Rome Convention—when parties fail to choose an applicable law [Archived]
Rome Convention—when parties fail to choose an applicable law [Archived]

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

  • Rome Convention—when parties fail to choose an applicable law [Archived]
  • Basic rule (art 4(1))
  • Most closely connected
  • Severable part of a contract
  • Country most 'closely connected' (art 4(2))
  • Disregarding the presumption
  • When the presumptions do not apply
  • Immovable property (art 4(3))
  • Carriage of goods (art 4(4))
  • Disregarding the presumptions (art 4(5))
  • More...

ARCHIVED: This Practice Note has been archived and is not maintained.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—parties fail to choose the applicable law.

This Practice Note sets out the basic rule which applies if the parties fail to choose the applicable law which is the law of the country ‘most closely connected’ and the characteristic performance of the contract. The presumptions that apply to determine the most closely connected country are explained. When those presumptions can be disregarded are also set out.

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.

Basic rule (art 4(1))

The first consideration is whether there is an agreed choice of law clause, in which case Article 3

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