The University is organizing a 3-days mini-course on “Comparative Private International Law” by Professor Symeon C. Symeonides.
This course will examine how different countries resolve certain conflicts between their respective laws and how they respond to some of the fundamental philosophical and methodological questions of Private International Law (PIL).
After a brief exposition of how classical PIL formulated and answered these questions, we will compare the answers given to the same questions by the nearly two hundred national PIL codifications and international conventions adopted around the world during the last fifty years.
We will begin with two practical questions:
(1) How various countries resolve tort conflicts; and
(2) To what extend they allow contracting parties to agree on the law that will govern their future disputes (party autonomy).
We will continue by examining some broader questions and themes, including the following:
(1) The extent to which PIL is truly “private” and “international” law, the assumptions undergirding these terms, as well as the assumptions underlying the term “conflict of laws”, by which this subject is known in some parts of the world;
(2) The two seemingly antithetical methods of choosing the applicable law—unilateralism and multilateralism—and the extent to which they co-exist in contemporary PIL systems;
(3) The dilemma between “conflicts justice” and “material justice”, namely whether, in devising solutions for conflicts of laws, PIL should aim for the law of the proper state or instead the law that will produce the proper substantive result; and
(4) The perennial tension between the need for legal certainty, on the one hand, and the desire for flexible individualized solutions, on the other hand.