The Law Applicable to Non-Contractual Obligations (England and Wales and Northern Ireland) Regulations 2008

Reference: UK/2008/SI/2986

The Law Applicable to Non-Contractual Obligations (England and Wales and Northern Ireland) Regulations 2008 transpose the EU Rome II Regulation into UK law.

The EU Regulation deals with applicable law relating to non-contractual obligations, and particularly focuses on where harm has been done through the consumer's use of information society services.

EU regulation

The Regulations implement Regulation (EC) No. 864/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 July 2007 on the law applicable to non contractual obligations(Rome II Regulation) will enable national courts within the EU Member States to apply a single set of rules to select the national laws that are appropriate to determine international cases that have a cross-border dimension.

The underlying objective is to increase legal certainty within the European Union by ensuring that national courts generally apply the same national law in this area.

The Rome II Regulation and the UK implementing regulations are substantial and complex instruments in a technical area of the law. They cover choice of law for torts - product liability, unfair competition and acts restricting free competition, environmental damage, infringement of intellectual property rights and industrial action.

Website contracts

Enterprises have expressed concern about the regulation because liability could arise in any country in which they target their online business via a website. Unlike contractual obligations, torts are less known risks but still need to be accounted for and a consumer could sue in any country where the supplier directs his activity.

Supervision and enforcement

The regime is supervised by the Ministry of Justice and enforced by HM Courts Service