Rome 2 Agreement: What it means for cross-border litigation
The Rome 2 Agreement, also known as the Rome II Regulation, is an EU regulation that sets out rules for determining which country`s laws apply in cross-border disputes across the European Union.
The regulation came into force on January 11, 2009, and applies to all civil and commercial matters, including tort and breach of contract cases. Its primary aim is to harmonize the conflict of law rules between EU member states and provide a clear, predictable, and uniform legal framework for cross-border litigation.
So, what does the Rome 2 Agreement mean for cross-border litigation? Here are some key aspects of the regulation:
1. Determining the applicable law: The Rome 2 Agreement sets out a set of rules for determining which country`s laws apply in cross-border disputes. These rules are based on the principle of party autonomy, which allows parties to choose the law that will govern their contract. If the parties have not made a choice of law, the regulation provides a set of rules to determine the applicable law based on the nature of the dispute.
2. Mandatory rules: The Rome 2 Agreement provides that the mandatory rules of the country where the victim suffered the harm must be applied, even if they conflict with the chosen law of the parties. This is to ensure that fundamental rights, such as the right to a fair trial, are protected.
3. Product liability: The regulation includes special provisions for product liability cases. It provides that the law of the country where the product was purchased must apply if the product caused harm to the consumer. This ensures that consumers can seek compensation in the country where they purchased the product, rather than having to bring a claim in the country where the product was manufactured.
4. Time limits: The Rome 2 Agreement includes a provision stating that the applicable law must be determined as of the time the tort or breach of contract occurred. This is to avoid forum shopping, where parties would choose a law that is more favorable to them at the time of filing the claim.
5. Uniform application: The Rome 2 Agreement aims to ensure uniform application of the conflict of law rules across the EU. This means that the same rules will apply in all member states, providing greater predictability for parties engaged in cross-border disputes.
In conclusion, the Rome 2 Agreement provides a harmonized legal framework for cross-border disputes across the European Union. It ensures that parties can determine the applicable law based on clear and predictable rules and provides protection for fundamental rights, including the right to a fair trial. By providing a uniform legal framework, the Rome 2 Agreement reduces uncertainty and enhances legal certainty for parties engaged in cross-border litigation.