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«FOUNDING EDITOR PETAR ŠARČEVIĆ † EDITORS ANDREA BONOMI PAUL VOLKEN Professor at the Professor at the University of Lausanne University of ...»

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VOLUME IX – 2007





Professor at the Professor at the

University of Lausanne University of Fribourg




Stæmpfli Publishers Ltd. Berne sellier. european law publishers Stæmpfli Publishers Ltd. Berne ISBN 978-3-86653-071-3 ISBN 978-3-7272-2748-6 The Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the Deutsche Nationalbibliografie;

detailed bibliographic data are available in the Internet at http://dnb.d-nb.de.

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Gerhard HOHLOCH∗ I. Introduction II. Art. 4 of Rome II: The Regulation’s General Conflicts Rules for International Tort Law A. Structure of the Regulation B. The Rome II Place of Injury Connecting Factor (Art. 4 (1)) C. The Connecting Factor of Common Habitual Residence (Art. 4(2)) D. The ‘Escape’ Clause (Art. 4(3)) III. Scope and Qualification A. Material Scope and Qualification B. Non-Application of Art. 4 in Regards to Certain Exceptions and Specific Delicts C. Art. 4’s Range of Application D. Territorial Scope I. Introduction When the Rome II Regulation comes into force on 11 January 2009,1 it will be the first time in history that Europe will have a unified conflict of laws system for a ∗ Professor at the University of Freiburg i.B. This contribution has been translated from German into English by Marc Merrill, attorney-at-law.

Regulation (EC) No 864/2007 of the European Parliament and the Council of 11 July 2007 on the law applicable to non-contractual relations (Rome II), Official Journal of the European Union Nr. L199/40 from 31 July 2007. A copy of the German text with the first comments from the German legal literature can be found in HOHLOCH G., in: ERMAN (Hrsg.), Handkommentar zum BGB Bd. II, 12. Aufl. 2008, Vor Art. 38 EGBGB no. 8 et seq., for first German commentaries to Art. 1 et seq. ‘Rome II’ see ibidem, Art. 40 – 42 EGBGB

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portion of Private International Law (‘PIL’). These will be conflicts rules that have both direct effect and which have a uniform statutory source.2 These uniform rules relating to non-contractual obligations will without doubt have a high practical significance within the field of PIL. This is especially true for PIL related to tort law, less so for the conflicts rules related to unjust enrichment and negotiorum gestio.

International tort law must predominantly resolve unplanned, damage causing events where the actors are randomly confronted with each other, and thus, requires a legally certain and good and practical system of connecting factors. This is possibly more important than those rules relating to contractual relationships where the possibility of choice of law by the contracting parties is always of first priority.

It is because of this that the Rome II Regulation, in its some 40 years of legislative history, has been the subject of a diverse and multifaceted discussion in not only German legal literature, but also the legal literature of other Member States.3 (Introductory Law to the German Civil Code [= German Act of Private International Law] no. 1 ss.

For a perspective on the coming ‘Europeanization’ of Private International Law (PIL), see HOHLOCH G. (note 1), Art. 3 EGBGB, no.

60, and – generally – HOHLOCH G., in:

Festschrift H. Stoll, Tübingen 2001, 533 et seq.

See, from the new German legal literature on the subject, the following articles and/or essays: VON BAR CH./SCHULTE-NÖLKE H., ‘Gemeinsamer Referenzrahmen für europäisches Schuld- und Sachenrecht’, in: ZRP 2005, 165-168; DEINERT O., ‘Das Herkunftslandprinzip und seine Bedeutung für das Internationale Deliktsrecht’, in: EWS 2006, 445HEIDERHOFF B., ‘Eine europäische Kollisionsnorm für die Produkthaftung: Gedanken zur Rom II-Verordnung’, in: GPR 2005, 92-97; VON HEIN J., ‘Die Kodifikation des europäischen Internationalen Deliktsrechts’, in: ZvglRWiss. 2003, 528-562; ID., ‘Die Kodifikation

des europäischen IPR der außervertraglichen Schuldverhältnisse vor dem Abschluß?’, in:

