- Elgar Asian Commercial Law and Practice series
Contract is the area where domestic conflict of laws in different countries shares the most similarity and where international harmonization is most likely to be achievable. In the European Union, for example, the harmonization of choice of law rules first started in the field of contract. At the international level, the Hague Conference on Private International Law is in the process of establishing the Hague Principles on choice of law in international contracts. It demonstrates that compared to other areas of law, contractual choice of law rules are well developed in most countries. Chinese conflict of laws in contract is more developed than other fields. As early as 1985, a special choice of law provision was provided for foreign economic contracts. This is the first choice of law provision in PRC history of legislation. The purpose of introducing special conflict of laws for foreign economic contracts is to reduce anxiety of foreign investors and facilitate direct foreign inward investment in China. It adopts the mixed approach, combining the doctrine of party autonomy and the closest connection. The similar approach is later adopted in the General Principles of Civil Law (GPCL) in 1986. These choice of law rules are now replaced by the new provisions in the Conflicts Act. The Conflicts Act, by maintaining the traditional approach, has made a few important changes to Chinese choice of law in contracts. Furthermore, extra guidance is provided by the SPC in its judicial interpretation on the application of the Conflicts Act (‘Conflicts Act Interpretation I’),
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