Developments in European choice of law seem to offer the US a tantalizing opportunity for escape from the chaos of state-by-state choice-of-law rules. Specifically, the Rome Regulations provide the sort of uniform choice-of-law rules that have eluded the US. Also, decisions of the European Court of Justice that permit firms to adopt home-country rules in some situations seem to facilitate jurisdictional choice by private parties. This top-down ordering of choice-of-law rules contrasts with the seemingly chaotic and decentralized system that prevails in the US. However, decentralized US-style federalism might have something to offer Europe because choice of law in the U.S. has sparked a type of law market that helps constrain inefficient State regulatory efforts. Viewed from the perspective of which system best fosters a market for law, both the US and Europe have advantages that each could learn from the other.
Law and Economics
Date of this Version
Erin O'Hara and Larry E. Ribstein, "Rules and Institutions in Developing a Law Market: Views from the U.S. and Europe" (February 2008). University of Illinois Law and Economics Working Papers. Working Paper 88.