Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law

First Page



One of the most remarkable aspects of Harris v. Taylor, a decision which has been described as "revolting to common sense" and, somewhat more diplomatically, as "unfortunate"' is the fact that it has taken sixty-four years for the question raised therein to come before the Court of Appeal again. In the intervening years, it has suffered, somewhat unjustly, critical attacks resulting from misapprehension as to what happened and what was decided in that case.

Harris v. Taylor is a classic example of a case properly decided but for the wrong reasons. The plaintiff, domiciled in the Isle of Man, brought an action there against the defendant, an English-man, domiciled in England, for loss of consortium of his wife and for criminal conversation with her, occurring both in the Isle of Man and in England. The defendant, through his advocate, made a limited appearance for the purposes of setting aside the writ of summons served upon him in England and to set aside the order which had allowed service outside the territorial jurisdiction of the Isle of Man.

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