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Conflict of Laws: Definitions

This research guide covers choice of law resources (online and print), plus private international law and Lynn Wardle articles.

Definitions (Conflict/Choice of Law)

Conflict of laws:

"1. A difference between the laws of different states or countries in a case in which a transaction or occurrence central to the case has a connection to two or more jurisdictions. – Often shortened to conflict. Cf. Choice of law.

2. The body of jurisprudence that undertakes to reconcile such differences or to decide what law is to govern in these situations; the principles of choice of law. – Often shortened to conflicts. – Also termed (in international contexts) private international law; international private law."

Black's Law Dictionary, 10th ed. (West, 2014) [page 363]

Second Floor Reference KF 156 .B53 2014

Choice of law:

"The question of which jurisdiction's law should apply in a given case."

Black's Law Dictionary, 10th ed. (West, 2014) [page 294]

Second Floor Reference KF 156 .B53 2014

"Reason for the Rules of Conflict of Laws:

"The world is composed of territorial states having separate and differing systems of law. Events and transactions occur, and issues arise, that may have a significant relationship to more than one state, making necessary a special body of rules and methods for their ordering and resolution."

Restatement (Second) of Conflict of Laws § 1 (ALI, 1971- )

Reserve KF 395 .R42 .C68 1971- V.1

 

"Conflict of Laws is that part of the law of each state which determines what effect is given to the fact that the case may have a significant relationship to more than one state."

Restatement (Second) of Conflict of Laws § 2 (ALI, 1971- )

Reserve KF 395 .R42 .C68 1971- V.1

Categories

Conflict of laws has two major divisions, one involving different U.S.-based jurisdictions, and the other crossing international boundaries. These both have grown due to increased travel and technologies.

American conflict of laws can involve such areas as civil procedure, contracts, corporate law, Internet-based laws, family law, and state and local government law.

International conflict of laws (usually called private international law) can involve such areas as inter-country adoption, international business transactions, and online information systems.

Caveat: much of conflicts law is taught as a small sub-set of other legal areas. For example, contracts, family law, and corporate law each devote a small portion of their classes to Conflict of Law issues.

Subject Guide

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