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Party Autonomy in the Brussels I Regulation and Rome I Regulation and the European Court of Justice

  • Jan-Jaap Kuipers

Extract

The relationship between Community law and Private International Law (PIL) did not have an easy start. The original EEC Treaty merely made one reference to PIL. The notable exception was the Brussels Convention on Jurisdiction and Enforcement of Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters (1968), an international convention concluded on the basis of art. 220 EEC (293 EC). The Rome Convention on the Law Applicable to Contractual Obligations (1980) did not even have an explicit legal basis. After the adoption of the Rome Convention it remained relatively silent on the Community level. It did not help that due to the status of international convention the European Court of Justice (ECJ) was deprived of any power of interpretation. The problem was resolved in two separate protocols. The protocol on the Brussels Convention entered into force in 1975 and the protocol on the Rome Convention only entered into force in 2004. Whereas there has been a substantial amount of case-law on the Brussels Convention, the ECJ only delivered its first judgment on the Rome Convention in October 2009.

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References

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1 Jurisdiction and Enforcement of Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters: ECJ Judgments (P. Galizzi ed., 2002).

2 Case C-133/08 Intercontainer Interfrigo (ICF) SC v. Balkenende Oosthuizen BV and MIC Operations BV, 2009 E.C.R. I-0000

3 G. de Groot and J. Kuipers, The New Provisions on Private International Law in the Treaty of Lisbon, 15 Maastricht Journal of European and Comparative Law No. 1 109 (2008).

4 The Brussels I Regulation applies to disputes arisen after 1 March 2002, whereas the Rome I Regulation will apply to contracts concluded after 17 December 2009. For the sake of simplicity, references to the Brussels and Rome Convention will be made as if it were to the Brussels I and Rome I Regulation. It will be indicated when a discrepancy between a provision in the Convention and Regulation exists.

5 T. Hartley, The Modern Approach to Private International Law: International Litigation and Transactions from a Common-Law Perspective: General Course on Private International Law, 9 Recueil des Cours No. 319, 183 (2006).

6 P. Gothot and D. Holleaux, La Convention de Bruxelles du 27.9.1968 (1985); A. Dashwood, R. Hacon and R. White, A Guide to the Civil Jurisdiction and Judgments Convention (1987); P. Byrne, The EEC Convention on Jurisdiction and the Enforcement of Judgments (1990).

7 Report on the Convention on jurisdiction and the enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters (1979) (Jenard Report), OJ C 59,.3.

8 Case 38/81, Effer, 1982 E.C.R. 825, par. 6; case C-440/97 GIE Groupe Concorde and Others, 1999 E.C.R. I-6307, par. 23; case C-256/00 Besix 2002 E.C.R. I-1699, par. 24.

9 Case C-7/98 Krombach, 2000 E.C.R. I-1935; Case C-394/07 Gambazzi,2009 E.C.R. I-0000, see as well: Court of Appeal Maronier v Larmer 2002 EWCA Civ 774.

10 See the 3rd preamble to the Rome Convention.

11 J. Jacquet, Le Contrat International 37 (1992); P. Nygh, Autonomy in International Contracts (1999); E. O'Hara and L. Ribstein, From Politics to Efficiency in Choice of Law, George Mason Law and Economics Working Paper No. 00-04 (1999); H. Muir Watt, Choice of Law in Integrated and Interconnected Markets: A Matter of Political Economy, 7 Electronic Journal of Comparative Law No. 3 (2003), available at: http://www.ejcl.org/ejcl/73/art73-4.html, last accessed: 29 October 2009; S. Leible, Parteiautonomie im IPR – Allgemeines Anknüpfungsprinzip oder Verlegenheitslösung?, in Festschrift für Erik Jayme, Band I, München: Sellier, 485–503 (2004); G. Rühl, Party Autonomy in the Private International Law of Contracts: Transatlantic Convergence and Economic Efficiency, 3 CLPE Research Paper No. 1 4 (2007).

