Monday, 20 April 2015
The New Law Journal has generously given my latest article, ‘No Through Road’ front cover status.
The article explains why the Court of Appeal’s decision in Delaney v Secretary of State for Transport  EWCA Civ 172 has much wider implications than the immediate case facts might suggest. It reveals that the writing has been on the wall for successive Governments since 1996 that its national law provision for guaranteeing the compensatory entitlement of motor accident victims was in need of a fundamental overhaul, following the Court of Justice ruling in Bernaldez, (Case C-129/94). Hitherto I have been a lone voice in my criticism of the Court of Appeal for not applying what has become known as the Bernaldez principle when interpreting the United Kingdom’s flawed implementation of the European directives on motor insurance. The Court of Appeal has now confirmed in the clearest possible terms that the underlying rationale in Bernaldez, of protecting accident victims, has a general application. In doing so it has departed from its earlier, unanimous, decision in EUI v Bristol Alliance Partnership  EWCA Civ 1267 that Bernaldez was relegated to its own facts. The Department of Transport’s trenchant insistence that our national law provision in this area is fully compliant with European law is exposed, once again, as patently false. The Minister must act now or face the prospect of numerous expensive legal challenges as the legal profession wake up to the reality that our national law provision in this area is in a state of shambles.
The full text of the article can be downloaded from the New Law Journal’s subscription website.