Chapter 1: Introduction
The area of law known as private international law, or the conflict of laws, addresses three kinds of problem which arise, in connection with legal relationships governed by private law, where a factual situation is connected with more than one country. Rules of private international law may conveniently be referred to as ‘conflict rules’. Such a situation may arise from the connections of persons, of acts or events, or of property involved. Thus relevant connections may include an individual's domicile, residence or nationality; the place of incorporation, or the location of the headquarters, or of a branch, of a company; the place of conclusion or performance of a contract; the place where an accident giving rise to a tort claim occurred; or the location of property. Three kinds of problem are dealt with by conflict rules. They relate to direct jurisdiction; to choice of law; and to foreign judgments. Rules on direct jurisdiction define the circumstances in which the courts of one country are competent, and should be willing, to entertain proceedings in respect of disputes which have some connection with another country. Such rules are applicable by a court for the purpose of determining its own jurisdiction to entertain proceedings instituted before it. Rules on choice of law select from the connected countries the one whose law is to supply the substantive rules to be applied in determining the merits of the dispute.