12 Enforcement of International Contracts in the European Union: Convergence and divergence between Brussels I and Rome I (J. Meeusen, M. Pertegás and G. Straetmans eds., 2004); S. Rammeloo, Via Romana. Van EVO naar Rome I – Nieuw Europees IPR inzake het recht dat van toepassing is op verbintenissen uit overeenkomst, 24 Nederlands Internationaal Privaatrecht No. 3, 239253 (2006).

13 Case C-440/97 GIE Groupe Concorde and Others v The Master of the Vessel Suhadiwarno Panjan and Others, 1999 E.C.R. I-6307.

14 P. Kaye, Civil Jurisdiction and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments, Abingdon: Professional Books Limited 1031–1115 (1987); L. Mari, Il Diritto Processuale Civile della Convenzione di Bruxelles 564–568 (1999); J. Kropholler, Europäisches Zivilprozessrecht, Heidelberg: Verlag Recht und Wirtschaft, 7. Auflage 269–317 (2002); P. Vittoria, La competenza giurisdizionale e l'esecuzione delle decisioni in material civile e commercial nella giurisprudenza della corte di giustizia 210–220 (2005); Brussels I Regulation 366–448 (U. Magnus and P. Mankowski eds., 2007).

15 Sub c was only introduced in the 1978 Amendment to the Brussels Convention.

16 Art. 23 (2) Brussels I.

17 Case C-269/95 Benincasa 1997 E.C.R. I-3767

18 Case 24/76 Salotti, 1976 E.C.R. 1831.

19 Case C-214/89 Powell Duffryn, 1992 E.C.R. I-1745, para 14

20 Case C-106/95 MSG v Les Gravières Rhénanes SARL, 1997 E.C.R. I-911.

21 Supra note 18.

22 Case 221/84 Berghoefer, 1985 E.C.R. 2699.

23 Case 313/85 Iveco Fiat SpAv Van Hool NV, 1986 E.C.R. 3337.

24 See for example: Corte Suprema di Cassazione, 22 January 2002, 718/2002. The precise requirements need further clarification: B. Hess et al, General Report of the Study on the Application of Regulation Brussels I (Heidelberg Report), Study JLS/C4/2005/03 (2007), 161.

25 Case C-387/98 Coreck Maritime GmbH v Handelsveem BV, 2000 E.C.R. I-9337. This led to a change of case-law in France: Cour de Cassation, 16 December 2008, 0810460.

26 Case C-116/02 Gasser, 2003 E.C.R. I-14693.

27 Dicey, Morris & Collins: The Conflict of Laws, 14th edition 1560–1580 (L. Collins ed., 2006); H. Heiss, Party Autonomy, in Rome I Regulation: The Law Applicable to Contractual Obligations in Europe 1 (F. Ferrari & S. Leible eds., 2009); R. Plender and M. Wilderspin, The European Private International Law of Obligations, 3rd edition 131–166 (2009),.

28 Art. 11 (1) Rome I

29 Art. 11 (2) Rome I

30 M. Magagni, La Prestazione Caratteristica nella Convenzione di Roma del 19 Giugno 1980 17 (1989); F. Juenger, Choice of Law and Multistate Justice, Dordrecht: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers 213 (1993); P. Mankowski, Stillschweigende Rechtswahl und wählbares Recht, in Das Grünbuch zum Internationalen Vertragsrecht 63 (S. Leible ed., 2004).

31 Other possible indicators are listed in: P. Nygh, Autonomy in International Contracts 113–120 (1999).

32 For example: Bundesgerichtshof 26 June 2004, VIII ZR 273/03.

33 The 12th recital in the preamble to the Rome I Regulation identifies an exclusive choice of court clause as one of the factors to be taken into account in determining whether a choice of law has been clearly demonstrated. Art. 3 (1) Proposal for a Regulation on the Law applicable to contractual obligations, COM (2005) 650 final even raised in these circumstances a presumption.

34 Art. 18 Brussels Convention. Art. 18 has been applied to generate jurisdiction for a claim for set-off made by the defendant on the basis of a contract containing an exclusive jurisdiction clause in favour of another court. Case 48/84 Hannelore Spitzley v Sommer Exploitation SA, 1985 E.C.R. 787.

