Airbus loses bid to use French blocking law in Qatar column

A British judge said on Friday that Airbus would limit the way it responds to foreign courts as the high-profile debate with Qatar Airways was caught up in the heightened debate over cross-border legal authority. I refused the attempt to activate it.

Qatar Airways is suing France-based Airbus for $ 1.4 billion due to damage to the painted surface and lightning protection system of the A350 jet. This is because design flaws can jeopardize safety. Airbus acknowledges quality flaws, but claims that jets are safe.

Both sides now have to provide each other with thousands of pages of documentation as their dispute is heading for a rare London aerospace trial in mid-2023, except for an elusive resolution.

Airbus is prohibited from directly handing over the documents required by Qatar Airways by a 1968 law prohibiting French companies from handing over confidential economic details to foreign courts without introducing a special mechanism. It states.

The plane maker has applied to a British judge for permission to appoint a special commissioner responsible for sending the document to Qatar Airways. This was already done to assist the UK authorities during the bribery investigation.

“Failure to install such a conduit will put Airbus criminally liable in France,” said the plane maker.

“This is not the whole new, bizarre or bizarre we are proposing,” the lawyer Rupert Allen told a division of the High Court at an online hearing on Friday.

However, Judge David Waksman rejected the request and paid Qatar Airways.

The 1968 law (commonly referred to as the “French Blockade Act”) was designed to protect French companies from the demands of oppressive foreign courts from the United States where Paris was trapped in the economic Cold War. rice field.

“In my judgment, it’s a million miles away from the content of the case,” said Judge David Waksman.

“This is not an example of a reluctant and vulnerable French company that has realized that it has to deal with the discovery of a very intrusive and oppressive form,” he said.

Jurisdiction debate

He also criticized the slowness of airplane manufacturers for the demands of a special disclosure mechanism.

The column of jurisdiction is consistent with the fierce political debate in the UK over the rights of British and foreign courts after the UK withdrew from the European Union.

Tensions regained last month when the European Court of Human Rights, separate from the EU, blocked Britain’s move to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda.

At least one of Boris Johnson’s successors as the British Prime Minister has promised to withdraw from court.

Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab, who has not run for the Conservative leadership competition, said Britain will remain in the ECHR, but “pushing back is legal.”

In France, a record fine of € 3.6 billion ($ 3.63 billion) for airbuses from the United Kingdom, France and the United States in 2020 was also outside the territory of U.S. prosecutors against French companies. Fueled the debate about reaching.

Airbus said it is working with all domestic and international agencies through a four-year study.

The ruling on Friday came after Qatar Airways asked the judge to exercise the power of a British court of both sides to resolve the dispute over the jet airliner contract.

“Compliance with foreign law is not a defense against compliance with British courts,” said Qatar lawyer Philippe Shepherd. Airbus promised that the Commissioner would not personally review the document, but Shepherd suspected he would be a “postbox.” Airbus loses bid to use French blocking law in Qatar column

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