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2003, vol. 37, iss. 3, pp. 189-210
Consumer contracts: Applicable law and jurisdiction
University of Novi Sad, Faculty of Law, Serbia
There are various instruments of consumer protection. Some of them belong to domain of Private International Law. Thus, in the field of conflict of laws, there are general notions, such as public policy fraus legis, mandatory norms, etc. that can be relied on in order to ensure the application of the domestic consumer protection law in an international contract setting. There is also a possibility to limit the freedom of choice of the applicable law in consumer contracts, and to provide for application of the consumer’s local law in the absence of choice. In the field of jurisdiction, one can limit parties’ freedom to chose the competent court and provide for special jurisdiction for disputes arising out of consumer contracts in the consumer’s local court. The introduction of these special conflict rules and rules of jurisdiction into domestic PIL statute, presupposes the existence of a defined notion of a "consumer contract", and consequently, requires the defining of the notions of "consumer"and "professional". The latter notions have in fact already been defined in the Law on the Consumer Protection (2002). However, the status of this law is uncertain at the moment, because of the constitutional change that occurred in Serbia and Montenegro in 2003, which put into question legislative jurisdiction for this subject-matter. Further question that arises is whether protection by conflict rules and rules of jurisdiction should be reserved for certain defined categories of consumer contracts only, or should be applicable to all such contracts. The new developments in the EU law concerning the definition of contracts for which consumers enjoy such protection (in particular the changes introduced by the Brussels I Regulation and discussed in the projects for transformation of the Rome Convention into a regulation) are described in particular detail. The provisions of consumer protection of the Swiss and Slovenian PIL Codes are also presented, to conclude with the concrete remarks concerning the utility and necessity of harmonizing the rules of the domestic PIL Code (1983) with the EU law provisions currently in force.
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article language: Serbian
document type: Original Scientific Paper
published in SCIndeks: 02/06/2007

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