European Private International Law - Choice of Law

Course Description: 

This course focuses on the choice of the law applicable to issues in cases with international elements, such as border-crossing transactions (contracts, services), conduct in one state that produces damage in another (personal torts, environmental torts), family law problems in international settings (marriage, divorce, support, child custody), international inheritance cases, and in corporate law (legal personality of corporations. Study of particular choice-of-law rules and approaches is preceded by consideration of pervasive problems, such the process of characterization, the role of local public policy, the importance of domicile as a connecting factor, as well as dépeçage. The emphasis will be on inter-European Union law and on choice-of-law problems in cases between EU and US parties.

Learning Outcomes: 

Ability to deal with issues of choice of law in private international cases (primarily in contract, tort, and family law); familiarity with and competence in applying European Union law applicable to these issues as well as Hague convention law; and knowledge of American approaches to these issues.


Assessment is based 90% on a written final exam and 10% on class participation.