Introduction to the Scope of the Brussels Convention



The scope intended for the Convention is, to some extent, inherent in its legal nature. Uniform law conventions are variously considered as international legislation, as models for domestic legislation, or as law sui generis partly domestic and partly international in character.1 The analysis adopted is important, for it affects the interpretation of the Convention and the manner in which it is incorporated into domestic law. Agreement on this question would be a step towards successful uniform law.2 The present lack of such agreement is reflected in the divergent ways in which the Convention has been incorporated into the law of HCPs.3 The implication of the Convention’s art. X is that the Convention is international legislation applicable as such.4 But the Protocol option, to transpose the Convention into a form appropriate to national legislation, seems to see the Convention as a model. However, this option was first introduced in the Sub-Commission, at a late stage in the evolution of the text, and its scheme is clearly regarded as an exception to that initially intended, rather than an abrogation of it. It might therefore be inferred that the Convention was seen as international legislation of an ordinary or special kind, but this is far from certain: firstly, the importance and interest of the matter does not seem to have been understood at that time; secondly, the text was not subjected to the usual intensive preparation as a convention;5 thirdly, it is clear from subsequent events that the HCPs did not feel bound to pursue any particular theory. For these reasons it may be doubted whether there was any clear design on this question at all.


National Version Protocol Option Conflict Rule BRUSSELS Convention Domestic Legislation 
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© Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague, Netherlands 1976

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