The Constitution of the Conflict of Laws

20 Pages Posted: 13 Feb 2014

See all articles by Jacco Bomhoff

Jacco Bomhoff

London School of Economics - Law School

Date Written: February 10, 2014


Private international law doctrines are often portrayed as natural, largely immutable, boundaries on local public agency in a transnational private world. Challenging this problematic conception requires a reimagining of the field, not only as a species of public law or an instrument of governance, but as a constitutional phenomenon. This paper investigates what such a ‘constitution of the conflict of laws’ could look like. Two features are given special emphasis. First: the idea of the conflict of laws as an independent source of constitutionalist normativity, rather than as a mere passive receptacle for constraints imposed by classical, liberal, constitutional law. And second: the possibility of a local, ‘outward-looking’ form of conflicts constitutionalism to complement more familiar, inwardly focused, federalist conceptions.

Suggested Citation

Bomhoff, Jacco, The Constitution of the Conflict of Laws (February 10, 2014). LSE Legal Studies Working Paper No. 4/2014, Available at SSRN: or

Jacco Bomhoff (Contact Author)

London School of Economics - Law School ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

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