Nica v Xian Jiaotong Liverpool University UKEAT/0041/17/JOJ

Appeal against the dismissal of the Claimant's claims because of lack of jurisdiction. Appeal dismissed.

The Claimant was employed from September 2009 until 31 August 2014 by the First Respondent which was a university established and located in China as a joint venture with the University of Liverpool. The Claimant's place of work was only ever in China, he was paid in Chinese currency and his contract of employment was expressly stated to be subject to the labour laws of China. The Claimant never worked for the First Respondent in Great Britain and at no time was he employed by the University of Liverpool. The Claimant's claims, which included complaints of unfair dismissal, race and age discrimination, and of detriments and dismissal by reason of his having made protected disclosures, were rejected by the ET because it lacked jurisdiction to determine his complaints. The Claimant appealed, in particular contending the ET had erred in failing to find that it had jurisdiction to determine his claims under EU law (the European Parliament and Council Regulation 1215/2012 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters (recast) ("the Regulation")) and the Equality Act 2010 ("the EqA").

The EAT dismissed the appeal. The Regulation did not confer jurisdiction on the ET in these circumstances; it was concerned with the question which Courts should hear a claim; as such, it did not affect the content of the substantive law applicable to the claim itself (Bleuse v MBT Transport Ltd and Anor [2008] ICR 488 EAT applied). The approach to be adopted in determining whether the Claimant had an enforceable right under British law was laid down in the case-law of the higher appellate Courts, binding on the EAT (see Bates van Winkelhof v Clyde & Co LLP [2012] IRLR 992 CA and R (on the application of Hottak) v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs [2016] ICR 975 CA). Given the ET's findings of fact, it had correctly concluded that it the Claimant had no right to bring a claim under the EqA.

Published: 25/08/2017 10:04

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