In most jurisdictions, the parties to a contract are free to elect the law applicable to their contract. This principle of party autonomy is recorded in the rules of the world’s major arbitral institutions, as well as in legal instruments such as Regulation 593/2008/EC (“Rome I Regulation”). Exceptions and restrictions may apply in cases involving consumers, employees, transactions involving interests in land, in IP and competition law matters, and, generally speaking, as a result of public policy.
Where the parties designate a specific domestic law to govern their contract, and an international treaty such as the CISG is part of the designated law as a result of it being ratified and transformed into domestic law, the reference to such domestic law in the parties’ contract encompasses the application of the relevant international treaty. Parties must opt out expressly if they only wish for the unharmonised domestic law provisions to apply.
If the parties have not chosen the law applicable to their contract, objective criteria will determine the applicable law. In the EU these objective criteria are recorded in Regulation 593/2008/EC (“Rome I Regulation”). In principle, the law at the place of the party furnishing the characteristic performance applies, unless some other law is manifestly closer connected to the parties’ contract.
Even where the parties have chosen the law applicable to their contract, certain incidental or preliminary questions may have to be examined under some other law. For instance, whether or not one of the parties was duly represented by the signatory acting on its behalf may be an issue for the law applicable to the corporate status of the party in question, rather than the law chosen by the parties.
The law applicable to non-contractual obligations and/or to other legal relationship is subject to other legal rules.
Jurisdiction in Cross-Border Matters, Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments, Awards, or other Enforceable Instruments
In some legal orders, the term “private international law” also encompasses rules on the court’s jurisdiction in cross-border matters, and on the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments, awards, or other enforceable instruments.
BODENHEIMER Representative Matters as Parties’ Counsel
Represented an EU petrol company in German proceedings towards the recognition of a Turkish state court judgment against a former distributor in Germany
Represented an Italian manufacturer of equipment for restaurants in a matter involving the enforcement of an Italian judgment in Germany against a German customer
Represented a German manufacturer of logistics systems in exequatur proceedings under the New York Convention before the German state courts against a Turkish business partner
Represented a multinational online media agency in a series of ICC, DIS, and SIAC arbitrations against non-performing advertisers arising out of Insertion Orders with some 25+ advertisers from around the world; oversaw asset freezing, collection and enforcement proceedings in, inter alia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, France, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Malaysia, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Turkey, the UK, the United States, and Uruguay, in close collaboration with local correspondent counsel.
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