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The Rome II Regulation: The Law Applicable to Non-Contractual Obligations

Rome II news

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17th November 2010 - Court of Justice fixes temporal application of Rome II Regulation. On 17 November 2011, the Court of Justice of the European Union delivered its ruling in Case C-412/10, Homawoo v GMF Assurances on the temporal effect of the Rome II Regulation (Regulation (EC) No 864/2007) . In line with the earlier opinion (if not all of the reasoning) of Advocate General Mengozzi, the Court rules that the date of application of the Rome II Regulation is fixed by Art. 32 of the Regulation at 11 January 2009, with the consequence that the Regulation will apply only to events giving rise to damage occurring from that date (Art. 31).

The terms of the Court's ruling are as follows:

“Articles 31 and 32 of Regulation (EC) No 864/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 July 2007 on the law applicable to non-contractual obligations (‘Rome II’), read in conjunction with Article 297 TFEU, must be interpreted as requiring a national court to apply the Regulation only to events giving rise to damage occurring after 11 January 2009 and that the date on which the proceedings seeking compensation for damage were brought or the date on which the applicable law was determined by the court seised have no bearing on determining the scope ratione temporis of the Regulation.”

Although not in line with the author’s view (see Main work, paras. 3.315 and following), a view influenced by the legislative history of Arts 31 and 32, the Court's reasoning is quite convincing. The swift and decisive settlement of this point of controversy, just over a year after the reference, is to be welcomed.

20th October 2010 - The European Commission is expected shortly to publish the list of international conventions derogating from the Rome II Regulation, as required under Art 29(2) of the Regulation. A copy of that list can be found here.

25th February 2009 - A detailed report, prepared by law firm Demolin Brulard Barthélémy for the Commission, on the compensation of the victims of cross-border traffic accidents in the EU, is now available on the European Parliament's website. This is, it would appear, the report referred to in the Commission's statement on road accidents, annexed to the Rome II Regulation (OJ L199/49 [31.7.2007]).

21 January 2009 - On 23 December 2008, the Commission adopted a proposal for a Regulation establishing a procedure for the negotiation and conclusion of bilateral agreements between Member States and third countries concerning sectoral matters and covering applicable law in contractual and non-contractual obligations (link to proposal). As the Commission indicates in its explanatory memorandum, this proposal is foreshadowed by recitals in both the Rome I (Recital (42)) and Rome II (Recital (37)) Regulations. Under the proposal, Member States would under very restrictive conditions and subject to the control of the Commission be able to negotiate and conclude bilateral agreements relating to matters falling within the scope of the two Regulations.

11 January 2009 - The Regulation is now applicable in all Member States (except Denmark).

4 December 2008 - The legislation implementing the Rome II Regulation in Scotland has been laid before the Scots Parliament. The Law Applicable to Non-Contractual Obligations (SSI 2008/404) (link to SSI), with explanatory note (link to note), will come into force on 11 January 2009.

25 November 2008 - The following journal articles on the Rome II Regulation have recently been published:

A Chong, "Choice of Law for Unjust Enrichment/Restitution and the Rome II Regulation" (2008) 57 ICLQ 863; T Hartley, "Choice of Law for Non-Contractual Liability: Selected Problems under the Rome II Regulation" (2008) 57 ICLQ 899; R Weintraub, "When it's good it's very, very good: the new EU Regulation on the Law Applicable to Non-Contractual Obligations" (2008) 10 JIBFL 537.

References to the article by Adeline Chong have been included in the book. References to the other articles will appear in the first supplement to the book, to appear on this site in January/February 2009.

18 November 2008 - The UK regulations implementing the Rome II Regulation (Click here to view the link to the document) in England, Wales and Northern Ireland have been laid before Parliament. The Regulations, which will enter into force on 11 January 2009, amend primary legislation (including the Private International Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1995 and the Foreign Limitation Periods Act 1984) to confirm the primacy of the Regulation. Significantly, Regulation 6 extends the application of the Regulation's rules to conflicts solely between the constituent parts of the UK or between one or more of those parts and Gibraltar. The Scottish Parliament is expected to legislate separately for Scotland.

7 November 2008 - The legal act implementing the Rome II Regulation in Germany (Click here to view the link to the document with text and explanatory notes) has completed its passage through the legislative process. The act will enter into force on 11 January 2009.

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