Giesela Ruhl, ‘The Role of Economic Efficiency in European Private International Law’

In recent years, a growing number of contributions have devoted attention to the ‘general part’ of European private international law: in a number of articles academics have either examined how legal concepts traditionally categorized as ‘general’ (eg characterization, choice of law, preliminary questions, ordre public, renvoi) are designed in the Regulations thus far enacted by the European legislature. Or they have asked whether and how these concepts could be codified in a Rome 0 Regulation or, more generally, in a Code of European Private International Law. The following article adds to this debate by looking at European private international law from an economic perspective. It analyses whether and to what extent economic efficiency has been considered by the European legislature when enacting the pertaining Regulations and whether and to what extent it should be considered when revising the Regulations currently in place or when adopting a Rome 0 Regulation. The article finds that the TEU and TFEU permit – and in fact demand – that economic efficiency be taken into account in formulating European choice-of-law rules. However, it also finds that European law-makers have not oriented their efforts on economic efficiency in the past. This, in turn, means that efficiency is unlikely to be given any methodological or systematic regard when the relevant provisions are interpreted and applied, for it is only those objectives which the European legislature actually had in mind which may be taken into account when interpreting the pertaining rules and regulations. In the face of the informative value of the economic efficiency criterion this is, of course, to be regretted. The article, therefore concludes, that European law-makers should pay greater attention to economic efficiency in the future than they have done in the past, particularly when enacting a Rome 0 Regulation.

Ruhl, Giesela, The Role of Economic Efficiency in European Private International Law (August 17, 2014). Forthcoming in: Stefan Leible (ed), General Principles of European Private International Law, 2015.

First posted 2015-07-22 07:53:21

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