Rome Convention—introduction and interpretation
Rome Convention—introduction and interpretation

The following Dispute Resolution practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Rome Convention—introduction and interpretation
  • When does the Rome Convention apply?
  • Purpose of the Rome Convention
  • Signatories to the Rome Convention
  • Implementation of Rome Convention in the UK
  • Reservations by the UK
  • Rome Convention to regulation: Rome I
  • UK's position on Rome I
  • Interpreting the Rome Convention
  • Specific provisions within the Rome Convention
  • More...

This Practice Note introduces the Rome (EC) Convention on the Law Applicable to Contractual Obligations 1980 (the Rome Convention). It sets out the signatories, its implementation in the UK and the reservations applied. Guidance on interpretation is provided; including consumer and employment contracts.

To determine whether the applicable law regime under the convention applies, or whether some other regime applies, see Practice Note: Understanding applicable law—a guide for dispute resolution practitioners.

When does the Rome Convention apply?

The Rome Convention came into force on 1 April 1991. Article 17 provides that all contracts entered into after the operative date, ie 1 April 1991, shall be governed by the Rome Convention. The convention is therefore not retrospective and the traditional common law rules apply to any contract made before 1 April 1991, although the application of such rule is likely to be rare given the length of time that has elapsed since the Rome Convention came into force.

Article 23 provides Contracting States with the ability to adopt a new choice of law rule for any category of contract covered by the Rome Convention. A process of consulting and informing the other Contracting States must be complied with.

Purpose of the Rome Convention

The purpose of the Rome Convention is to:

  1. establish a generally uniform set of choice of law rules to facilitate free movement within a single market

  2. support the

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