35 Case 150/80 Elefanten Schuh GmbH v Jacqmain, 1981 E.C.R. 1671, par. 15; case 25/81 C.H.W. v G.J.H., 1981 E.C.R. 01189; case 27/81 Rohr v Ossberger, 1981 E.C.R. 825, par. 7.

36 The German party can only hope that the French party honours its word and does not challenge the jurisdiction of the Amsterdam court. The Amsterdam court could then assume jurisdiction on the basis of appearance (art. 24 Brussels I).

37 L. Merrett, Article 23 of the Brussels I Regulation: A Comprehensive Code for Jurisdiction Agreements, 58 International and Comparative Law Quarterly 545 (2009).

38 Z. Tang, The interrelationship of European Jurisdiction and Choice of Law in Contract, 4 Journal of Private International Law No. 1 35, 46 (2008).

39 Powell Duffryn, supra, note 19, 15.

40 In favour: supra, note 38, See, infra, note 45; against: see, supra, note 377, 557559.

41 Art. 10 (2) Rome I.

42 13th recital to the preamble of Rome I.

43 See, supra, note 25, 18.

44 Case C-281/02 Owusu v Jackson, 2005 E.C.R. I-1383.

45 Opposite view: A. Briggs, Agreements on Jurisdiction and Choice of Law 291 (2008). National courts have taken different views on the matter, see: T. Kruger, Civil Jurisdiction Rules of the EU and their Impact on Third States 234–245 (2008),.

46 The author wishes to add that this appears to him the most likely interpretation of Community law as it stands, but that this does necessarily reflect his personal views on the feasibility of this interpretation.

47 See, supra, note 266.

48 Art. 28 Brussels I.

49 However, according to Nuyts the criticism to Gasser is exaggerated because the Court could not rule on a possible abuse of rights. A. Nuyts, Enforcement of Jurisdiction Agreements Further to Gasser, in Forum Shopping in the European Judicial Area, 55, (P. de Vareilles-Sommières ed., 2007).

50 M. Franzosi, Worldwide Patent Litigation and the Italian Torpedo, 19 European Intellectual Property law Review No. 7 382 (2005); I. Betti, The Italian torpedo is dead: long live the Italian torpedo, 3 Journal of Intellectual Property law & Practice No. 1 6–7 (2008).

51 T. Hartley, The European Union and the Systematic Dismantling of the Common Law Conflict of Laws, 54 International law Comparative Quarterly No. 4 813 (2005). J. Harris, Understanding the English response to the Europeanisation of Private International Law, 4 Journal of Private International law No. 3 347 (2008).

52 Case C-185/07 West Tankers, 2009 E.C.R. I-0000. Academic views were expressed in a special online symposium available at: http://conflictoflaws.net/2009/west-tankers-online-symposium, last accessed 29 October 2009.

53 See, id para. 26. For a critical view see, Martin George, Dickinson on West Tankers Another One Bites the Dust, available at http://conflictoflaws.net/2009/dickinson-on-west-tankers-another-one-bites-the-dust/ Last accessed 29 October 2009.

54 Case C⍰351/89 Overseas Union Insurance and Others, 1991 E.C.R. I-3317, par. 24; Case C-159/02 Turner, 2004 E.C.R. I⍰03565, par. 26.

55 Gilles Cuniberti, Kessedjian on West Tankers, available at http://conflictoflaws.net/2009/kessedjian-on-west-tankers/ last accessed 29 October 2009.

56 Heidelberg Report, 167–168.

57 EC No. 44/2001 of 22 December 2000, Hearing of with a view to the forthcoming review of Council Regulation on the Jurisdiction and the Recognition and Enforcement of Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters, Brussels 9 February 2009, 5836/09.

58 C. Knight, The Damage of Damages: Agreements on Jurisdiction and Choice of Law, 4 Journal of Private International Law 3 501, 507 (2008).

59 D. Kennedy, The Stages of Decline of the Public/Private Distinction, University of Pennsylvania Law Review 1349 (1982); M. Loughlin, The idea of public law (2004); D. Wyatt, Horizontal Effect of Fundamental Freedoms and the Right to Equality after Viking and Mangold, and the Implications for Community Competence, Oxford Legal Studies Research Paper No. 20/2008.

