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School of Law

Reading Sessions: "Montreal Convention vs EU regulation 261/2004” by Nick Bernard

25 February 2016

Time: 12:00 - 2:00pm
Venue: Room 313, Law Building, School of Law, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Road, London E1 4NS

The Centre for European and International Legal Affairs (CEILA) hosts this Reading Session with Nick Bernard (Queen Mary University of London), with commentary by Professor Sacha Garben (College of Europe). The topic is Montreal Convention vs EU regulation 261/2004: protecting consumers or airlines? Some reflections on the role of international consumer protection treaties based on a case study on air passenger rights.

The aim of CEILA Reading Sessions is for colleagues to present ‘work in progress’ and gain detailed, expert feedback in an informal, collegial atmosphere, giving the author the opportunity to identify any issues early on and gain insights to improve the overall quality of the research.

Reading Sessions are open to the public, so any interested party is invited to attend and share views over cutting-edge research undertaken at the department. Lunch will be offered to attendees. Registration is free, but obligatory.


Few international agreements focus specifically on consumer rights. To the extent that the choice of the level of consumer protection tends to reflect contingent political choices likely to vary over time and place, this is perhaps to be expected. The fact therefore that the Montreal Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air not only concerns itself with the rights of air passengers but aims to unify the rules pertaining to those rights makes it an intriguing instrument. Beyond incorporating the Montreal Convention in the EU Legal order, the European Union has also adopted its own framework for air passenger rights, most prominently in the form of EC Regulation 261/2004 on the rights of passengers in cases of denied boarding, long delays and cancellations. Tensions have arisen between the EU and international regulatory framework on air passenger rights. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the differences and tensions between those two regulatory regimes to reflect on the role of international treaties in the field of consumer protection and, in particular, the extent to which harmonisation at an international level should be regarded as a desirable objective.


For directions to the venue, please refer to the map.

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