Elgar Asian Commercial Law and Practice series
The choice of law process in the field of tort has been said to raise ‘one of the most vexed questions in the conflict of laws’. There are various types of torts, such as negligence, defamation, product liability, infringement of intellectual property rights (IPRs), anti-competition, etc, which have different characteristics and generate different policy considerations. Even one type of tort may occur in various scenarios. Furthermore, tort is an unplanned incident, which largely limits the application of party autonomy, a doctrine that may provide certainty and predictability to complicated conflict of laws issues. Choice of law in tort becomes more complicated since the latter half of the twentieth century, as a consequence of the rapid development of science and technology, cross-border transportation and globalization. For all these reasons, conflict of laws in tort has been a century-long discussion and debate for private international scholars in the western industrialized countries, and the relevant legislations in those countries have been fairly developed. However, in China cross-border tort did not attract any attention until the country adopted a policy of reform and opening up to the world in the late 1970s, and Chinese legislation in this area remained unsophisticated until 2010 when the Conflicts Act was adopted.
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