Citizenship, Public and Private
University of Toronto - Faculty of Law
October 27, 2008
Law & Contemporary Problems, Vol. 71, p. 309, 2008
This article argues first and foremost for seeing private international law as a private side of citizenship. Part I distinguishes citizenship’s private side from its public side, and presents private international law as the private side of citizenship in the Roman tradition. In part II, English and Canadian private international law cases involving enemy aliens and illegal immigrants serve to illustrate how private international law turns assumptions about citizenship upside down. In addition, the analysis of these cases leads to the article’s second argument, which is that in times of great stress for a state - war, wide-scale illegal immigration, stark cultural difference - private international law can sometimes be more cosmopolitan than public law, and in illuminating ways. Differentiating cosmopolitan form from cosmopolitan tradition and space leads to the article’s third argument; namely, that private international law’s importance for citizenship is not only as a neglected private side of it, but also as a lens on citizenship more generally. Using the rules on proof of foreign law as an example, part III demonstrates how private international law might be a non-intuitive but promising way of thinking through issues integral to multiculturalism and citizenship generally.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 33
Keywords: Conflict of Laws, Private International Law, Citizenship, Immigration, Aliens, MulticulturalismAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: May 28, 2009 ; Last revised: August 4, 2010
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