On May 10, 2012, the European Parliament adopted a resolution (available here) with recommendations to the Commission on the amendment of Regulation (EC) No. 864/2007 on the law applicable to non-contractual obligations, known as Rome II. The Parliament first noted that “the Rome II Regulation lacks a provision for the determination of the law applicable to violations of privacy and rights relating to personality”.
Referring in particular to the Shevill ruling (CJEU, March 7, 1995,C-68/93), and two rulings of October 25, 2011 (C-509/09 and C-161/10), the European Parliament considered that “Article 5(3) of Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 must be interpreted as meaning that, in the event of an alleged infringement of personality rights by means of content placed online on an internet website, the person who considers that his or her rights have been infringed has the option of bringing an action for liability, in respect of all the damage caused, either before the courts of the Member State in which the publisher of that content is established or before the courts of the Member State in which the center of his or her interests is based. That person may also, instead of an action for liability in respect of all the damage caused, bring his or her action before the courts of each Member State in the territory of which content placed online is or has been accessible. Those courts have jurisdiction only in respect of the damage caused in the territory of the Member State of the court seized”.
Lastly, the European Parliament requested the Commission to submit two proposals designed to add to the Rome II Regulation:
- “A provision to govern the law applicable to a non-contractual obligation arising out of violations of privacy and rights relating to personality, including defamation”;
- “A proposal for the creation of a center for the voluntary settlement of cross-border disputes arising out of violations of privacy and rights relating to personality, including defamation, by way of alternative dispute resolution”.