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Performance of Obligations as the Basis of Jurisdiction and Choice of Law (Lugano and Brussels Conventions Article 5(1) and Rome Convention Article 4)

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image of Nordic Journal of International Law

When a dispute arises in connection with an international contract, it is necessary to clarify two matters: (i) the courts of which country are competent to decide on the dispute, and (ii) the law of which country applies to the merits of the dispute. Within the European Union, these matters are clarified, respectively, by the Brussels Convention on (i.a.) jurisdiction and by the Rome Convention on the law applicable to contractual obligations. The scope of application of the Brussels Convention is extended also to cover the EFTA Countries, through the Lugano Convention. The scope of the Rome Convention, on the contrary, does not reach beyond the European Union. This imbalance in the relationship between choice of forum and choice of law is particularly noticeable in Norway, which does not have a codified system of choice of law rules. The relationship between choice of forum rules and choice of law rules is highlighted in this article from the point of view of a specific connecting factor: the performance of the disputed obligation.

Affiliations: 1: Advokat, Dr. Juris, Oslo, Norway


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