.

(2) Where the court makes such an order, section 17 of the Judgments Act 1838 shall have effect in relation to the judgment debt as if the rate specified in the order were substituted for the rate specified in that section.’

(2) Subsection (1) above does not apply in relation to a judgment given before the commencement of this section.

S-2 Interest on county court judgment debts.

2 Interest on county court judgment debts.

In section 74 of the County Courts Act 1984(interest on judgment debts etc.), after subsection (5) there shall be inserted the following subsection—

(5A) The power conferred by subsection (1) includes power to make provision enabling a county court to order that the rate of interest applicable to a sum expressed in a currency other than sterling shall be such rate as the court thinks fit (instead of the rate otherwise applicable).’

S-3 Interest on arbitral awards.

3 Interest on arbitral awards.

(1) In the Arbitration Act 1950 , for section 20 (interest on awards) there shall be substituted the following section—

S-20 ‘Interest on awards.

20 ‘Interest on awards.

(1) A sum directed to be paid by an award shall, unless the award otherwise directs, carry interest as from the date of the award.

(2) The rate of interest shall be—

(a) the rate for judgment debts specified in section 17 of the Judgments Act 1838 at the date of the award; or

(b) if the power under subsection (3) below is exercised, the rate specified in the award.

(3) Where the sum is expressed in a currency other than sterling, the award may specify such rate as the arbitrator or umpire thinks fit instead of the rate mentioned in subsection (2)(a) above.’

(2) Subsection (1) above does not apply in relation to an award made before the commencement of this section.

S-4 Part I: consequential amendments.

4 Part I: consequential amendments.

(1) In section 24(1) of the Crown Proceedings Act 1947 (interest on debts etc.), after the word ‘interest)’ there shall be inserted the words ‘and section 44A of the Administration of Justice Act 1970 (which enables the court to order an appropriate rate for a judgment debt expressed in a currency other than sterling)’.

(2) In Schedule 11 to the Agricultural Holdings Act 1986 , in paragraph 22 (interest on awards), for the words ‘same rate as a judgment debt’ there shall be substituted the words ‘same rate as that specified in section 17 of the Judgments Act 1838 at the date of the award’.

A corresponding amendment shall be deemed to have been made in paragraph 20B of Schedule 6 to the Agricultural Holdings Act 1948 in relation to any case to which it continues to apply.

(3) In section 10(3) of the Drug Trafficking Act 1994 (interest on sums unpaid under confiscation orders), for the words from ‘that’ to the end there shall be substituted the words ‘the same rate as that specified in section 17 of the Judgments Act 1838 (interest on civil judgment debts)’.

II Validity of Marriages under a Law which permits Polygamy

PART II

Validity of Marriages under a Law which permits Polygamy

S-5 Validity in English law of potentially polygamous marriages.

5 Validity in English law of potentially polygamous marriages.

(1) A marriage entered into outside England and Wales between parties neither of whom is already married is not void under the law of England and Wales on the ground that it is entered into under a law which permits polygamy and that either party is domiciled in England and Wales.

(2) This section does not affect the determination of the validity of a marriage by reference to the law of another country to the extent that it falls to be so determined in accordance with the rules of private international law.

S-6 Application of section 5 to prior marriages.

6 Application of section 5 to prior marriages.

(1) Section 5 above shall be deemed to apply, and always to have applied, to any marriage entered into before commencement which is not excluded by subsection (2) or (3) below.

(2) That section does not apply to a marriage a party to which has (before commencement) entered into a later marriage which either—

(a) is valid apart from this section but would be void if section 5 above applied to the earlier marriage; or

(b) is valid by virtue of this section.

(3) That section does not apply to a marriage which has been annulled before commencement, whether by a decree granted in England and Wales or by an annulment obtained elsewhere and recognised in England and Wales at commencement.

(4) An annulment of a marriage resulting from legal proceedings begun before commencement shall be treated for the purposes of subsection (3) above as having taken effect before that time.

(5) For the purposes of subsections (3) and (4) above a marriage which has been declared to be invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction in any proceedings concerning either the validity of the marriage or any right dependent on its validity shall be treated as having been annulled.

(6) Nothing in section 5 above, in its application to marriages entered into before commencement—

(a) gives or affects any entitlement to an interest—

(i) under the will or codicil of, or on the intestacy of, a person who died before commencement; or

(ii) under a settlement or other disposition of property made before that time (otherwise than by will or codicil);

(b) gives or affects any entitlement to a benefit, allowance, pension or other payment—

(i) payable before, or in respect of a period before, commencement; or

(ii) payable in respect of the death of a person before that time;

(c) affects tax in respect of a period or event before commencement; or

(d) affects the succession to any dignity or title of honour.

(7) In this section ‘commencement’ means the commencement of this Part.

S-7 Validity and effect in Scots law of potentially polygamous marriages.

7 Validity and effect in Scots law of potentially polygamous marriages.

(1) A person domiciled in Scotland does not lack capacity to enter into a marriage by reason only that the marriage is entered into under a law which permits polygamy.

(2) For the avoidance of doubt, a marriage valid by the law of Scotland and entered into—

(a) under a law which permits polygamy; and

(b) at a time when neither party to the marriage is already married,

has, so long as neither party marries a second spouse during the subsistence of the marriage, the same effects for all purposes of the law of Scotland as a marriage entered into under a law which does not permit polygamy.

S-8 Part II: supplemental.

8 Part II: supplemental.

(1) Nothing in this Part affects any law or custom relating to the marriage of members of the Royal Family.

(2) The enactments specified in the Schedule to this Act (which contains consequential amendments and amendments removing unnecessary references to potentially polygamous marriages) are amended in accordance with that Schedule.

(3) Nothing in that Schedule affects either the generality of any enactment empowering the making of subordinate legislation or any such legislation made before the commencement of this Part.

II Choice of Law in Tort and Delict

PART III

Choice of Law in Tort and Delict

S-9 Purpose of Part III.

9 Purpose of Part III.

(1) The rules in this Part apply for choosing the law (in this Part referred to as ‘the applicable law’) to be used for determining issues relating to tort or (for the purposes of the law of Scotland) delict.

(2) The characterisation for the purposes of private international law of issues arising in a claim as issues relating to tort or delict is a matter for the courts of the forum.

(3) The rules in this Part do not apply in relation to issues arising in any claim excluded from the operation of this Part by section 13 below.

(4) The applicable law shall be used for determining the issues arising in a claim, including in particular the question whether an actionable tort or delict has occurred.

(5) The applicable law to be used for determining the issues arising in a claim shall exclude any choice of law rules forming part of the law of the country or countries concerned.

(6) For the avoidance of doubt (and without prejudice to the operation of section 14 below) this Part applies in relation to events occurring in the forum as it applies in relation to events...

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