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Cover Clarkson & Hill's Conflict of Laws

5. Non-contractual obligations  

Jonathan Hill

Non-contractual obligations cover both tortious obligations and obligations which arise from unjust enrichment and analogous doctrines. Until relatively recently, choice of law rules formulated by the courts held sway in relation to both torts and restitution. However, the expanding role of the European Union in the field of private international law has led to Europe-wide legislation in the form of the Rome II Regulation. The Rome II Regulation lays down choice of law rules not only for tortious obligations, but also for other non-contractual obligations (arising from unjust enrichment, negotiorum gestio, and culpa in contrahendo). Because the material scope of the Regulation is limited in certain ways, the choice of law rules which preceded the entry into force of the European choice of law regime continue to apply to some common torts (in particular, defamation). This chapter discusses the Rome II Regulation, including its scope, tortious obligations, other non-contractual obligations, general provisions, non-contractual obligations excluded from the Rome II Regulation, and the interaction of non-contractual obligations and contractual obligations.