I want to keep it short. I signed a contract on 01/12/2021 that mentioned in the Terms and Conditions that they adhere to the 531/2012 law. This law is now outdated, it says

No longer in force, Date of end of validity: 30/06/2022; Repealed by 32022R0612 . Latest consolidated version: 15/06/2017

The new version / repealed version is the 2022/612 law. This new version is not mentioned in my contract, as my contract was signed before that law as created.


I have a dispute with this contract, with respect to how the other entity did not respect the conditions. This dispute is from 20/07/2022, so during a time in which the old law is no longer in force. Which of the two laws is now the one that the contract has to adhere to?

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    Is that law actually relevant to your matter? If so, how? is it relevant to the breach? is it relevant to the method(s) of dispute resolution? Aug 11, 2022 at 10:57
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    Yes it is, as the law specifies some obligations of a roaming provider. The other entity did not adhere to one of these obligations, which caused me to receive a large phone bill.
    – charelf
    Aug 11, 2022 at 13:22

3 Answers 3


When an EU regulation or directive is replaced, the successor law will generally clarify that references to the old law should be interpreted as references to the successor law. That is also the case here.

  • The old law is Regulation (EU) No 531/2012

  • The successor law is Regulation (EU) 2022/612

  • The successor law contains the following article:

    Article 23: Repeal

    Regulation (EU) No 531/2012 is repealed.

    References to the repealed Regulation shall be construed as references to this Regulation and shall be read in accordance with the correlation table in Annex II.

    That annex provides a mapping between articles in both laws.

So, if your contract references Regulation 531/2012, you can interpret that as a reference to Regulation 2022/612. If your contract mentions specific articles of the old regulation, you can use Annex II to find the corresponding articles in the new regulation.

This does not mean that the new regulation is necessarily applicable in your case. You mention that the dispute “is” from a time when the new law applied. However, the question is not when the dispute was raised, but when the alleged breaches occurred. If the matter were to be laid before a court, the court would apply the old law for breaches while the old law was in force, and the new law for those breaches while the new law was in force. This could lead to the same or distinct results. I haven't read the laws in question, so it could also be that these regulations apply to the formation of contracts and not conduct during those contracts, so that the old law might remain in effect until one contractual period is over (e.g. if you have a yearly contract that will renew on 2022-12-01, the old regulation might be applicable until then).

  • Thank you for your extensive answer. The breach of contract happened from 20/07/2022-22/07/2022, so during a time the new law was active. The dispute itself is currently ongoing. Also interesting that there is an article specifically clarifying my issue, I did not know this was a thing.
    – charelf
    Aug 11, 2022 at 13:29

One of the main principles of contract interpretation is to respect the intent of the parties.

If a contract refers to a law that has been repealed and replaced with a successor law, usually the outdated reference will be deemed to refer to the replacement law, unless you can demonstrate that there was something special about the original law that differs from the replacement law in a way that thwarts the intent of the parties.

But, ultimately, it is a case by case analysis.

  • Would contra proferentem be relevant here?
    – user35069
    Aug 11, 2022 at 9:34
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    @Rick Probably not. The contract was unambiguous when drafted because the law referred to was in force at the time. Nothing that drafter did led to the result that subsequently arose.
    – ohwilleke
    Aug 11, 2022 at 9:36
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    @ohwilleke really? Australian laws always have a Savings and Transitional section at the end; even if it’s empty.
    – Dale M
    Aug 11, 2022 at 10:04
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    @DaleM Some insurance firms in Australia are still sweating profoundly because they excluded coverage from diseases in the "Quarantine Act and subsequent amendments", but that was replaced with a new act (Biosecurity Act), not amended. Covid-19 is of course in the new act. From what I can see it is still bouncing around in the courts.
    – pipe
    Aug 12, 2022 at 11:01
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    I would think that depending on wording, this could be seen as incorporating the text of the law into the contract. And I do see ambiguity here, regarding the question of whether it incorporates the text as a fixed text, or whatever exists as the text at the time. Aug 13, 2022 at 0:13

Read the transitional instructions in the Act that introduced the new law

Sometimes a law is replaced in total. Sometimes parts are replaced at different times. Sometimes the old law continues to apply to existing contracts.

  • Thanks for your answer, I am very inexperienced with respect to this topic (and law in general), so I was unaware that something like transitional instructions existed, let alone how they would be called or where one could find them.
    – charelf
    Aug 11, 2022 at 13:25

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