Update 11 May 2020 see further review by Caterina Benini here.
Update 15 April 2020 for similar Greek measures see here.
Thank you Ennio Piovesani for signalling and reviewing one of the first conflicts-specific developments on the Corona /Covid 19 landscape. Update 28 March 2020 see the comments on and Ennio’s comprehensive response to his own post and comments, for further interesting discussion going beyond the immediate Corona context.
In an effort to safeguard the economic position of the travel sector, the Italian Government by decree has essentially frozen the travel sector’s statutory duty to reimburse travellers whose package travel has become impossible due to the pandemic. Ennio reports that the decree refers specifically to Article 9 Rome I’s overriding mandatory law provisions (earlier applied in Unamar), (in his translation): ‘“The provisions of the present article constitute overriding mandatory provisions within the meaning of Article 17 of Law of 31 May 1995, No. 218 [“Italian PIL Act”] [5, 6] and of Article 9 of Regulation (EU) No. 593/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council, of 17 June 2008 [“Rome 1 Regulation”]”.
Ennio signals and important issue: how much leeway may be given to Member States to push their own definition of the concept of ‘lois de police’ /overriding mandatory law in light of the CJEU definition in Joined Cases C-369/96 and C-376/96 Arblade. In Brussels Ia of course the CJEU has pushed the concept of ordre public in a limited direction. Lois de police however are different from ordre public and Rome I is not Brussels Ia, and I am therefore not so pessimistic as Ennio when it comes to leaving a lot of discretion to Member States. What to me looks a touch more problematic is the relation with the package travel Directive 2015/2302 which applies to many of the travel arrangements concerned and which is the source of many of the protections for travellers.
No doubt to be continued.
(Handbook of) European Private International Law, 2nd ed. 2016, Chapter 3, Heading 18.104.22.168.
2 Replies to “Are proclamations of lois de police an absolute prerogative of the Member States? Italy’s response to Covid19 /Corona and the package travel sector.”
Dear Professor Van Calster,
thank you for sharing this news. Incidentally, I learned that similar measures as those implemented by the Italian Government have been implemented also in Belgium. I’m speaking of the sc. Corona-vouchers, implemented by the Arrêté ministériel of 20.3.2020, which Commissioner Reynders has promptly criticised. I (perhaps) better explained the reasons for my pessimism as concerns self-proclaiming, in a comment to my own note in the conflictoflaws.net blog.
Thank you again for your kind attention.
Have a great we.
This seems to be rolling out across the EU indeed. The conflictoflaws.net posting is now almost ready for submission as an article 🙂