The Brussels Convention on Jurisdiction and the Recognition of Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters (the Brussels Convention) is to be replaced in 2002 by a Community Instrument: 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 (the Regulation). The Regulation is an important measure approved by the European Union to simplify rules of jurisdiction and recognition of judgments for the benefit of the Internal Market. Amongst other matters, the Regulation updates existing jurisdiction rules for a consumer contracts. The rules for consumer contracts apply where a consumer and a business are domiciled in a Member State or the business has a:"branch, agency or other establishment" in a Member State. Importantly, the Regulation clarifies jurisdiction rules for consumer contracts conducted over the World Wide Web (WWW). These rules are to be welcomed, as they provide guidance on what rules of jurisdiction apply to consumer contracts over the Web, albeit that they are limited to where the parties are domiciled in Europe. This article outlines the rules of jurisdiction for consumer contracts provided by the Regulation, and where appropriate, highlights some aspects of the new rules that will possibly require further discussion and clarification by the European Court of Justice once the new rules are in force.
- consumer contracts
- electronic consumer contracts
- European union
- modified rules of jurisdiction