Rome Convention—when parties choose an applicable law
Rome Convention—when parties choose an applicable law

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

  • Rome Convention—when parties choose an applicable law
  • Scope of the applicable law
  • Freedom of parties to choose the applicable law
  • Freedom of parties to choose the applicable law—dépeçage
  • Limits on freedom to choose—domestic mandatory rules
  • Limits on freedom to choose—foreign mandatory rules
  • Limits on freedom to choose—international mandatory rules

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.

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: Rome I—overview

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

This Practice Note addresses the issues to consider if the Rome Convention applies when dealing with a situation in which the parties have chosen the applicable law to apply to the contract between them. If dealing with a situation in which the parties have not chosen the applicable law, see Practice Note: Rome Convention—when parties fail to choose an applicable law.

Note that the Rome Convention is Schedule 1 in the Contracts (Applicable Law) Act 1990 (C(AL)A 1990)

Scope of the applicable law

The applicable law may vary depending on the different nature of disputes that can arise under a contract. For example:

  1. interpretation of the contract (Article 10(1)(a) of the Rome Convention)

  2. performance of the contract (Article 10(1)(b) of the Rome Convention)

  3. consequences of breach of the contract, including the assessment of damages in so far as this is governed by rules of law: this

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