LOLG Successful in Jurisdiction Motion
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On May 14, 2021, the Ontario Superior Court released its decision in Jacubovich v. State of Israel, granting the State of Israel’s motion to stay the proceeding for lack of jurisdiction. The plaintiffs claimed against the State of Israel and its fiscal agent for payment of proceeds under the Israel Bonds Program, which the plaintiffs allege to have been wrongfully paid to a corporation controlled by their estranged grandfather. LOLG, on behalf of the State of Israel, argued that the connection between the dispute and Ontario is weak, given that the plaintiffs reside in Argentina, and the bonds were purchased in Panama and processed in Jerusalem.
The Court adopted LOLG’s arguments and found that Ontario should not become a “hosting court” for international disputes that have no real connection to the jurisdiction. The Court also agreed with LOLG that Israel is clearly the more appropriate forum for the plaintiffs’ claim, in view of the location of the witnesses, application of Israeli law, and enforcement considerations.
The decision offers guidance about the importance of scrutinizing the presumptive connecting factors in a jurisdiction simpliciter analysis to ensure that Ontario does not take jurisdiction over disputes that have only a weak connection to the Province in view of the true subject matter in dispute.
The decision can be found here: 2021 05 14 - Decision and Reasons of Justice Sharma (motion to stay)