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Synopsis

Since the Amsterdam Treaty of 1997 empowered the EC to adopt rules in the field of conflicts of laws, legal instruments have been adopted that provide common rules on issues that touch upon the day-to-day life of European citizens. There are now instruments covering jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters, family matters and maintenance obligations, and the law applicable to contractual and non-contractual obligations, legal separations and divorces. There is also legislation establishing swift procedures for recovering claims abroad, ie the European Enforcement Order, the European Order for Payment Procedure and the European Small Claims Procedure, and legislation regulating cross-border insolvency proceedings and judicial assistance in the field of service of documents, taking of evidence and access to justice. This long list of EU legislation is not exhaustive of EU conflicts of laws rules: numerous further provisions are scattered among other EU legislation, eg directives on consumer, labour and insurance contracts; company law; IP rights; securities; privacy; and so on. Besides this the European Court of Justice has issued many judgments addressing relevant aspects of the conflict of laws found in the acquis communautaire in this field. This book, which assembles all the relevant EU legislation and ECJ decisions in one place, provides a guide to the maze of legal instruments now in place, supplemented by brief commentaries identifying the leading principles and anticipating future developments.

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