VersR 2007, 440-452; HEISS H., ‘Das Kollisionsrecht der Versicherungsverträge nach Rom I und II’, in: VersR 2006, 185-188; HUBER P./BACH I., ‘Die Rom II-VO – Kommissionsentwurf und aktuelle Entwicklungen’, in: IPRax 2005, 73-84; JAYME E./KOHLER CH., ‘Europäisches Kollisionsrecht 2007: Windstille im Erntefeld der Integration’, in: IPRax 2007, 493ID., ‘Europäisches Kollisionsrecht 2005: Hegemonialgesten auf dem Weg zu einer Gesamtvereinheitlichung’, in: IPRax 2005, 481-493; KOZIOL H./THIEDE TH., ‘Kritische Bemerkungen zum derzeitigen Stand des Entwurfs einer Rom II-Verordnung’, in: ZVglRWiss 2007, 235-247; LEIBLE S./LEHMANN M., ‘Die neue EG-Verordnung über das auf außervertragliche Schuldverhältnisse anzuwendende Recht (‘Rom II’)’, in: RIW 2007, 721-735;

MANKOWSKI P., ‘Entwicklungen im Internationalen Privat- und Prozessrecht 2004/2005 (Teil 1)’, in: RIW 2005, 481-499; MÖRSDORF-SCHULTE J., ‘Spezielle Vorbehaltsklausel im Europäischen Internationalen Deliktsrecht?’, in: ZVglRWiss 2005, 192-256; SONNENTAG M., ‘Zur Europäisierung des Internationalen außervertraglichen Schuldrechts durch die geplante Rom II-Verordnung’, in: ZvglRWiss 2006, 256-312; PHILIPP O., ‘Rechtswahl auch bei außervertraglichen Schuldverhältnissen’, in: EuZW 2005, 516; STAUDINGER A., ‘Internationale Verkehrsunfälle und die geplante Rom II-Verordnung’, in: SVR 2005, 441-450;

STEMPFLE CH., ‘EU-Einigung bei Rechtswahl außervertraglicher Haftung (Rom II)’, in: PHI 2006, 90-91; THIEDE TH./LUDWICHOWSKA K., ‘Die Haftung bei grenzüberschreitenden unerlaubten Handlungen’, in: ZVglRWiss 2007, 92-103; WAGNER G., ‘Internationales Deliktsrecht, die Arbeiten an der Rom II-Verordnung und der Europäische Deliktsgerichtsstand’,

in: IPRax 2006, 372-390. Wohl zuletzt WAGNER G., ‘Die neue Rom II-Verordnung’, in:

IPRax 2008, 1 et seq. From the Austrian literature, see HEISS H./LOACKER L., ‘Die VergeYearbook of Private International Law, Volume 9 (2007) Basic Principles of Rome II Rome II seeks to satisfy these needs and requirements of international tort law with a system of rules, the foundation of which are set forth in Art. 4, that have in the past proven their worthiness. The first basic rule is the applicability of the law of the place of injury. Of course this is nothing new, as it is ‘the’ basis of international tort law that has a particular tradition in all EU Member States; a tradition which can be traced back to the establishment of the Statutentheorie (‘theory of statutes’).4 The initial approaches relating to the ‘Europeanization’ of the law of non-contractual obligations, approaches which can be found in the ‘preliminary draft’ of 1973, also sought the implementation of the place of injury rule.5 The establishment of this unified law for 26 countries certainly produced a uniform place of injury rule. This means both the adoption of a unitary place of injury rule on the one hand, and the renunciation of national idiosyncrasies on the other.

11 January 2009 will mark the end of the particular German view of place of injury, just as it will mark the end of, for example, the Austrian or English one.6 In their place will be, as far as the material, temporal and spatial personal scope of meinschaftung des Kollisionsrechts der außervertraglichen Schuldverhältnisse durch Rom II’, in: JBl 2007, 613 et seq. For a Swiss perspective on the historical development, see VON

OVERBECK A.E./VOLKEN P., ‘Das internationale Deliktsrecht im Vorentwurf der EWG’, in:

RabelsZ 1974, 211 et seq. From the French literature, GUERCHOUN F. / PIEDELIÈVRE S., ‘Le règlement sur la loi applicable aux obligations non contractuelles (‘Rome II’)’, in: Gaz. Pal.

