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Article 5 of the Rome convention on the law applicable to contractual obligations of 19 June 1980 and consumer E-contracts: the need for reform

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The Rome Convention of 19 June 1980 lays down rules relating to the designation of the law applicable to contractual obligations. In certain contractual relationships involving consumers and professionals, Article 5 of the Convention includes specific rules intended to protect consumers. Adopted at a time where the Internet had not yet entered our living rooms and affected our shopping patterns, the Convention is proving inadequate when it comes to protecting consumers entering into e-contracts. The recent introduction of the Green Paper (COM (2002) 654 final) on the conversion of the Convention into a Community instrument and its modernisation reinforces the debate on the necessary adaptation of Article 5 to the realities of e-commerce. This article focuses on some of the changes Article 5 requires in order to afford consumers a better protection in their dealings with retailers via the Internet.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Hertfordshire UK

Publication date: 2004-03-01

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