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Conflict of Laws and the Internet

Pedro de Miguel Asensio

The ubiquity of the Internet contrasts with the territorial nature of national legal orders. This book offers a comprehensive analysis of jurisdiction, choice of law and enforcement of judgments issues concerning online activities in the areas in which private legal relationships are most affected by the Internet. It provides an in-depth study of EU Law in this particularly dynamic field, with references to major developments in other jurisdictions. Topics comprise information society services, data protection, defamation, copyright, trademarks, unfair competition and contracts, including consumer protection and alternative dispute resolution.
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Chapter 6: CONTRACTS

Pedro de Miguel Asensio


The basic legal framework on online contracts at international and EU level is discussed. A typology of the relevant contracts that influence the application of the conflict of laws rule in this area is presented and the significance of categories such as so-called ‘smart contracts’ in this framework is considered. Particularly important is the characterization of consumer contracts in the context of the platform economy, given the importance of weaker parties protection in EU private international law. Effectiveness of choice of forum and choice of law agreements and their limits are of great practical importance. Guidance is provided as to the interpretation of the place of performance as ground of jurisdiction with regard to contracts performed online. The law applicable in the absence of choice to Internet related contracts is also covered. Finally, alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, including mediation, arbitration and other procedures for the out-of-court resolution of cross-border disputes are discussed.

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