Frederick Rieländer

Ein einheitliches »Unfallstatut« für Passagiergemeinschaften?

Methoden der Statutenkonzentration im Internationalen Personenbeförderungsrecht

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Despite extensive harmonisation of the substantive law relating to personal injuries arising out of traffic accidents during passenger carriage by air, rail, road and sea, the various legal systems in the EU still present striking differences with respect to the recoverability of non-economic damage for »secondary victims« in the case of death or injury to the »primary victim«. In terms of mass casualty incidents, the relevant EU conflict of laws rules provide for a useful »concentration effect« by designating a manageable quantity of national legal systems governing the carrier's (extra-)contractual liability against fatally injured passengers and their surviving dependants. Nonetheless, since the claims of passengers and their survivors may be governed by different national legal systems, the amount of damages awarded may vary according to the applicable substantive law. At first glance, applying a single body of law governing the claims of all fatally injured passengers and their survivors against the carrier facilitates claims management and promotes equality between the victims who have shared the same misfortune. This article elaborates on the preconditions for an adaptation of EU conflict of laws rules as a possible means of ensuring the application of a single regime of (extra-)contractual liability for mass casualty incidents. In essence, it could be justified to develop a new concept of adaptation in the EU conflict of laws sphere if applying different national legal systems to a mass casualty incident infringes the principle of equal treatment under EU law. A closer analysis of the respective conflict of laws rules reveals that applying the law of habitual residence of the individual passenger is justified as a legitimate aim of consumer protection. Despite its harmonising effects, the legal concept of adaptation cannot guarantee the application of a sole body of law without exception, as the example of aircraft collisions demonstrates. On the other hand, adopting an artificial conflict of laws rule designating the applicable law for personal injuries arising out of passenger carriage necessarily contravenes the principle of identifying the closest connection and causes unequal treatment between individual victims of comparable tragic scenarios.

Frederick Rieländer Geboren 1985; 2005–11 Studium der Rechtswissenschaft an der Universität Osnabrück; 2011 Erstes Juristisches Staatsexamen; 2013 Promotion; 2013–15 juristischer Vorbereitungsdienst am OLG Oldenburg; 2015 Zweites Juristisches Staatsexamen; Habilitand und Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter am European Legal Studies Institute der Universität Osnabrück; 2018/19 Masterstudium an der University of Cambridge, Corpus Christi College; 2019 Master of Laws (Cambridge); 2020 Habilitation; seither Professurvertretungen an den Universitäten Gießen und Bremen.