Does a Choice of Law Bind a Claimant in a Direct Action? An Analysis in Relation to Insurance Contracts in a Maritime Law Context

AuthorDominyka Derbutaite
PositionUniversity of Southampton
Pages1-13
[2019] Vol.9
1
Does a Choice of Law Bind a Claimant in a Direct Action? An Analysis in
Relation to Insurance Contracts in a Maritime Law Context
Dominyka Derbutaite
University of Southampton
Abstract
This article examines the application of European Union rules on a choice of law in relation to direct
action claims, with a focus on insurance contracts in a maritime setting. This is an important legal
matter which needs to be addressed, since, in cases of insolvent tortfeasors, third parties may be left
without a remedy for damages incurred.
The analysis will look into the most recent case law which has shaped direct action claims. For
example, the Court of Justice of the European Union, in the recent case of Assens Havn v Navigators
Management (UK) Ltd, confirmed that jurisdiction clauses are not binding on the third parties. Thus,
this article will assess how the subsequent case law within the EU Member States have been developed,
and will consider whether it has been harmonised - in order to conclude that the right to direct action
against the insurers is of high significance to third parties - especially when the insured becomes
insolvent.
Introduction
his paper is going to consider whether the choice of law applicable in direct action claims is
binding on claimants in insurance contracts in the light of the current legal framework. In
order to understand the position, which we are facing in today’s globalised world, where
majority of commercial transactions are commenced and concluded by the international parties, we
must understand the position of the injured parties.
In terms of jurisdiction clauses, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in the recent case
of Assens Havn v Navigators Management (UK) Ltd1 confirmed that jurisdiction clauses are not
1 Assens Havn v Navigators Management (UK) Ltd [2017] ECLI:EU:C:2017:546.
T

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