- Elgar European Law series
Chapter 5: Protected contracts
Chapter II of the Brussels I Regulation lays down special rules on jurisdiction in respect of three types of contract: insurance contracts,consumer contractsand contracts of employment. Recital 18 to the revised version explains that, in relation to insurance, consumer and employment contracts, the weaker party should be protected by rules of jurisdiction more favourable to his interests than the general rules. Accordingly these provisions offer the weaker party (the policy-holder, consumer or employee) a wide choice of fora in which to sue the stronger party (the insurer, supplier or employer), while limiting the fora in which the stronger party can sue the weaker party and invalidating contrary agreements in respect of future disputes save in exceptional cases. Moreover, at the stage of recognition and enforcement of judgments under Chapter III, the protective policy is reinforced by Article 45 of the revised version, which prevents recognition and enforcement where the original court accepted jurisdiction over a weaker defendant in contravention of the protective provisions. In many cases the protective provisions apply even if the defendant is not domiciled in a Member State. Thus by Articles 11(2), 17(2) and 20(2) (ex Articles 9(2), 15(2) and 18(2)), where an insurer, supplier or employer is not (under the normal rules) domiciled in any Member State, but has a secondary establishment in a Member State, and the dispute arises from the operations of the secondary establishment, the insurer, supplier or employer is treated as domiciled in the State in which the secondary establishment is situated.
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