May 01, 2009
Interesting New Piece on EU Recitals; Contrast with Preambles and so on
From the abstract:
Recitals, those 'whereas' clauses, appear in contracts as well as legislation, although not all legislation contains recitals; indeed, recitals are 'against' the precepts of certain styles of legislation. When, however, there are recitals, parties will argue over the way they should be interpreted in view of the operative provisions, or that they have, or don't have, other legal repercussions. The courts must then choose among a number of interpretive variants: they may choose to view recitals as subordinate to, dominant over, or even equal to operative provisions.
Recitals are also a feature of European Community (EC) legislation, so that the same variants exist.
But the matter is complicated by a feature of EC legislation which is fairly unique: recitals in EC legislation must specify the reasons the operative provisions were adopted, and if they do not, the legislation is void. This is puzzling. Why would this be so? It does not seem to emanate from the nature of recitals themselves, nor does it seem to be reflected in the general law of recitals (principally contract law).
At the same time it is claimed that while EC recitals have no legal value and cannot be the cause of derogation from an operative provision, they nevertheless create legitimate expectations (such as would defeat an operative provision). This is also strange. Recitals are supposed to be general statements. General statements are not something which ordinarily are recognized as giving rise to legitimate expectations. But also recitals in general (for instance, in contract law) are, well, recitals, not operative provisions and it is hard to fathom how they could give rise to positive obligations or defeat operative clauses.
Thus, the doctrine surrounding recitals in EC law is mystifying. It is either irrational or so complicated as to amount to the same thing.
It's published in ILSA Journal of Int’l & Comparative Law Vol. 15:1, by Tadas Klimas, Associate Professor of Law & Attorney At Law, Cavalier of the Lithuanian Order of Merit by Presidential Decree. Where is that Holy Trinity case....
April 30, 2009
When's something "off shore"?
Jones v. Frances Drilling Fluids, 2009 US DIst LEXIS 21388 (March 17, 2009) was a contract case, but one worth noting here. The insurer argued it was not bound because it was liable only for "off shore" injuries, which, it said, meant only rigs in the gulf; the injured worker, of course, had been injured on a rig, but not one that was in the gulf. The court held that the contract was ambiguous.