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http://ssrn.com/abstract=1443032
 
 

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Choice of Law to Determine the Validity and Effect of Contracts: A Comparison of English and American Approaches to the Conflict of Laws, Part I


John Prebble


Victoria University of Wellington; Monash University; Institut für Österreichisches und Internationales Steuerrecht, Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien

August 3, 2009

Cornell Law Review, Vol. 58, No. 3, 1973

Abstract:     
The article examines and compares the American and English approaches to choice of law rules used to resolve issues involving the validity and effect of commercial contracts.

The author notes the different theoretical basis of each system. The English approach is a classificatory and jurisdiction-selecting method, whereas most American courts adopt the principles of interest analysis, which evaluates the specific conflicting rules and the interests of the different legal systems with a connection to the case are evaluated. This difference has led to apparently very different choice of law rules.

Part I of the article compares the rules of the two countries thematically, outlining the principles and approaches of the interest analysis, rule selection, jurisdiction selection, choice of law, true and false conflicts doctrine, and the claims of the lex fori. It then discusses approaches to party autonomy. Both countries will attempt to give effect to the intentions of the parties where this is express; however the English exceptions to this rule are narrower than the American ones. While American courts may look to considerations of policy and public policy, English courts are much more likely to strictly apply the rules attached to the legal category in question: in this case, contract.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 105

Keywords: Conflict of Laws, Choice of Law, Contract, Interest Analysis, Comparative Law

JEL Classification: K12, K39

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Date posted: August 3, 2009 ; Last revised: July 11, 2011

Suggested Citation

Prebble, John, Choice of Law to Determine the Validity and Effect of Contracts: A Comparison of English and American Approaches to the Conflict of Laws, Part I (August 3, 2009). Cornell Law Review, Vol. 58, No. 3, 1973. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1443032

Contact Information

John Prebble (Contact Author)
Victoria University of Wellington ( email )
PO Box 600
Wellington, 6140
New Zealand
+64 4 463 6311 (Phone)
Papers Indexed at HOME PAGE (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.victoria.ac.nz/law/staff/prebble-scholarly.aspx

Monash University
Victoria 3084
Australia

Monash University Business and Economics Logo

Institut für Österreichisches und Internationales Steuerrecht, Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien ( email )
Welthandelsplatz 1
Vienna, Wien 1020
Austria

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