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The Conflict of Laws and

Choice of Law Rules

Private International Law part of

private law which deals with foreign


Choice of law rules provide answers to

the question which law shall apply in
cases with a foreign element.


Babcock v. Jackson, 191 N.E.2d 279 (N.Y.


1963) - landmark U.S. case on conflict of laws

A husband and wife from New York went on

a car trip with a friend Babcock to Ontario
while in Ontario they had an accident
Babcock sued Jackson, the driver, claiming
his negligence caused the car crash

Which law applies?

this case brought up a question of choice of law;

should the law of the place of residence of the
victims (New York) be applied, or, should the law of
the place of the tort (Ontario) be applied
under the old conflict rules, the law of the place of
the accident should apply
but Ontario had a law that prohibited passengers
from suing the driver (!)

the court rejected a traditional fixed method of

determining which law should apply
instead it referred to a process of weighing factors
such as relationship between the party, decision to
take the trip, connections to the locality
thus, the Court held that the parties did not have
substantial connection with Ontario and so it would
be unfair to apply the law as the location was largely

the Court found that the jurisdiction

with the most connections was New
Finding: New York law should apply!


conflict of laws, private international law, and

international private law in Scotland, Russia,
DE:internationales Privatrecht, HR: MPP but:
droit international priv
the term conflict of laws is primarily used in
jurisdictions of the Common law tradition,
such as in the United States, England,
Canada, and Australia

the term private international law was coined by an

American judge but abandoned subsequently by
common law scholars and embraced by civil law
the term conflict of laws is preferred in the context of
legal conflicts among federal states (because such
cases do not involve an international issue) US
also, conflict of laws is a general term and refers to
disparities among laws, regardless of whether the
relevant legal systems are international or inter-state.

General rules of the English

conflict system:


Rights and obligations under a contract are

governed by the law expressly or implicitly
chosen by the parties, or, in the absence of
a party choice, by the law of the country
with which the contract is most closely
Liability in tort exists to the extent that is
recognised both by English internal law and
by the law of the country in which the acts
and events giving rise to the liability

3) A persons capacity to marry is governed by

the law of his or her domicile at the time of
the marriage.
4) Title to land is governed by the law of the
country in which the land in question is
5) The beneficial succession to the movable
property of a person who has died intestate
is governed by the law of his last domicile.

Determine the applicable law

X, an English national, suffered bodily

injuries in a traffic accident in Croatia.
Xs car was struck by Y, a German
national, who failed to stop at a traffic
light. X sues Y for damages in England.
Which law applies?

X, an English national married to a

Croatian national and domiciled in
Croatia , dies intestate leaving movable
property in England.
Which law governs the beneficial
succession to the movable property?

Y, a Croatian national domiciled in

England, transfers title to land in
Croatia to X, an English national.
Which law is applicable to the validity of
the transfer of title?

Y, a Croatian company, received a loan from

an English bank in London. A choice of law
clause in the contract specifies English law as
the proper law of the contract. After twelve
months Y fails to make the agreed debt
payments. The bank sues Y in Croatia.
Which law applies?

X, an English national, invests in a Croatian

company in Croatia. There is no choice of law
clause in the contract; however, it is agreed
that all disputes arising from the contract
shall be settled by Croatian courts. The
Croatian company declares bankruptcy. Y
brings an action for compensation in Croatia.

Which law applies?

Z insures his life with Y and Co., an American

corporation, at its Russian branch office. The
policy provides that all disputes shall be
settled under Russian law by Russian courts.
In 1919 the contract is cancelled without
compensation by a decree of the Russian
Government. Z claims payment from the
company in England.
What is the proper law of the contract?

Under English law a marriage between

persons is void if either of them is
under the age of 16. X, an Englishman
domiciled in England, married a
domiciled Hungarian girl aged 15. The
marriage was celebrated in Austria and
is valid under Austrian law and under
Hungarian law. Is the marriage valid in

Expressing commands,
prohibitions, permissions and
authorizations in legal English

Shall used to express legal

imperative in commands

The law chosen by the parties shall

apply in contractual matters.
This Convention shall apply regardless
of the nationality of the parties.

Must is used to express requirements,

especially in procedural and
administrative provisions:

The applicant must sign the application.


Undergraduates must enroll in 12-20 units during Autumn,

Winter, and Spring quarters.
Graduate students must enroll during Autumn, Winter, and
Spring quarters in at least 8 units.

Form to withdraw from a course:

This form must be submitted by a student who wishes to
withdraw from a course or courses after the withdraw deadline.

Shall not expresses prohibitions (acts

that persons/authorities are explicitly
forbidden to perform

A foreign judgment shall not be

recognized if any grounds for refusal is
proved to exist.

Universal prohibitions apply to all

persons and things and are commonly
expressed by negating the subject:

No person shall be deprived of his right

to privacy.
No applicant may be required to answer
such questions.

May expresses a permission, i.e., it permits

the performance of a specific action but does
not require it (may=is permitted to)

Any Contracting State may reserve the right

to exclude the application of Article 1.
The public may be excluded from the

May is also used to express an

authorization conferring power upon
some person or authority to perform an
act which otherwise that person or
authority would be without power to

(may=is authorized to, has the power


The Central Authority may issue

applications for legal aid.
A state may exercise judicial jurisdiction
over a foreign corporation that does
business in the state.

A student's academic degree program may be discontinued if

the student:

fails to be enrolled by the study list deadline; or

fails to be approved for a leave of absence by the term; or
voluntarily terminates undergraduate studies; or
is dismissed for academic reasons; or
is expelled from the University.


lanak 13.
Sud ili drugi nadleni organ po slubenoj e dunosti utvrditi
sadraj stranoga mjerodavnog prava.
Organ iz stavka 1. ovoga lanka moe zatraiti obavijesti o
stranom pravu od Ministarstva pravosua i uprave Republike
Stranke u postupku mogu podnijeti i javnu ispravu o sadraju
stranog prava.

Article 13
The court or another competent organ shall ex officio
determine the content of the foreign law to be
The organ referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article
may make inquiries about the foreign law from the
Ministry of Justice and Administration of the Republic
of Croatia.
The litigating parties may also submit an official
document on the content of the foreign law.

Studenti moraju izvravati svoje obveze.

Studenti mogu prekinuti studij.
Studenti mogu zamrznuti studij u
sluaju trudnoe ili vojne obveze.
Studenti ne smiju ometati nastavu.

Student who wish to terminate their studies

must submit a request to permanently
withdraw from the Program.

A leave of absence is required by students

who wish to withdraw from the current
semester. Leaves will not be granted for more
than one year at a time.

Suspension of studies
You may suspend your studies for personal
or academic reasons (e.g. illness,
pregnancy, maternity or paternity leave,
financial reasons).

Students are entitled to request an

interruption of studies. (Request to Interrupt