In what is without doubt the biggest resignation news of the last week, I can announce that after six years the time has finally come for me to step down as editor of this blog.
Fortunately, there will be no messy contest for my replacement: I’m delighted to hand it over to Spencer Turner. For anyone who has not yet met him, Spencer is a cross-border specialist who is recognised by the Legal 500 as a “rising star” of the Personal Injury Bar. I have no doubt the blog will be in safe hands with him.
I’m going to take the opportunity in this last blog post to look back at some of the key things we have covered in the last few years. I’ll also be declaring the winners of my coveted International & Travel Blogging Awards…
The Mystic Meg Award for Crystal Ball Gazing
When we started this blog, the focus was on Brexit and its implications for civil litigation. My first award goes to John-Paul Swoboda, who very reasonably predicted some kind of Brussels I (Recast) equivalent in the short term with the UK ultimately acceding to the Lugano Convention.
Unfortunately, his prediction made the understandable but fundamental error of assuming a rational approach by the British Government. Five years later we were finally able to step back and take stock of the “big picture“, with the Lugano Convention firmly off the table and the “service gateways” back in the spotlight.
The Godfather II Prize for Best Sequel
There can only be one real candidate for this coveted award, which of course goes to Brownlie I and Brownlie II. However, despite a double-helping of Supreme Court guidance, questions remain about the scope of the tort gateway and the proper approach to pleading and proving foreign law.
Change is anyway incoming in the form of amendments to the service rules.
The new importance of the forum conveniens test as a “safety valve” means that cross-border injury lawyers need to be familiar with the key features of this doctrine. We summarised the important recent authorities from a personal injury perspective in a recent article.
The Dodgy Prawn Sandwich Medal for Most Significant Contribution to English Law
The status of Retained EU Law is an issue of huge significance across many areas of law. My next prize is therefore deservedly shared by Max Archer and Michael Rawlinson KC, who acted in the first Court of Appeal decision giving comprehensive guidance on this issue in Lipton v BA, a case which featured Coulson LJ’s notable statement of legal principle:
I am of the view that the consumer’s right to compensation under the Regulation cannot depend on when and where the member of staff ate the suspect prawn sandwich.
The litigation is currently on its way to the Supreme Court. In the meantime, I remain to be convinced by either the UK Government’s Retained EU Law Dashboard or Jacob Rees-Mogg’s sensational plan via his Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill to scrap all direct and indirect Retained EU Laws which have not been earmarked by the end of 2023.
The Grass Is Always Greener Trophy for Comparative Guest Blogging
We have been particularly fortunate to feature some excellent guest posts from lawyers from around the world. This prize is shared by Carlos Villacorta Salís for his blog post on Spanish state liability to the victims of terrorism, Jihyun Kim for her comparison of the legal systems of England and South Korea, and David Green for his views on the no-fault compensation system for personal injuries in his home jurisdiction of New Zealand.
We extend our thanks to all of them for their excellent blogs.
The Golden Keyboard for Best Blogger
An honourable mention must go to Cressida Mawdesley-Thomas, whose takedown of Martin Spencer J’s first instance judgment in Griffiths v TUI was so compelling that it was shared across social media by Martin Spencer J himself.
However, the top prize is awarded to the mystery writer (not me, despite my name appearing on it) of this wonderful piece on the legal and non-legal implications of the first judgment in the Kenyan Emergency Group Litigation, which declared that the claims were time-barred.