An Exploration of the European Dimension of the Commercial Agents Regulations
Lloyd's Maritime and Commercial Law Quarterly, 2013, Part 4, 544-565
20 Pages Posted: 22 May 2013 Last revised: 14 Jul 2015
Date Written: November 1, 2013
In 1986, the European Communities enacted Directive 86/653/EEC on self-employed commercial agents. In the UK, this was implemented into national law in the Commercial Agents Regulations 1993. Over the past 20 years, considerable scholarship has been devoted to commercial agents and a sizeable number of English and Scottish cases have dealt with this body of rules. This paper highlights that courts and commentators alike have frequently construed these Regulations according to the canons of construction of the common law; it further submits that this approach is inconsistent with the principle of uniform application of EU law and may give rise to Francovich liability. The suggestion is advanced that the European dimension of the Regulations ought to be reconsidered, with increased attention to the principle of consistent interpretation. This allows for a more sophisticated understanding of the legislation governing commercial agents and also addresses several areas of uncertainty which emerged in past decisions.
Keywords: Commercial Law, European Private Law, EU Private Law, Law of Agency, Commercial Agents, Commercial Agents Directive, Agency, Commercial Agency Regulations 1993
JEL Classification: K0, K12, K22, K39
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation