Rome Convention—introduction and interpretation [Archived]

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

  • Rome Convention—introduction and interpretation [Archived]
  • 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...

Rome Convention—introduction and interpretation [Archived]

ARCHIVED: This Practice Note has been archived and is not maintained.

The UK is no longer bound by the Rome Convention, as a matter of international law, having left the EU. However, the substantive rules continue to apply in some cases, ie if the contract was entered into between 1 April 1991 and 16 December 2009 and meets the criteria required under the act. Consequently, the substantive rules have been retained in the C(AL)A 1990 but they are subject to amendments set out in The Law Applicable to Contractual Obligations and Non–Contractual Obligations (Amendment etc) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019, SI 2019/834. For guidance on the current position, see Practice Note: Contracts (Applicable Law) Act 1990—application and interpretation.

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

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