by Caroline J.S. Picart, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief, FJIL
Alan Reed’s “The Rome I Regulation and Reapprochement of Anglo-American Choice of Law in Contract: A Heralded Triumph of Pragmatism Over Theory” aims to “provide a novel and distinctive deconstruction of the modernising reforms contained in the Rome I Regulation which became effective in English law from December 17, 2009.” In brief, Reed notes that there is a “significant degree of replication” in terms of “applicable law selection in contract on both sides of the Atlantic.” Thus, there is “a consensus in broad methodological perspectives between the Second Restatement and new Rome I Regulation in terms of the general specific presumptions that are adopted to promulgate certainty, predictability and ease of application” which serve to “protect legitimate party expectations.” These prescribed rules may be “supplanted” in limited situations to enable “beneficial flexible displacement, to protect commercial efficiency, locali[z]e the central gravity of a contract, and consequentially prevent unfairness, inappropriate outcome resolution and capricious injustice.” Ultimately, Reed argues that “pragmatism has prevailed over functional choice of law principles in contract” because “party autonomy now reigns supreme and imputed choice is heavily dependent on addressing the factual ‘centre of gravity’ of the contract.”
Alan Reed is currently Professor of Criminal and Private International Law at Sunderland University and has previously lectured at Cambridge University and Leeds University. He graduated from Trinity College, Cambridge University with a First Class Honours Degree in Law (1988) and was awarded the Dr. Lancey Prize and Holland Scholarship to facilitate study in the U.S. Professor Reed completed an LLM (Comparative Law) at the University of Virginia and also became a Solicitor of the High Court of England and Wales.