EFJ Annual Meeting, Prague, 24-25 May, 2003
1. Resolution on the law applicable to non-contractual obligations
Submitted by the Swedish Union of Journalists
Article 7 of the draft proposal for a Council Regulation on the law applicable to non-contractual obligations (Rome II) determined the law applicable to defamation in cross-border cases by choosing the law of the country of the “victim”.
The purpose of Rome II is to avoid ambiguity and to simplify rules on applicable law for both parties. The threat to be sued under foreign press laws however creates an insecure legal framework for journalists as well as for their employers. Journalists will hesitate to write about public personalities of other countries if the press laws of the respective country where the personalities live must be analysed prior to publication. The free flow of information will thus be harmed.
Article 65 of the EC Treaty requires unanimity in the Council for the Regulation to be adopted.
The Annual Meeting of the EFJ calls on the Steering Committee to monitor recent changes in the draft and continue to lobby for the inclusion of the ‘country of origin’ as the law applicable to defamation in cross-border cases.