Private International Law A (LAWS5017)


Private international law (or conflict of laws) is the part of municipal law in every developed legal system which is concerned with legal issues which have a connection with a foreign legal system. In essence, private international law is concerned with the transnational dimension of private law as where, for example, proceedings are brought in New South Wales for a tort committed in Malaysia, or for breach of a contract to be performed in New York or against a defendant in the People's Republic of China.
This unit of study is a comprehensive general course which addresses the three persistent issues in private international law: jurisdiction; choice of law and the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments. Particular topics include: (1) Scope of private international law (the concept of legal issues which have a connection with more than one legal system); (2) Personal jurisdiction (including the discretionary non-exercise of jurisdiction and anti-suit injunctions); (3) Substance and procedure (with particular reference to limitation of actions and damages); (4) Proof of foreign law; (5) Exclusionary doctrines (foreign revenue and penal laws, foreign governmental interests and foreign laws contrary to forum public policy); (6) Choice of law in contract; (7) Choice of law in tort; (8) Comparative choice of law in tort (with particular reference to the European Union, Canada and the United States of America); and (9) Recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


2x2hr seminars/wk for 10 weeks


Bath /Douglas groups: Optional take-home exam (20%) and 1 x 2hr final closed-book exam (80%). Anderson groups: 45min interim exam (20%) and 1 x 2hr final closed-book exam (80%)

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules


LAWS1018 or LAWS2005 or LAWS2018

Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.