Rome II – Parliament Calls for Action on Defamation and Privacy

Yesterday (10 May), the European Parliament adopted an own-initiative (non-legislative) resolution on the law applicable to non-contractual obligations (Rome II) calling for action in the area of claims for violations of privacy and rights relating to personality, including defamation. As is well known (and long debated on this site – see http://conflictoflaws.net/2010/rome-ii-and-defamation-online-symposium/), such claims are currently excluded from the material scope of the Rome II Regulation by Art. 1(2)(g).

In the key paragraphs of the Resolution (rapporteur: Cecilia Wikström, taking over from Diana Wallis, one of the key proponents of the original Regulation), the Parliament:

1. Requests the Commission to submit, on the basis of point (c) of Article 81(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, a proposal designed to add to the Rome II Regulation a provision to govern the law applicable to a non-contractual obligation arising out of violations of privacy and rights relating to personality, including defamation, following the detailed recommendations set out in the annex hereto;

2. Further requests the Commission to submit, on the basis of point (d) of Article 81(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, a proposal for the creation of a centre for the voluntary settlement of cross-border disputes arising out of violations of privacy and rights relating to personality, including defamation, by way of alternative dispute resolution; …

It remains to be seen how the Commission, with limited resources in the civil justice area and an already full in-tray, will respond.

 

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