Ski Hosting Case Delayed Again
The case about social skiing, sometimes called ‘ski hosting’ being illegal was due to be heard at the Court of Appeals in Chambery (France) on Wednesday.
The case relates to action by the French authorities against British tour operator Le Ski which began in its most recent incarnation with the questioning on the slopes of ski hosts working for the company in winter 2012-13.
The resulting legal action was due to be heard in November 2013 but at the joint request of the Ecole du Ski Français (ESF) and Le Ski as both parties concurred that the European legal issues raised by the case are complex and required careful examination.
Speaking about events on Wednesday, Le Ski’s boss Nick Morgan commented,
“Le Ski submitted a detailed written defence which shows, in particular, that French regulations banning ski hosting are clearly discriminatory, as all French civil servants and teachers established in France are exempt from any qualification requirement. The applicable section of French law is therefore unjustifiable under EU law. The ESF have requested more time to consider the legal arguments and extensive European Court case-law on which our defence is based. Given the serious implications of the outcome of this case, and in the interest of a thorough legal debate, we have agreed to a deferral.”
The new date set is 2nd July.
The case has led to ski hosting being severely limited in France last season while the court process is on going, and British tour operators supporting Le Ski in their legal fight are (in alphabetical order) Alpine Elements, Crystal Ski Holidays, Esprit Ski, Inghams, Mark Warner, Neilson, Ski Olympic, Ski Total, Skiworld and Thomson Ski.
The case is one of three wholly separate actions brought against British ski-related individuals and organisations by French authorities.
Another one relates to what the French authorities consider ‘illegal ski teaching’ by Briton Simon Butler, a verdict on which is expected next month. Mr Butler argues that the French position is contrary to European law. A third relates to the Ski Club of Great Britain’s ski leading activities which is due to be considered in September.