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

February 2008