Rome Convention—validity of contract [Archived]

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

  • Rome Convention—validity of contract [Archived]
  • Material validity of the contract
  • General rule
  • Exception
  • Formal validity of the contract
  • Parties in the same country
  • Parties in different countries
  • Agents
  • Consumer contracts and immovable property
  • Parties agree to change governing law

Rome Convention—validity of contract [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ARCHIVED: This Practice Note has been archived and is not maintained.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 looks at Article 8 of the Rome Convention which deals with material validity. The general rule is that the validity of a contract is determined by applying the convention. However there is an exception in Article 8(2) enabling a party to rely on the law of the country in which they are habitually resident. The requirements for a valid contract are set out and the impact of different scenarios considered eg parties being in different jurisdictions when the contract was entered into or the impact of agents. The impact of changing the governing law is explained.

To determine whether the applicable law regime under

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