Compulsory motor insurance: UK government to reverse Vnuk and related EU case law

Yesterday the Secretary of State for Transport confirmed that motor insurance law in the UK will diverge from the European model, specifically in relation to no longer following the Vnuk decision.

Once national legislation is amended, compulsory motor insurance will not extend to either (a) various non-standard motor vehicles or (b) to use of cars on private land. This approach will also remove motor sports from the scope of compulsory cover. Given that the protection offered by the MIB in instances of uninsured and untraced incidents is congruent with the legislation, it follows that the change should see (a) and (b) as no longer being liabilities to which the MIB would be required to respond.

In the six years since the decision in Vnuk we carried out a lot of work on the problems and anomalies it produced in practice. The news from the DfT is very clear and will bring those problems to an end once the changes announced take effect. In the window between Vnuk and this change being implemented there will still however be cases to be met as compulsory motor insurance claims in circumstances (a) and (b) above.


Alistair Kinley, Director of Policy & Government Affairs alistair.kinley@blmlaw.com

Jurisdiction in accident abroad: further developments in Brownlie v Four Seasons

The latest decision in the very-long running Brownlie fatal accident litigation was given on 1 October 2019.

The current phase of the case turns on the question of jurisdiction when UK residents are injured outside the EU, since the relevant EU regulation – Brussels 1 (recast) – does not apply. The case is of particular interest because the relevant government guidance confirms that Brussels 1 will be repealed on EU exit day and replaced by the (English) common law and statutory provisions on jurisdiction which currently apply to cases such as Brownlie.

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“We are in rather a jam as a nation” – Brexit and civil justice issues

On 31 January 2017 the EU Justice Sub-Committee heard further evidence in its enquiry into the arrangements for civil justice co-operation and the role of Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) after the UK leaves the EU. In the hot seat this time was Sir Oliver Heald QC MP, Minister of State for Justice. Senior judges, academics and practitioners have already appeared before the Sub-Committee during the course of this ongoing enquiry.

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