European Regulation 864/2007 or "Rome II” is one of the most important developments for international personal injury claims in recent years. It creates a standard set of rules for European Courts to use when dealing with non-contractual cases involving a cross-border element, for example if a driver was injured in a Road Traffic Accident whilst travelling abroad. It intended to harmonise the rules determining which law should apply when more than one jurisdiction is involved.
The general rule of Rome II essentially states that the applicable law to be used is the law of the country in which the damage occurred. This is the default position which applies to all countries in the European Union, with the exception of Denmark.
This general rule will not apply if the liable party and the injured party are residents of the same country (in which case the laws of that country will apply, even if the accident happened abroad).
The general rule will also not apply if it is determined that the case is clearly more closely connected to another country; in which case the law of that country will apply.
Rome II also, subject to some restrictions, allows the parties to choose to apply the laws of a different country provided an agreement to this effect is entered into.