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Hellgardt, Alexander (2018): Das Verbot der kollisionsrechtlichen Wahl nichtstaatlichen Rechts und das Unionsgrundrecht der Privatautonomie. In: Rabels Zeitschrift für Ausländisches und Internationales Privatrecht, Vol. 82, No. 3: pp. 654-696

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Choice of law is a cornerstone of European private international law. However, existing secondary law continues to restrict the choice to state law, excluding non-state law regimes like the Principles of European Contract Law, the UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts or detailed standard-form contracts. This article tests the restriction against the principle of party autonomy, which is shown to be a European fundamental right. Party autonomy encompasses the right to choose nonstate law regimes in international cases. Any restriction on the choice of non-state law regimes, therefore, needs to be justified. Where private international law does not impose any restrictions on the choice of law, as is the case in the choice of contract law between commercial parties, there is no apparent justification for excluding the choice of non-state law regimes. Hence, European secondary law has to be interpreted in the light of the fundamental right of party autonomy. This allows commercial parties to choose non-state contract law regimes for their international transactions.

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