The guarantor mortgaged land in Queensland to secure a loan made by the Singapore branch of the ANZ bank. The loan was in default and the bank had obtained judgment against the guarantor for the debt in the High Court of Singapore. The bank had registered the Singapore judgment against the guarantor in the Supreme Court of Queensland and had also commenced proceedings in Queensland for the possession of the land.
A clause of the guarantee provided that it was governed by the laws of Singapore and that the guarantor irrevocably submitted to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of Singapore. The guarantor denied she had submitted to the jurisdiction of Singapore and submitted that Singapore had no jurisdiction on a proper construction of the guarantee and according to the private international law of Queensland. She also argued it was an abuse of process because the Singapore proceedings and the Queensland proceedings were essentially the same issue being determined.
The Judge disagreed with the guarantor’s characterisation, pointing out that the Singapore proceedings were for a debt claim and the relief that the bank sought in Queensland was only recovery of the land. The Judge was satisfied that the proper construction of the clause was that the guarantor had submitted to the jurisdiction of the courts of Singapore and refused to set aside the registration of the Singapore judgment.
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