60 Supra, note 45 Kruger at 237.

61 D. Caruso, The Missing View of the Cathedral: The Private Law Paradigm of European Legal Integration, no. 9, Jean Monnet Working Papers (1996); J. Baquero Cruz, Free Movement and Private Autonomy, 24 European Law Review No. 6 603 (1999).

62 Case 22/85 Antérist v Crédit Lyonnais, 1986 E.C.R. 1951, paras. 13 and 14.

63 J. Kuipers, Cartesio and Grunkin-Paul: Mutual recognition as a vested rights theory based on party autonomy in private law, in European Journal of Legal Studies (forthcoming).

64 A. Marmisse, Autonomie de la volonté et principe de proximité dans Bruxelles I et Rome I, in Enforcement of International Contracts in the European Union: Convergence and divergence between Brussels I and Rome I, Antwerpen: Intersentia 255 (J. Meeusen, M. Pertegás and G. Straetmans eds., 2004),.

65 Case 266/85 Shenavai v Kreischer, 1987 E.C.R. 239, par. 17; Case C-280/90 Hacker, 1992 E.C.R. I-1111, par. 15; case C-73/04 Klein, 2005 E.C.R. 1-8667, par. 15.

66 ICF (note 2).

67 J. Kuipers, The Rome I Regulation: Ending the contradictory interpretation by national courts of art. 4 (5) Rome Convention?, 1 Prague Yearbook of Comparative Law (2009), forthcoming.

68 Case 381/98 Ingmar, 2000 E.C.R. I-9305.

69 Rechtbank Arnhem (District Court) 11 July 1991, 10 Nederlands Internationaal Privaatrecht 100 (1992).

70 Cour de Cassation, 28 November 2000, No. 98 – 11.335.

71 S. Francq, L'applicabilite du droit Communautaire derive au regard des methodes du droit international prive (2005).

72 H. Verhagen, Het spanningsveld tussen de vrijheid van rechtskeuze en het communautaire harmonisatie-proces, 19 Nederlands Internationaal Privaatrecht No. 1 27 (2001); R. Michaels and H. Kamann, Grundlagen eines allgemeinen gemeinschaftlichten Richtlinienkollisionsrechts – “Amerikanisierung” des Gemeinschafts-IPR?, 12 Europäisches Wirtschafts- & Steuerrecht No. 6 301 (2001); S. Schwarz, Das internationale Handelsvertreterrecht im Lichte von “Ingmar” – Droht das Ende der Parteiautonomie im Gemeinschaftsprivatrecht?, 101 Zeitschrift für Vergleichende Rechtswissenschaft 45 (2002); H. Verhagen, The tension between party autonomy and European Union law: some observations on Ingmar, International Law and Comparative Law Quarterly 135 (2002).

73 Case 398/92 Mund & Fester, 1994 E.C.R. I-467, par. 19. The statement of the ECJ with regard to the Brussels Convention can also be applied to Rome I.

74 E. Jayme and C. Kohler, L'interaction des règles de conflit contenues dans le droit dérivé de la Communauté européene et des conventions de Bruxelles et de Rome, 84 Revue Critique de Droit International Prive No. 1 1, 16 (1995).

75 A. Dickinson, Legal Certainty and the Brussels Convention – Too Much of a Good Thing?, in Forum Shopping in the European Judicial Area 115 (P. de Vareilles-Sommières eds., 2007).

76 Case C-148/02 Garcia Avello 2003 E.C.R. I-11613.

77 Case C-353/06 Grunkin Paul, 2008 E.C.R. I-0000.

78 Case C-212/97 Centros, 1999 E.C.R. I-1459.

79 Case C-208/00 Überseering 2002 E.C.R. I-9919.

80 Supra, note 633.

81 Although the review clause of art. 27 (1b) only mentions the interface between consumer directives and art. 6 Rome I Regulation (protective connecting factor for consumers), it will most likely have to deal with wider issues.

* Jan-Jaap Kuipers is Ph.D candidate at the European University Institute in Florence. <>

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Party Autonomy in the Brussels I Regulation and Rome I Regulation and the European Court of Justice

  • Jan-Jaap Kuipers

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