LAWCOMM 407 - Conflict of Laws

Credit points: 20 points
Offered: Second Semester
Contact hours: Lectures - over 5 weeks; starting Monday 16 July, finishing Wednesday 15 August
Course Coordinator: Anastasia Telesetsky
Prerequisites: LAW 211, 231, 241

Course description

An introduction to private international law (i.e. the body of law dealing with civil and commercial issues that have an international element or aspect), including a study of the jurisdiction of the New Zealand courts, conflicts theory and choice of law.

Content outline

The first section of the course covers the general principles of jurisdiction in transnational litigation, including the bases of jurisdiction, protest to jurisdiction, limitations on jurisdiction, as well as forum non convenience and reference to recognition and enforcement of judgments.

The second part of the course deals with choice of law. This section of the course comprises an introduction to choice of law methodology (with specific emphasis on multilateral conflict rules), as well as an analysis of problems associated with conflicts methodology, such as characterisation, the interpretation of connecting factors (with an in-depth discussion of domicile), renvoi, the incidental question and intertemporal conflicts. This theoretical section forms the basis for an intensive study of the application of choice of law rules in specific areas of private international law, such as property, contract and tort. This section also includes a discussion of evidential and procedural matters with specific reference to the substance/procedure dichotomy (as it applies to statutes of limitation and ACC) and proof of foreign law in New Zealand courts. The section concludes with a brief analysis of mandatory statutes and the role of public policy of the forum.


2 x 1000 word take-home tests (10% each)

6000-8000 word case note and presentation (80%)

Recommended text

Recommended readings to be advised in the course outline.