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...

Brexit: The UK's departure from the EU on exit day, ie Friday 31 January 2020, has implications for practitioners considering applicable law. For guidance, see: Cross border considerations—checklist—Applicable law—Brexit specific.

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.

The convention does not apply to:

  1. contractual disputes, where the contract was entered into after 17 December 2009. In such cases, Rome I applies, see: Applicable law—EU regime—overview

  2. non-contractual disputes where the dispute arose after 11 January 2009. In such cases, Rome II applies, see: Applicable law—EU regime—overview

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

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