Jurisdiction and Arbitration in Multimodal Transport

Yvonne Baatz | Ost Colloquium: Multimodal Transport

The purpose of this Article is to consider the role of the jurisdiction agreement, whether for court jurisdiction or arbitration, in multimodal transport. This Article will consider the approach taken by the English common law rules; the approach taken in the rules agreed to by the Member States of the European Union in Council Regulation 44/2001 of December 22, 2000, titled “On Jurisdiction and the Recognition and Enforcement of Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters” (E.C. Jurisdiction Regulation); and the approach of various international conventions relevant to carriage of goods culminating in the Convention on Contracts for the International Carriage of Goods Wholly or Partly by Sea (Rotterdam Rules) adopted in 2008 and signed in Rotterdam in September 2009. It will be shown that there is currently no agreement worldwide on two fundamental issues that lie at the heart of the role of the jurisdiction agreement in this field: (1) whether a neutral choice of jurisdiction that has no connection with the dispute is permitted and (2) whether a third party should be bound by that agreement. Until agreement on those two issues can be reached, there cannot be an international solution to jurisdiction issues in multimodal transport.