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CONTRACTS (APPLICABLE LAW) ACT 1990

UK Public General Acts

Version 01/10/2010

1990 CHAPTER 36

Default Geographical Extent: E+W+S+N.I.


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  • Version 01/04/1991

Introductory Text

Contracts (Applicable Law) Act 1990

1990 CHAPTER 36

An Act to make provision as to the law applicable to contractual obligations in the case of conflict of laws.

[26th July 1990]

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

Annotations:

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C1 Act applied (1.12.2001) by S.I. 2001/2635, regs. 1, 7 (subject to regs. 4-6); S.I. 2001/3538, art. 2(1)

Act applied (1.12.2001) by S.I. 2001/2635, regs. 1, 10 (subject to regs. 8, 9); S.I. 2001/3538, art. 2(1)


1 Meaning of “the Conventions”.

In this Act—

(a) “ [F1 these Conventions and this Protocol] ” means the Convention on the law applicable to contractual obligations opened for signature in Rome on 19th June 1980 and signed by the United Kingdom on 7th December 1981;
(b) “ [F1 these Conventions and this Protocol] ” means the Convention on the accession of the Hellenic Republic to the Rome Convention signed by the United Kingdom in Luxembourg on 10th April 1984; and
(c) “ [F1 these Conventions and this Protocol] ” means the first Protocol on the interpretation of the Rome Convention by the European Court signed by the United Kingdom in Brussels on 19th December 1988;
F2 [( d ) “the Funchal Convention” means the Convention on the accession of the Kingdom of Spain and the Portuguese Republic to the Rome Convention and the Brussels Protocol, with adjustments made to the Rome Convention by the Luxembourg Convention, signed by the United Kingdom in Funchal on 18th May 1992;]
[F3 (e) “the 1996 Accession Convention” means the Convention on the accession of the Republic of Austria, the Republic of Finland and the Kingdom of Sweden to the Rome Convention and the Brussels Protocol, with the adjustments made to the Rome Convention by the Luxembourg Convention and the Funchal Convention, signed by the United Kingdom in Brussels on 29th November 1996;]
and the Rome Convention, the Luxembourg Convention and the Brussels Protocol are together referred to as “the Conventions”.

Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F1 Words in s. 1 substituted (1.12.1997) by S.I. 1994/1900, art. 4; (convention in force in respect of U.K. on 1.12.1997; see London Gazette 22.10.1997).

F2 S. 1(d) inserted (1.12.1997) by S.I. 1994/1900, art. 3; (convention in force in respect of U.K. on 1.12.1997; see London Gazette 22.10.1997).

F3 S. 1(e) inserted (coming into force in accordance with art. 1 of the amending S.I.) by S.I. 2000/1825, art. 3

Commencement Information

I1 S. 1 wholly in force at 1.4.1991 see s. 7 and S.I. 1991/707, art. 2


2 Conventions to have force of law.

(1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3) below, the Conventions shall have the force of law in the United Kingdom.

[F4 (1A) The internal law for the purposes of Article 1(3) of the Rome Convention is the provisions of the regulations for the time being in force under section 424(3) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.]

(2) Articles 7(1) and 10(1) (e) of the Rome Convention shall not have the force of law in the United Kingdom.

(3) Notwithstanding Article 19(2) of the Rome Convention, the Conventions shall apply in the case of conflicts between the laws of different parts of the United Kingdom.

(4) For ease of reference there are set out in [F5 Schedules 1, 2, 3 [F6 , 3A and 3B] ] to this Act respectively the English texts of—

(a) the Rome Convention;
(b) the Luxembourg Convention; F7 . . .
(c) the Brussels Protocol [F8 ; and
[F9 (d) the Funchal Convention; and
(e) the 1996 Accession Convention] ]
Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F4 S. 2(1A) substituted (1.12.2001) by S.I. 2001/3649, arts. 1, 320

F5 Words in s. 2(4) substituted (1.12.1997) by S.I. 1994/1900, art. 5; (convention in force in respect of U.K. on 1.12.1997; see London Gazette 22.10.1997).

