International Journal of Tourism, Travel and Hospitality Law 2023

A Wicked Deed’s Curse Will X v Kuoni change the organiser’s liability? Michael Wukoschitz 1) Introduction. 2) The case facts. 3) The judgements of the High Court and the Court of Appeal. 4) The Supreme Court’s reference for preliminary ruling. 5) The judgement of the CJEU. 6) The final judgement of the UK Supreme Court. 7) Analysis. 8) Conclusions. A rape by an electrician in a hotel complex in Sri Lanka led to liability on the part of the package organiser. The case of X v Kuoni, decided by the UK Supreme Court, triggered discussions about the liability of package organisers far beyond the UK. The article summarises the facts of the case and the judgments of the courts at all instances, including the preliminary ruling of the CJEU and the final judgment of the UK Supreme Court. It analyses the nature of package organiser liability under the 1990 Package Travel Directive and its amendments by the 2015 Package Travel Directive and examines what constitutes a ‘travel service’. The article compares the judgement in X v Kuoni with case law and doctrine in Austria and Germany and concludes that the case does not provide definitive clarity and that a further preliminary ruling by the CJEU may be necessary. Keywords: Package Travel, Liability, Organiser, Supplier, Travel Service, Package Travel Directive, Reasonable Standards, Crime, CJEU 1) INTRODUCTION The rape of a traveller during a package holiday in Sri Lanka and the claims brought against the package organiser were hotly debated in the UK and beyond, leading to an ECJ judgment on the interpretation of the term ‘supplier’ and the scope of the organiser’s defence under the PTD 1990 of a failure due to an event which the organiser or the supplier of services, even with all due care, could not