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Product Liability: Law and Insurance

Page 515 11 JURISDICTION, FOREIGN JUDGMENTS ANDCHOICE OF LAW 11.1 The presence of a “foreign element” in any litigation will make it necessary to consider the rules of the Conflict of Laws or, as it is also known, Private International Law. For example, a product may have been manufactured in Germany, supplied to a French retailer and purchased by an English consumer. In the event of a claim by the English consumer against the German manufacturer, two “preliminary” questions may 1 have to be answered before dealing with the merits of the claim itself. First, in which courts should the claim be heard (jurisdiction) and, secondly, which law should apply to resolve it (choice of law)? Furthermore, if the answer to the first question is that the claim should be heard by the German courts, will any judgment obtained be enforceable in any state other than Germany and, if so, when (enforcement of foreign judgments)? It is with these three questions that this chapter is principally concerned. 2

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