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CONTRIBUTION AND INDEMNIFICATION AMONG JOINT TORTEASORS IN MULTI-STATE CONFLICT CASES: A STUDY OF DOCTRINE AND THE CURRENT LAW IN THE US AND UNDER THE ROME II REGULATION

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Abstract:

In both European and US private international law the issue of joint tortfeasors' contribution or indemnification in multi-state conflict cases has been discussed vividly. However, neither European nor US case law and literature have been able to provide a comprehensive answer to the question which law should apply to joint tortfeasor contribution or indemnification issues.

With the implementation of the Rome II Regulation, a unified private international law for non-contractual obligations in Europe has been established. In Art 20, the Regulation contains a seemingly clear-cut and simple rule. The provision, however, seems to be ill-conceived. The topic has been scarcely discussed during the law-making process. A literal construction and application of the rule may not provide a balanced choice-of-law determination.

This article is supposed to give an overview of the European and US discussion on contribution and indemnification in multi-state conflict cases. It will explain the new provision in Art 20 Rome II, and analyse the underlying tort law purposes and party expectations that are relevant for the choice-of-law determination.
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