Lüttringhaus on Uniform Terminology in European Private International Law

Jan D. Lüttringhaus, Senior Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law in Hamburg, has posted an article on SSRN that deals with the uniform interpretation of the Rome I, Rome II and Brussels I Regulations (“Übergreifende Begrifflichkeiten im europäischen Zivilverfahrens- und Kollisionsrecht – Grund und Grenzen der rechtsaktsübergreifenden Auslegung dargestellt am Beispiel vertraglicher und außervertraglicher Schuldverhältnisse”. The article is forthcoming in RabelsZ and can be downloaded here. The English abstract reads as follows:

Autonomous and interdependent interpretation is a valuable tool for completing and systematising the growing body of European private international law. Yet, the general presumption in favour of uniform interpretation of similar notions in the various European Regulations as set out in Recital (7) of both Rome I and Rome II is overly simplistic. Total uniformity cannot be achieved because provisions governing conflict of laws and jurisdiction often differ in both function and substance.

Against this background, this paper analyses the rationale as well as the limits of autonomous and inter-instrumental interpretation. It demonstrates that uniform concepts may be developed in areas where the underlying motives behind European provisions on conflict of laws and jurisdiction coincide, e.g. in the context of consumer and employment contracts or direct claims under Rome II and Brussels I. These parallels pave the way for an autonomous understanding of the various notions used in the respective Regulations. However, interdependent interpretation finds its limits in teleological considerations as well as in the persisting functional differences between European instruments on conflict of laws and jurisdiction.