A review of the new jurisdiction rules for electronic consumer contracts within the European Union

Lorna Gillies

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review


The Brussels 1 Regulation is a new Community Instrument that is set to replace the Brussels Convention on Jurisdiction and Recognition of Foreign Judgments. The new Regulation was approved by the European Union on 30th November 2000 (Regan, 2000).The approved Regulation has been published in the Official Journal as the 'Council Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 of 22 December 2000 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters,'[1]. The new rules of jurisdiction are set to become law throughout Europe from March 2002[2].
The rules of this new Community Instrument have implications for electronic commerce. One of the most contentious and important set of rules to be replaced by the Regulation relate to consumer contracts. In Europe, the new Regulation (hereafter the Brussels 1 Regulation) will create specific rules of jurisdiction for electronic consumer contracts. This review paper considers the new rules provided by the Regulation for electronic consumer contracts conducted over the Internet and suggests what will be their impact. This paper will outline the new Regulation's provisions for electronic consumer contracts in the context of the European Union and the future of international private law and review how they came to be accepted. The provisions were agreed after rejection and amendment of several previous proposals. Whilst the paper is mainly written from the perspective of the United Kingdom, the potential implications of the new Regulation's provisions for businesses and consumers alike both within and outside the European Union will also be considered.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Information, Law and Technology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2001


  • electronic commerce
  • consumers
  • electronic consumer contracts
  • European Union
  • jurisdiction
  • applicable law
  • private international law
  • Brussels convention
  • Rome convention
  • communitarianism
  • harmonisation
  • alternative dispute resolution
  • global rules
  • Hague conference


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