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  • 26-01-2009

One of the novelties of the Rome I Regulation is the special provision in Article 4(1)(h) on the law applicable to a contract entered into within a regulated market or a multilateral trading facility in the absence of a choice of a law by the contracting parties.

The authors analyse the practical significance of this provision and the relevant contracts which come into existence within a trading system. In the authors' view, the concept of contract used in Article 4(1)(h) of Rome I, encompasses transactions within a trading system that may not be true agreements under the substantive law of the Netherlands. Furthermore, many of the relevant contractual arrangements, in particular those relating to the clearing and the settlement of securities transactions on a regulated market or multilateral trading facility, fall within the scope of the special PIL provision for designated settlement finality systems pursuant to the Settlement Finality Directive.

According to the authors, legal certainty requires that all transactions on a particular trading system be subject to the same law, regardless of the nature of the parties involved. They take the view that there should be no room for a choice of a law other than the law governing the trading system. The rule in Article 4(1)(h) should in their view become applicable to each contract concluded within a multilateral trading system. The law designated by that provision should prevail over the law chosen by the parties to a transaction: such transactions should always be governed by the law governing the system.

Source: NIPR, Afl. 4, 2009

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