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Territorial Jurisdiction

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Thanks to Barnaby Large of No.18 Barristers Chambers for preparing this case summary.

The EAT (Supperstone J) has handed down its decision in the case of Hasan v Shell International, which is authority for the proposition that the Bleuse principle is not applicable to territories outside of the EU.

The Claimant, a mariner, brought claims for unfair dismissal, discrimination, and breach of contract against his employer, the first Respondent (a company based in Singapore); the owner and charterer of vessels he worked aboard, the second Respondent (a company based in London); and a company contracted to carry out daily management of the Claimant, the third Respondent (a company based in the Isle of Man).

The employment tribunal declined jurisdiction to hear the Claimant's claims as he did not work in an establishment in the UK nor aboard a registered vessel with a port in Great Britain specified as the vessel's port of choice, and the breach of contract (a dismissal letter sent from the Isle of Man) occurred outside of England and Wales.

The Claimant appealed. In particular, he argued there was jurisdiction to hear the discrimination claim in accordance with the Bleuseprinciple - those who seek to enforce directly enforceable EU derived rights where the proper law of is that of England and Wales, ought to enjoy relaxed territorial limitation to allow the exercise of those rights.

Upholding the decision of the employment tribunal and declining a reference to the CJEU, the EAT declined to apply the Bleuse principle which had no application to territories (in this case Singapore and the Isle of Man, being the countries to which his vessel were registered) outside of the EU.