Can a plaintiff sue for false imprisonment in China?

British Columbia, Canada

The following excerpt is from Garcia v. Tahoe Resources Inc., 2015 BCSC 2045 (CanLII):

In Huang v. Silvercorp Metals Inc., the plaintiff, who was a Canadian citizen, commenced an action alleging the defendant and its subsidiary had engaged in misconduct and wrongful acts towards him. In particular, he alleged the defendant had committed the torts of false imprisonment and defamation. The plaintiff had been detained, investigated and imprisoned in China. The defendant conceded the court had jurisdiction simpliciter and was the more appropriate forum in which to try the defamation action. The defendant sought to have the court exercise its discretion to decline jurisdiction to determine the issue of whether there had been a false imprisonment on the basis that China was the more appropriate forum in which to litigate those allegations. The evidence was that the plaintiff was prohibited from travelling to China to prosecute his claim. As well, the plaintiff could not sue for false imprisonment in China as there was no such tort. The defendant’s position would have entailed proceedings in both China and British Columbia concerning essentially the same matter. In the circumstances, the court found the defendant had not established that China was the clearly more appropriate forum and dismissed defendant’s application.

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