F6 Words in s. 2(4) substituted (coming into force in accordance with art. 1 of the amending S.I.) by S.I. 2000/1825, art. 4(a)

F7 Word in s. 2(4)(b) deleted (1.12.1997) by virtue of S.I. 1994/1900, art. 6; (convention in force in respect of U.K. on 1.12.1997; see London Gazette 22.10.1997).

F8 S. 2(4)(d) and the word immediately preceeding it inserted (1.12.1997) by S.I. 1994/1900, art. 6; (convention in force in respect of U.K. on 1.12.1997; see London Gazette 22.10.1997).

F9 S. 2(4)(d)(e) substituted (for s. 2(4)(d)) (coming into force in accordance with art. 1 of the amending S.I.) by S.I. 2000/1825, art. 4(b)

Commencement Information

I2 S. 2 partly in force; s. 2(1) in force for certain purposes at 1.4.1991 and s. 2(2)-(4) fully in force at 1.4.1991 see s. 7 and S.I. 1991/707, art. 2

I3 S. 2(1) in force at 1.3.2005 for specified purposes by S.I. 2004/3448, art. 2(a)


3 Interpretation of Conventions.

(1) Any question as to the meaning or effect of any provision of the Conventions shall, if not referred to the European Court in accordance with the Brussels Protocol, be determined in accordance with the principles laid down by, and any relevant decision of, the European Court.

(2) Judicial notice shall be taken of any decision of, or expression of opinion by, the European Court on any such question.

(3) Without prejudice to any practice of the courts as to the matters which may be considered apart from this subsection—

(a) the report on the Rome Convention by Professor Mario Giuliano and Professor Paul Lagarde which is reproduced in the Official Journal of the M1 Communities of 31st October 1980 may be considered in ascertaining the meaning or effect of any provision of that Convention; and
(b) any report on the Brussels Protocol which is reproduced in the Official Journal of the Communities may be considered in ascertaining the meaning or effect of any provision of that Protocol.
Annotations:

Commencement Information

I4 S. 3 partly in force; s. 3(a) in force 1.4.1991 by s. 7 andS.I. 1991/707, art. 2

I5 S. 3(1)(2)(3)(b) in force at 1.3.2005 by S.I. 2004/3448, art. 2(b)

Marginal Citations

M1 O.J.1980 No.C282/1.


4 Revision of Conventions etc.

(1) If at any time it appears to Her Majesty in Council that Her Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom—

(a) have agreed to a revision of any of the Conventions (including, in particular, any revision connected with the accession to the Rome Convention of any state) ; or
(b) have given notification in accordance with Article 22(3) of the Rome Convention that either or both of the provisions mentioned in section 2(2) above shall have the force of law in the United Kingdom,
Her Majesty may by Order in Council make such consequential modifications of this Act or any other statutory provision, whenever passed or made, as Her Majesty considers appropriate.
(2) An Order in Council under subsection (1) above shall not be made unless a draft of the Order has been laid before Parliament and approved by a resolution of each House.

(3) In subsection (1) above— “modifications” includes additions, omissions and alterations; “revision” means an omission from, addition to or alteration of any of the Conventions and includes replacement of any of the Conventions to any extent by another convention, protocol or other description of international agreement; and “statutory provision” means any provision contained in an Act, or in any Northern Ireland legislation, or in—

(a) subordinate legislation (as defined in section 21(1) of the M2 Interpretation Act 1978) ; or
(b) any instrument of a legislative character made under any Northern Ireland legislation.
Annotations:

Commencement Information

I6 S. 4 wholly in force at 1.4.1991 see s. 7 and S.I. 1991/707, art. 2

Marginal Citations

M2 1978 c. 30.


