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The “Private” in Private International Law

The “Private” in Private International Law
  • Year of publication 2019
  • 38 pages
Author:Symeon C. Symeonides
Series:Maastricht Law Series (volume 9)
Category: Law International law
Icon_printbook 978‐94‐6236‐949‐8 | paperback | 1st edition | € 25.00
Icon_ebook 978‐94‐6274‐520‐9 | ebook | € 25.00

The adjective “private” in Private International Law (PIL) distinguishes PIL from its public international sibling but also confines its scope to horizontal disputes between parties other than states acting as such. But does this mean that these disputes implicate only the interests of the immediate parties and not the interests of the states involved in the conflict? The classical and still prevailing view of PIL answers this question in the affirmative. A contrary view, usually associated with American conflicts law, assumes that most of these disputes implicate the conflicting claims or “interests” of the involved states to apply their respective laws.

This essay, which is based on the Private Law Lecture delivered at Maastricht University, explores these antithetical assumptions and uncovers the extent to which contemporary PIL systems have embraced the latter view, albeit in mostly covert ways.

Author's information

Symeon C. Symeonides is the Alex L. Parks Distinguished Professor of Law and Dean Emeritus at Willamette University, in Oregon, USA. He has drafted three private international law codifications, participated in drafting other codifications and international conventions, and published 27 books in seven languages. His work has been honoured with six academic prizes and a Lifetime Achievement Award and has been cited by the supreme courts of the United States, the United Kingdom, and Israel. He is the former president of the American Society of Comparative Law and the International Association of Legal Science, and a member of the Institut de Droit International.