Better Law as a Better Outcome

44 Pages Posted: 29 Jan 2017 Last revised: 13 Mar 2017

Sagi Peari

York University - Osgoode Hall Law School

Date Written: 2015


This Article suggests a “better-outcome” understanding of the better law approach to the choice-of-law question. Traditionally this approach has been promptly dismissed following the objection to substantive evaluation of the relevant laws and the inherent difficulty in determining which law is “better.” By shifting the focus from the merits of the content of laws to the desirable results of the particular litigation, this Article suggests an alternative version of better law. This vision of the better-law approach not only addresses the criticism traditionally mounted against it, but also represents the return of this approach to its intellectual roots of classical legal realism. Using as an example one of the most significant decisions in common law choice-of-law history, Chaplin v. Boys, the Article demonstrates the presence of this version of better law in the underlying reasoning of that case.

Keywords: choice of law, better law, legal realism, legal formalism

Suggested Citation

Peari, Sagi, Better Law as a Better Outcome (2015). American Journal of Comparative Law, Vol. 63, No. 1, 2015; Osgoode Legal Studies Research Paper No. 12/2017. Available at SSRN:

Sagi Peari (Contact Author)

York University - Osgoode Hall Law School ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3

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