Conflict of Laws

Quick Info
(2040.04)  Course
Professor J. Walker
4 credit(s)  4 hour(s);
Lectures, discussion
Upper Year Research & Writing Requirement

In a world of cross-border communication, trade and travel, crossborder disputes arise regularly in every field of private law. A good understanding of the subject is vital for those pursuing most careers in legal practice and scholarship and it provides an important foundation for the study of other international law subjects. Once based on arcane principles and complex doctrines, the conflict of laws has changed dramatically over the years to facilitate the flow of products, wealth and skills across borders and to ensure that disputes with connections to other provinces and countries are resolved fairly.

This course provides a solid grounding on the basic questions of whether a court has authority to decide a dispute and whether it should exercise that authority; what effect the court should give to the judgments of courts in other provinces or countries; and which law the court should apply to determine the issues in dispute. Also considered are the particular rules that have been developed for key areas of private law.

The rules applied by Canadian common law courts are compared with the rules applied in other common law countries, in the United States, in Québec, and in Europe. This course also addresses the special rules that apply in federal and regional systems.