French wine in new bottles: Revirement de jurisprudence in French consumer arbitration law

Chevalier, Maxime (2022) French wine in new bottles: Revirement de jurisprudence in French consumer arbitration law. Arbitration: The International Journal of Arbitration, Mediation and Dispute Management, 88 (3). pp. 404-425. ISSN 0003-7877

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For almost two centuries, French judges had closed their eyes when arbitration agreements were inserted in international consumer contracts, allowing such clauses to stand and favouring the rigid application of French international arbitration law at all costs. Arbitration agreements inserted in international consumer contracts were systematically enforced, in the name of both the negative effect of the compétence-compétence and the autonomy of international arbitration agreements. However, in the PwC case, the Cour de cassation recently reversed its long-standing jurisprudence by refusing to enforce an international consumer arbitration agreement. To do so, the Court quashed the applicability of the negative effect of compétence-compétence, giving supremacy to European law protecting consumers, and characterized this arbitration agreement as abusive. While such an audacious decision is to be welcomed, it could open the door to European law’s primacy over French international arbitration law. Besides, international consumer arbitration agreements are not all abusive. Online arbitration agreements should be enforceable against consumers, even if such a process presents challenges.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: French | Consumer | PwC | Compétence-compétence | Autonomy of international arbitration agreement | Online arbitration | European law | Abusive
Subjects: Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Law and Legal Studies
JGU School/Centre: Jindal Global Law School
Depositing User: Amees Mohammad
Date Deposited: 06 Sep 2022 05:00
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2022 05:00
Official URL:


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