[F10 4A. Disapplication where the rules in the Rome I Regulations apply: England and Wales and Northern Ireland

(1) Nothing in this Act applies to affect the determination of issues relating to contractual obligations which fall to be determined under the Rome I Regulation.

(2) In this section the “Rome I Regulation” means Regulation ( EC ) No. 593/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the law applicable to contractual obligations , including that Regulation as applied by regulation 5 of the Law Applicable to Contractual Obligations (England and Wales and Northern Ireland) Regulations 2009 (conflicts falling within Article 22(2) of Regulation ( EC ) No. 593/2008 ).

(3) This section extends to England and Wales and Northern Ireland only.]

Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F10 S. 4A inserted (E.W.N.I.) (17.12.2009) by The Law Applicable to Contractual Obligations (England and Wales and Northern Ireland) Regulations 2009 (S.I. 2009/3064), regs. 1(1), 2


[F11 4B. Disapplication where the rules in the Rome I Regulation apply: Scotland

(1) Nothing in this Act applies to affect the determination of issues relating to contractual obligations which fall to be determined by the Rome I Regulation.

(2) In this section “the Rome I Regulation” means Regulation (EC) No. 593/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the law applicable to contractual obligations (Rome I) , including that Regulation as applied by regulation 4 of the Law Applicable to Contractual Obligations (Scotland) Regulations 2009 (conflicts falling within Article 22(2) of Regulation (EC) No. 593/2008).

(3) This section extends to Scotland only.]

Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F11 S. 4B inserted (S.) (17.12.2009) by Law Applicable to Contractual Obligations (Scotland) Regulations 2009 (S.S.I. 2009/410), regs. 1(1), 2(a)


5 Consequential amendments.

The enactments specified in Schedule 4 to this Act shall have effect subject to the amendments specified in that Schedule.

Annotations:

Commencement Information

I7 S. 5 wholly in force at 1.4.1991 see s. 7 and S.I. 1991/707, art. 2


6 Application to Crown.

This Act binds the Crown.

Annotations:

Commencement Information

I8 S. 6 wholly in force at 1.4.1991 see s. 7 and S.I. 1991/707, art. 2


7 Commencement.

This Act shall come into force on such day as the Lord Chancellor and the Lord Advocate may by order made by statutory instrument appoint; and different days may be appointed for different provisions or different purposes.

Annotations:

Subordinate Legislation Made

P1 S. 7 power of appointment conferred by s. 7 exercised by S.I.1991/707

Commencement Information

I9 S. 7 wholly in force at 1.4.1991 see S.I. 1991/707, art. 2


8 Extent.

(1) [F12 Except as provided by virtue of section 4B(3) , this] Act extends to Northern Ireland.

(2) Her Majesty may by Order in Council direct that all or any of the provisions of this Act shall extend to any of the following territories, namely—

(a) the Isle of Man;
(b) any of the Channel Islands;
(c) Gibraltar;
(d) the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia (that is to say, the areas mentioned in section 2(1) of the M3 Cyprus Act 1960).
(3) An Order in Council under subsection (2) above may modify this Act in its application to any of the territories mentioned in that subsection and may contain such supplementary provisions as Her Majesty considers appropriate; and in this subsection “modify” shall be construed in accordance with section 4 above.

Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F12 Words in s. 8(1) substituted (S.) (17.12.2009) by Law Applicable to Contractual Obligations (Scotland) Regulations 2009 (S.S.I. 2009/410), regs. 1(1), 2(b)

Commencement Information

I10 S. 8 wholly in force at 1.4.1991 see s. 7 and S.I. 1991/707, art. 2

Marginal Citations

M3 1960 c. 52.


9 Short title.

This Act may be cited as the Contracts (Applicable Law) Act 1990.

Annotations:

Commencement Information

I11 S. 9 wholly in force at 1.4.1991 see s. 7 and S.I. 1991/707, art. 2