This chapter offers a critical examination of the significant, but largely unexplored, question whether, and to what extent, a foreign order restraining the issuing bank from making payment under a letter of credit can afford the issuing bank a good defence to a claim in a court outside that bank’s home jurisdiction. At common law, in England as well as in other jurisdictions, such as Hong Kong, Singapore and the US, such orders have only limited effect in the forum. This chapter argues that the approach of the English courts to article 4 of the Rome Convention of 19 June 1980 on the law applicable to contractual obligations meant that such orders could defeat a claim against the issuing bank in England only in very narrow circumstances. It goes on to examine the extent to which the changes introduced in article 4 of the Rome I Regulation of 17 June 2008 on the law applicable to contractual obligations have altered the position under English law, so that stop payment orders made in the issuer’s home jurisdiction may now have a much wider reach in England. The chapter contends that notwithstanding the amendments to article 4, in the specific context of letters of credit, the approach of the English courts under the Rome I Regulation is likely to be broadly similar to that under the Rome Convention. The Rome I Regulation has not (even unintentionally) opened the door to stop payment orders made in the issuer’s home jurisdiction.
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