The “Rome II” Regulation (Reg. (EC) No. 864/2007) is the European Union Regulation on the law applicable to non-contractual obligations. From 11 January 2009, the Rome II Regulation created a harmonised set of rules within the European Union to govern choice of law in civil and commercial matters (subject to certain exclusions) concerning non-contractual obligations. However, there was no consensus over the appropriate conflict rule to deal with defamation and privacy disputes.
The Commission was required to produce a study of the relevant area of the law in 27 member states. This is the Mainstrat Study which has now been published (it is available with Appendices on this page). It has been considered by the European Parliament Committee on Legal Affairs. A presentation to the Committee by William Bennett was discussed in an earlier post. The Committee has now produced a Working Document discussing the issues which arise.
The fundamental problem is how to deal with multi jurisdictional publication – something which is now the norm – and whether the “victim” should be entitled to sue in his place of residence or should be required to sue in the place of editorial control (as favoured by the media).
The Conflict of Laws blog is conducting an “online symposium” on “Rome II and Defamation” this presently includes seven substantive contributions and a number of comments. Conflict of Laws describes the symposium in this way
“The focus of this online symposium, following the publication of the comparative study on the state of the laws of the Member States regarding the law applicable to non-contractual obligations arising out of violations to privacy and rights relating to personality, will be on whether the Rome II Regulation should be amended so as to cover the law applicable to such obligations. In other words, this symposium will ask whether, and to what extent, Rome II should cover choice of law in defamation.”
The contributions to this symposium are all interesting and we commend it to our readers – some of whom might like to contribute.