2007, Doctrine 3186 et seq.; NOURISSAT C. / TREPPOZ E., ‘Quelques observations sur l’avant-projet de proposition de règlement du Conseil sur la loi applicable aux obligations non contractuelles ‘Rome II’, in: Clunet 2003, 7 et seq. For the Italian literature, see BARIATTI S., ‘La futura disciplina delle obbligazioni non contrattuali nel quadro della comunitarizzazione del diritto internationale private’, in: Riv. dir. int. priv. e proc. 2005, 5 et

seq.; WEINTRAUB R., ‘Rome II and the Tension Between Predictability and Flexibility’, in:

Riv. dir. int. priv. proc. 2005, 561 et seq.; MUNARI F. / SCHIANO DI PEPE G., ‘Liability for Environmental Torts in Europe: Choice of Forum, Choice of Law and the Case for Pursuing Effective Legal Uniformity’, in: Riv. dir. int. priv. proc. 2005, 607 et seq.; SIEHR K., ‘European Private International Law of Torts. Violations of Privacy and Rights Relating to the Personality’, in: Riv. dir. int. priv. proc. 2004, 1201 et seq.

See HOHLOCH G., Das Deliktsstatut, Frankfurt a.M. 1984, p. 15 et seq. (containing an account of the development of the place of injury rule in Europe and USA since the Kommentatoren). A modern perspective on the basic function of German international tort law, see BGHZ 86, 57 et seq. and established jurisprudence; in addition HOHLOCH G., ‘Auflockerung als Lippenbekenntnis?’, in: JuS 1980, 81 et seq., covering the contemporary sources to the creation of the preliminary draft of 1973.

Compare, VON OVERBECK A.E. / VOLKEN P. (note 3), 56 et seq.; LANDO O., ‘The EC-Draft Convention on the Law Applicable to Contractual and Non-Contractual Obligations’, in: RabelsZ 1974, 6 et seq.

Compare instead Art. 40 Abs. 1 EGBGB (as amended since 1999); for this, as well as the developments in German PIL, HOHLOCH G. (note 1), Art. 40 EGBGB no. 1 et seq.; for a fuller account see 11. Aufl. 2004, Art. 40 EGBGB no. 1 et seq.; for Austrian law, see § 48 Austrian Act Relating to Private International Law (Connection on the place of conduct with the ‘escape clause’ - ‘Ausweichklausel’) in § 48 Abs. 1 p. 2 IPRG, for a range see HEISS H. / LOACKER L. (note 3), 625; for the particular embodiment of the place of injury rule from the English perspective, see HOHLOCH G. (note 4), p. 85 ss.

Yearbook of Private International Law, Volume 9 (2007) Gerhard Hohloch Rome II reaches, only the new place of injury rule of Art. 4 (1) of Rome II. The break from the up until now ‘national’ PIL will be enormous.

Less dramatic, but just as significant, will be the coming into force of Art. 4 (2) of Rome II. Common habitual residence as a meaningful ‘result-oriented’ connection for damage rules,7 in the event that both tortfeasor and victim habitually reside in the same jurisdiction, and after the damaging event return to this jurisdiction, is today not new. It has, however, in the Member States of the EU at different times, for different motives and in many cases after some effort, replaced the ‘common nationality’ connection which was first recommended or practiced.8 This common residence connection represents nowadays a stable foundation after some 40-50 years of practice in a turbulent system whose purpose was to make the conflict analysis for tort more flexible. It was (and sometimes still is) a system which sought to determine the controlling law, in extreme cases, through the use of connecting factors such as the ‘better law,’ the law of the predominant interest, or the law of the ‘most significant relationship’ (‘engste Verbindung’).9 For those particularly unique cases in which the specific connecting factors of paragraphs 1 and 2 can’t find the ‘correct’ law, the ‘manifestly closer connection’ has been reduced to the ‘escape’ clause of Art. 4 (3).10 The practical significance of this clause, however, will continue to be rather small.

Those basic rules set forth in Art. 4 evidence their significance for the future of European PIL when they are examined together with three other components of the Rome II Regulation. On the one hand, the reach of Rome II is provided in Art. 1 and 2, where provisions are laid down for the field of application and the definition of torts under the Regulation. These provisions set forth rules, which do not appear in the PIL laws of the continental EU Member States, but have the style

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