The last issue of the Revue critique de droit international privé was just released. It contains three articles and several casenotes. The full table of content can be found here.
The first article is authored by Professor Anne Sinay Cytermann, who teaches at Paris V University. It wonders why jurisdiction and arbitration clauses are regulated differently in consumer and labour contracts (Une disparité étonnante entre le régime des clauses attributives de juridiction et les clauses compromissoires dans le contrat de travail international et le contrat de consommation international). The English abstract reads:
Although both are deemed weaker parties, the worker and the consumer do not benefit from the same protection on the international sphere, particularly as far as choice of jurisdiction clauses are concerned. Indeed, when such clauses are included in an employment contract, they are subjected to a highly restrictive regime, under which they are considered to be void when they derogate from mandatory heads of jurisdiction, while arbitration clauses cannot be invoked against the worker. On the other hand, when the same clauses appear in consumer contracts, they are exposed to a far ore liberal regime which validates in principle both choice of court and arbitration clauses. It would be preferable that a similar treatment be provided for both types of contract, along the lines of the model applicable to employment contracts.
The second article is authored by Franco Ferrari, a professor at the University of Verona and a a visiting professor a several law schools in New York. It offers remarks on the law governing contractual obligations in absence of choice by the parties under article 4 of the Rome I Regulation (Quelques remarques sur le droit applicable aux obligations contractuelles en l’absence de choix des parties – Art. 4 du Règlement Rome I-):
A comparison between article 4 of the 1980 Rome Convention on the law applicable to contractual obligations, the commission’s proposal in its 2003 Green Paper and the final version of the same provision in the “Rome I” Regulation shows that the latter, ostensibly a compromise between the Convention’s flexibility and the proposal’s rigid system of connecting factors, is in fact very close to the original model, at least such as it was implemented by the courts in the various Contracting States. Thus, while the Commission had attempted to correct the Convention’s principle of proximity by introducing greater certainty in the form of rigid and autonomous connecting factors, article 4 of the Rome I Regulation, which, like the Commission’s proposal, does indeed contain a list of (eight, non exclusive) connecting factors, subjects these to an escape or exception clause similar to that of the Convention, except for the fact that the negative conditions which trigger the clause are stricter. The court must examine of its own motion whether these requirements are fulfilled, even when the contract comes the difference between the Convention, in which the proximity principle presided over the determination of the applicable law in the absence of party choice, and the Regulation in which the role of this principle is less formally apparent, is in fact very limited.
In the last article, Professor Petra Hammje from Cergy University briefly presents a recent addition to the French civil code providing a choice of law rule for civil unions. There is not abstract, but I’ll report shortly on this.
Finally, I am glad to report that the Revue Critique has recently been put online and that those articles can now be downloaded.