Thursday, May 31, 2007

Rome II

Less exciting than LJ censorship, and slightly late, but still significant: Rome II which seems to have been trundling on All My LIfe has finally reached a common agreement as of May 15 2007. the full text of the agreement does not yet seem to be available but many details are on Diana Wallis MEP's site.

As I'm sure you all know, Rome II deals with harmonising choice of law rules in cross-jurisdiction tort (delict) cases just as Rome I did for contracts.

Some interesting parts of the (very complicated) agreement for IT lawyers:

"Violation of privacy or rights relating to the personality:

While it was agreed that legal actions connected with those rights will be excluded from the scope of this Regulation, the Commission was asked through a review clause to present, not later than 31 December 2008, a study on the situation in the field of the law applicable to non-contractual obligations arising out of violations of privacy and rights to relating to personality, taking into account rules relating to freedom of the press and freedom of expression in the media. Violations of privacy resulting from the handling of personal data will be also dealt with in the Commission’s study."

"Unfair competition and acts restricting free competition:

A compromise solution was found. It will allow for the application of one single law, while at the same time limiting, as far as possible, “forum shopping” by claimants."

It also seems that a similar report to the one on privacy related torts will be prepared on defamation rules by end 2008. This is has been a particular bugbear: the Commission excluded defamation altogether from Rome II but in January 2007 the MEPS voted to put it back in. This is of course highly significant for Internet libel cases. Previously when defamation was turfed out of Rome II, review would only have taken place four years after the passing of the Regulation.

It sounds to Pangloss , however, like this "final" agreement is not that final!

(with thanks to Gerrit Betlem for tip off.)

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