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  • Print publication year: 2012
  • Online publication date: September 2014

Chapter 2 - Resolving conflicts of substantive labour law in the Rome Convention (“Rome I”)

from Part II - Conflicts of law of individual labour law in the light of the Rome Convention of June 19, 1980 and Regulation of the European Parliament and the Council of the European Communities No. 593/2008 of June 17, 2008 on the law applicable to contractual obligations (“Rome I”)


Freedom of choice

The first sentence of Article 3, paragraph 1 of the Rome Convention stipulates that “the contract shall be governed by the law chosen by the parties.” Thus, the most important provision of the Rome Convention approved the achievements of the internal rules of private international law of the Member States of the European Economic Community. Freedom of the contracting parties with an international element to choose the law applicable to regulate the content of the rights and obligations of labour relations has a long tradition in Europe. The authors of the report commenting that provision of Article 3 of the Rome Convention, draw attention to the established since 1910 judicial French doctrine of autonomy de la volonté, freedom of choice of law enshrined in 1896, in German law, and even before, because already in 1865 formulated the implementing rules for the Italian Civil Code, the principle of freedom of contract under which the parties have the legal contractual relations with a foreign component of the national system to choose the substantive law applicable to regulate the rights and duties of these relations. In precedents mentioned in the report, including international treaties, national legislation, the English and Scottish court decisions support the contention that in the Member States of the European Economic Community, there was full compliance of opinion that parties to contractual relations should have the assurance of full freedom of choice of the national system of substantive law under which all rights and obligations will be determined.