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Owusu Notes

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This is an extract of our Owusu document, which we sell as part of our Conflict of Laws BCL Notes collection written by the top tier of Oxford students.

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OWUSU (2005) FACTS On 10 October 1997, Mr Owusu ('the claimant'), a British national domiciled in the United Kingdom, suffered a very serious accident during a holiday in Jamaica. He walked into the sea, and when the water was up to his waist he dived in, struck his head against a submerged sand bank and sustained a fracture of his fifth cervical vertebra which rendered him tetraplegic. Following that accident, Mr Owusu brought an action in the United Kingdom for breach of contract against Mr Jackson, who is also domiciled in that State. Mr Jackson had let to Mr Owusu a holiday villa in Mammee Bay (Jamaica). Mr Owusu claims that the contract, which provided that he would have access to a private beach, contained an implied term that the beach would be reasonably safe or free from hidden dangers. Mr Owusu also brought an action in tort in the United Kingdom against several Jamaican companies, namely Mammee Bay Club Ltd ('the third defendant'), the owner and occupier of the beach at Mammee Bay which provided the claimant with free access to the beach, The Enchanted Garden Resorts & Spa Ltd ('the fourth defendant'), which operates a holiday complex close to Mammee Bay, and whose guests were also licensed to use the beach, and Town & Country Resorts Ltd ('the sixth defendant'), which operates a large hotel adjoining the beach, and which has a licence to use the beach, subject to the condition that it is responsible for its management, upkeep and control. Mr Jackson and the third, fourth and sixth defendants applied to that court for a declaration that it should not exercise its jurisdiction in relation to the claim against them both. In support of their applications, they argued that the case had closer links with Jamaica and that the Jamaican courts were a forum with jurisdiction in which the case might be tried more suitably for the interests of all the parties and the ends of justice. QUESTIONS Whether Article 2 of the Brussels Convention is applicable in circumstances such as those in the main proceedings, that is to say, where the claimant and one of the defendants are domiciled in the same Contracting State and the case between them before the courts of that State has certain connecting factors with a nonContracting State, but not with another Contracting State. Whether, in such circumstances, the Brussels Convention precludes a court of a Contracting State from applying the forum non conveniens doctrine and declining to exercise the jurisdiction conferred on it by Article 2 of that Convention.

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